GIG REVIEW: OVERKILL and NILE Live at The Gothic Theatre, Denver, CO
Ahhh… Monday nights. For me, they’re usually filled with ‘Supernatural’ binge-watching, beer, restless sleeping and ZzzQuil, and sheer dread for the weekdays to come. On February 20th, however, after months of not making it out to a metal show (I got a third job – so free time doesn’t exist anymore) I was able to make it out to catch the Overkill and Nile tour at the Gothic Theater here in Denver, CO. By the time I made it out, the line wrapped around the block. There was a slight issue at the box office with my press and photo pass, but the tour manager quickly responded to my calls and helped me out.
The Gothic Theater has got to be one of my favorite local venues. The size is perfect for national touring metal bands, the sound is always great, parking is relatively convenient, and the bartenders always remember us and our drinks – and in return we tip well. So, everybody wins.
When I go so long without a metal show, I get myself into these depressed slumps (more-so than usual) but I know that as soon as I get to a show again, and feel the music deep down into my bones, that all goes away. There really is nothing like standing between the stage and the barricades, shooting these amazing musicians I have followed for years, drinking beers with old friends with a perfect Nile soundtrack, and getting flipped off by Overkill – well, that was just the cherry on top.
I was actually quite surprised with the turnout, even early on in the evening, so props to Denver for coming out and supporting this amazing tour on a cold Monday night. The opening support, Necropanther, is a local band that I am enjoying more and more each time I see them live. These guys have the equipment, attitude, and sound of a true professional band. The best part about them though? Sure, they put on a hell of a show full of high-energy guitar riffs, killer drums, and an overall polished and heavy sound. But these guys were having a total blast throughout the night, moshing, crowd-surfing, and chatting up their fans in the back of the venue. A lot of Denver bands are guilty of playing their set, hanging out for a few minutes, then packing it up and going home, so for this reason alone, I have mad respect for these guys.
Fellow local boys Axeslasher came on next, complete with an odd assortment of on-stage “uniforms” (by uniforms I mean ski masks) and plenty of Gwar-esque antics. With a tagline like “Eat Pizza, Worship Satan”, what else should we expect? The music was as expected, speed metal and thrash meets power violence, full of gimmicky edgelord-type lyrics about death, serial killers, and even a short “Fuck the Police” speech thrown in. I definitely wasn’t a fan of the style of the band, and after such a great and professional performance from Necropanther, it really stuck out to me. However, the crowd absolutely loved it and in the end, that’s all that matters. I will stick to following the band member’s other projects, though.
Nile of course was up next, and as always, delivered a larger than life sound that was ALMOST too much for the venue’s sound system to handle. It should be no news to fans that Nile just had a major lineup change, losing 20-year veteran guitarist and vocalist, Dallas Toler-Wade just days before this show. Replacement Brian Kingsland jumped on last-minute, and honestly, the band sounded tighter and looked happier than ever. As usual, the setlist was a great mix of music – old and new – from albums ‘Black Seeds of Vengeance’, ‘Those Whom the Gods Detest’, ‘Annihilation of the Wicked’, ‘At the Gate of Sethu’, ‘In Their Darkened Shrines’, and of course, ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’. To be totally honest, after seeing this show, I am a thousand times more excited for what the future holds for Nile.
Overkill wrapped up the night, in true classic thrash metal fashion, playing a near Best-Of setlist of fifteen songs spanning all across their near forty-year career. These guys have been destroying the metal world since 1980, and in my opinion, will forever be one of the thrash-originators and genre defining bands of that decade. Everyone always gives Iron Maiden so much credit for their energetic live shows, watching Bruce Dickinson running around the stage with the energy of a teenaged athlete, but let’s take a moment and talk about vocalist Bobby “Blitz”. This guy, along with bass player D.D. Verni are the only two original members left, but never once stopped moving, making over the top facial expressions, and yelling directly at crowd members. Seriously. They haven’t made it to a successful 37 years as a band, without knowing exactly what they are doing putting on a show. Derek “The Skull” on guitar didn’t stop flipping people between riffs off the entire night (I am so happy I got a shot of it). Unfortunately, I couldn’t see much of Ron Lipnicki on the drums, but I could feel the passion that guitarist Dave Linsk had for the music he was playing. You know when you can tell that a person is just in absolute zen? That was this guy the whole damn night, it was truly inspiring.
All in all, it was a fantastic evening full of great beer, great bartenders, and even better music. I hope it’s not another few months before I can make it out to a show again, because as always, seeing Nile has just completely reignited my love for death metal. If you have a chance to catch either of these bands in the future, don’t miss it!
Also check out our Photo Gallery of the gig here!