Smoke / Fueled by Hate / Prong / Overkill

2/26/06 - Joe's Bar, Chicago, IL

By Sgt. Deth

I must begin by saying how great this venue is. If you live in the Chicago area, you must go support Joe's Bar ( for one of their many concerts or events. It is great to see such great bands up close and personal in such a tried and true heavy metal environment. Yes, it is in the Weed District (we joked and called it the Seedy District), but there is secure parking right across the street and the establishment is surprisingly clean.

The boys from Smoke were just starting their show when Mrs. Deth and I arrived. At first look I expected them to be some inexperienced grunge band, but they actually turned out to be very talented. They still have that local band sound and need a lot of work on production; but I would definitely go see them again if I had the chance.

Then comes Fueled by Hate...and their name almost says it all. But, let me elaborate...the singer and most of the band is absolutely fucking nuts. The singer even took time out to explain how his next song was written while he was locked away in an insane asylum. He screamed out that the medication they had him on was killer and how he wants more, then the song began. His eyes looked like a vision straight from Hell. Every song he kept up this appearance until I was thoroughly convinced that he is a madman.

The band kept up the frontman's frantic deliberate pace and also led the crowd into a moshpit frenzy. It seemed that even though most people had never heard this music before, it caught on real quick and pleased the metal hungry crowd. There were even a few antics and comedy attempts in between songs. I was very impressed by the way they can entertain, as well as

After a very quick set change, Prong came forth with a very energetic show. They went back as far as the "Beg to Differ" release. They played almost every one of my favorite tunes. Tommy was at the top of his game and his voice was perfect. He makes it all look so can say without a doubt that he is a natural on stage. His band mates fit the profile as well. The drummer is like a giant killer ape that you watch closely all the time expecting the drums to be torn to shreds, but surprisingly they made it through the whole show. The bass player looked and acted like a hardcore punk rocker as he ripped through every song not missing a beat.

Being with such an entertaining frontman during the Prong portion of the show is probably meant to prepare you for what's to come next, but it sure doesn't. Tommy Victor is quite a character, but not many frontmen can come close to matching the charisma of "Blitz" from Overkill. The extremely long set change was worth waiting through for what was about to come next.

After all these 20 some years of screaming his head off, Bobby "Blitz" still has a great voice. Not only that, he still can jump around stage, swing from the heating ducts on the ceiling, and generally go nuts. And, that goes for the rest of the band too, especially D.D. Verni, another metal veteran from way back. I don’t know how he does it...D.D. also has been working hard in his other band, "Bronx Casket Co." lately too. He is just brutal on the bass...his fingers must have leather for skin. Seeing him up close was impressive...I could really watch his original and amazing techniques!

Same for Dave Linsk...his guitar playing is flawless and furious all at once. It reminds you of why they are called Overkill in the first place. The volume was just ear bleeding loud, the pace of the music was intensely fast...they even played longer than expected. Everything about them was over the limit, over the top, faster than Hell, hold on to your seats, true metal. The whole band has no problem playing any Overkill tune with utmost brutality.

They played so many good songs, but the one that really sticks out is the "Old School" song from the new CD. Bobby sung the one humming noise in that song perfectly just like the original. It really brought the party animals out in the crowd. You can tell that Overkill really "doesn't give a fuck" about looking cool or playing what the mainstream wants. They gave their fans what we wanted, pure unadulterated speed metal.

Overkill's Official Website