From my point of view, this was probably going to be one of the best gigs of the year in Glasgow. Overkill and Vader are both bands that I enjoy immensely and both feature among my personal favourite bands. I’d heard a wee bit about One Machine and was eager to hear their music and see them in action.
However there was a lot of technical issues which greatly marred the enjoyment of the show, and I’m confident anyone who went to the gig will agree with me. My interpretation of what seemed to be happening was that One Machine were on the stage soundchecking as the audience were coming into the venue. We waited what must have been about 40 minutes before One Machine could actually play. I’m not sure what the issue was but it took a long time to be dealt with and it still wasn’t fixed by the time One Machine were allowed to play. Even then, it was only one song One Machine were allowed to play within their allotted time and it sounded like a complete blurry mush due to the sound issues.
As a result I’m not going to try and review One Machine or give them a rating out of 10 as I don’t think it would be fair to judge them when they couldn’t adequately play their set due to issues beyond their control. However credit is due to One Machine for still attempting to entertain the crowd while we waited for the technical problems to be fixed. I hope to see One Machine again soon so I can see what they can really do. For now, their records are definitely going to be included among my listening material for the foreseeable future so I can experience the One Machine sound that was missed out on during Friday night.
The problems with the show so far had left a really sour aftertaste in the crowd’s collective mouth, as evidenced by gig-goers’ complaints put forward on social media once One Machine left the stage. Many were hoping that a heavy racket from Polish death metal legends Vader (7) would sweeten the deal. The crowd roared as the intro tape played while the band entered the stage before firing into the pounding “Wings”. The set overall was great (in fact, it could never be bad to me because in my opinion, Vader have never had a record which truly sucked) featuring blasting death metal noisemakers like “Go to Hell”, “Sothis”, “Reborn in Flames” and “Triumph of Death”. Their performance was tight and heavy and frontman Piotr Wiwczarek engaged well with the crowd who were getting much more into the music. However part of the way through the set Wiwczarek did say that the band didn’t have much time to play and his interludes were kept very brief.
The sound for Vader was much better than that for One Machine, and I think this was possibly due to them having their own sound engineer with them (I noticed there was a different guy behind the mixer when Vader were playing). However it still wasn’t the greatest thus suggesting that the fault lay somewhere within the venue and their setup. The main issue which I had with Vader’s set (and I think all the other fans shared this with me) was that it was cut short, most likely due to the tech issues. Vader were onstage for barely half an hour. Granted they started a little later than when they were due, but there was still enough time for Vader to crank out another few songs within their allotted time. It would have been great to hear numbers like “Dark Age”, “The Wrath”, “Cold Demons”, “Helleluyah (God is Dead)”, “Return to the Morbid Reich” or “Hexenkessel” but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. You could see the disappointment in each of the band members’ faces as they were getting ready to leave the stage – it was clear they wanted to play for a little longer, and they knew the fans were disappointed by the cut-short set. However, Vader killed it as always despite the shorter performance and even though I’m gutted their show was marred by several other factors outwith their control, I’m even more excited to see Vader again in the future.
Finally it came to the point of the night when headlining thrash gods Overkill (7) took to the stage. The crowd reaction was somewhat mixed. Of course everyone was looking forward to thrashing it out to anthem after anthem of Overkill madness, but the sense of disappointment from prior problems hung around in the air like a blanket trying to smother the evening’s enjoyment. Following the intro tape of “XDM”, Overkill opened with “Armorist” before playing a mix of old and new ragers including “Rotten to the Core”, “Hammerhead”, “Electric Rattlesnake”, “Hello From the Gutter” and “Feel the Fire”.
The setlist was overall awesome with a variety of Overkill hits, however the focus was on material from the band’s classic debut Feel the Fire and the Horrorscope album which are both celebrating their 30th and 25th anniversaries respectively. The middle of the setlist featured Horrorscope performed almost in it’s entirety with the songs “Coma”, “Infectious”, “Blood Money”, “Bare Bones”, “Horrorscope”, “Nice Day…For a Funeral” and “Thanx For Nothin’” before ending the show with a selection of more classic Overkill with songs like “Elimination” and “Fuck You”. The crowd eventually became much more engaged with Overkill with plenty of heads banging, moshing and shouting along with the band during hit after hit of thrash classics though there seemed to be a bit of a dip in the energy levels about halfway through the selection of Horrorscope numbers.
The sound problems however seemed to persist. After Vader’s improved sound, Overkill’s dipped back into a mush only slightly better than that of One Machine’s. The sound for the most part was really bass-y, as if a low-pass filter was put on the master output – it sounded as if you were standing outside a warehouse that had been converted into a club and you could hear Overkill tunes being played inside while waiting in line to get in. Only the vocals seemed to cut through but even then they became a little lost in the mush. It wasn’t until about halfway through the set that everything became a little clearer and all aspects of the band were cutting through the mix a bit better. But still, these issues continued to affect enjoyment of the show. On the other hand, Overkill performed well maintaining a great energy and presence onstage and ever effervescent frontman Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth kept the crowd going with some great audience engagement.
Overall this gig was somewhat disappointing. When I saw the lineup I was convinced this was going to my favourite gig of the year so far, especially as Overkill and Vader are among my favourite bands. No discredit and disrespect to the bands – they rocked it as best as they could given the situation. It’s just that the technical difficulties were so severe and persistent that it couldn’t help but take away some of the enjoyment from what would otherwise have been an awesome show. I’m hoping to catch up with Overkill, Vader and One Machine again in the near future so I can experience them at their full metal blasting best. Until next time…