Little Ozzy at Oasis on the River in Sanford, FL on 6/12/21 By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

I’ll be completely blunt here; when it comes to tribute and/or cover bands, I can sometimes border on the “snob-ish” side (my attitude has always been, ‘why would I want to see imitators, if I’ve already seen the original?’). But when it’s done right, a tribute/cover act can sometimes come close to being as fun as the real thing. Such was the case with 4’10 singer Lin Doak, otherwise known to the world as Little Ozzy, who along with his band, rocked Oasis on the River in Sanford this past Saturday, June 12.

Over the course of just a few years, Little Ozzy has climbed his way to the top as one of the world’s leading Ozzy Osbourne tribute acts, even appearing on such multiple TV shows including America’s Got Talent and Ozzy and Jack’s World Detour. And while I have already seen the actual Prince of Darkness himself before, both solo and with Black Sabbath (in 1997 and 2004, respectively), I knew there was something special enough about Little Ozzy to get me to put my usual reservations towards tribute bands aside for one night.

My gut instincts quickly proved right, as the band – which also consists of guitarist Johnny Lawrence, bassist Aaron Rowe, and drummer Draven Blaq – took the stage just after 9:00pm, opening with a one-two punch of “I Don’t Know” and “Crazy Train” (really the only appropriate way to introduce a set of Ozzy classics at this point). Adding to the overall decadence of the evening was the atmosphere of the venue Oasis itself; with a pool filled with bathing beauties directly in front of the stage, there was plenty for the eyes to behold.

I was pleasantly surprised when the band followed up with a bit of a deep cut in the form of “Believer,” before segueing into a number of Sabbath staples that included “Iron Man,” “Children of the Grave” (one of my personal favorites), and “Sweet Leaf.” Solos from Blaq and Lawrence sandwiched more hits like “Mama I’m Coming Home,” “War Pigs,” and “Suicide Solution,” before Little Ozzy told a brief story of meeting late Ozzy guitarist Randy Rhoads’ brother, Kelly.

The band then slowed things down a bit for a spot-on version of “Goodbye to Romance” (always a favorite), before finally calling it a night with epic renditions of “Mr. Crowley,” “Shot in the Dark,” and “Fairies Wear Boots.” Although their set was nearly flawless, I found it odd that mega hit “Bark at the Moon” was omitted from the set, and I would personally love to hear more forgotten tracks like “Breaking All the Rules” included as well (but that’s just me).

Still, there really wasn’t all that much to complain about Saturday night’s show. So the next time Little Ozzy comes through your town, be sure to catch him and his band if you can; it’s sure to put an Ozzy-size smile on your face!

Vanilla Ice at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach, FL on 5/22/21 By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

Last night, ’90s rapper and longtime Florida resident Vanilla Ice knocked the socks off of Cocoa Beach, celebrating the 30th anniversary of 1991’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (which he briefly appeared in) with one of the wildest on-stage parties in recent memory…and of course Rewind It Magazine were there to cover the entire event!

Upon arrival, TMNT screenwriter Todd W. Langen and producer Kim Dawson, who each worked on the first two films, were on stage, revealing trivia and partaking in some Q&A with audience members. Although slightly on the awkward side at times, there were no doubt some interesting facts thrown in throughout, such as Langen’s treatment of the original film’s screenplay being written in just ten days. It was directly at the end of this segment that the crowd caught it’s first glimpse of the Ninja Turtles, as Michelangelo and Donatello then appeared on stage.

After this, the music finally began, as local musicians Zander and Brian Lion unleashed their brand of reggae/surf rock on the crowd. To be honest, I’m not much of a fan of Sublime-type bands, which is what their sound heavily reminded me of. Still, those in attendance did not seem to mind as the guys went through numbers like “I Wanna Rocksteady” and “Ocean Floor.”

DJ Mark Longnecker was next up, and arguably performed the longest set of the evening (perhaps even longer than anyone had originally expected?). Regardless, he mixed in the sounds of many old school rap, hip-hop, and R&B artists that included everyone from TLC, Debbie Deb, Run-DMC, The Fat Boys, Whodini, Grandmaster Flash, Kriss Kross, Beastie Boys, Coolio, MC Hammer, Digital Underground, and Prince. It was equally exhausting as it was entertaining.

Finally, the one and only Vanilla Ice took the stage by storm, opening with a surprisingly ripping version of “Minutes of Power” from his 1994 ‘hardcore’ effort, Mind Blowin’. It didn’t take long for the Ninja Turtles to make it on stage again, as Ice quickly ‘kicked’ into “Ninja Rap,” unleashing pure pandemonium from that point onward.

Covers of Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” and Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice” followed, before tearing into his hit version of Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music.” By now the Ninja Turtles were joined by other costumed dancers, local beauty pageant winners, and even Ice’s right hand man from The Vanilla Ice Project, Wes Kain himself (who was dressed as Elvis and draped with an American flag). The mega hit “Ice Ice Baby” followed, and predictably received the highest praise of the night.

But it didn’t end there; Ice followed it up with a killer rendition of Kaskade’s “Ice,” before proceeding with more covers of Young MC’s “Bust a Move,” Lil’ Troy’s “Wanna Be a Baller,” Ginuwine’s “Pony,” Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes.” Finally, he ended the night on a bittersweet note, dedicating a version of Bob Marley and The Wailers’ “No Woman No Cry” to the U.S. troops. It was a surreal moment, one where you could feel the genuine appreciation Ice had for every member of the crowd who has been there supporting his long-lasting career more than three decades later.

For many in attendance, last night’s show was pure nostalgia; there was no doubt a touch of that for me as well, having been a fan of both Ice and the Ninja Turtles since I was kid. But being there in the moment, witnessing so many aspects of my childhood alongside my wife and my own teen-aged son (as well as an old friend of the family in tow for good measure) will surely remain a treasured memory of mine for many years to come.

Tiffany at Dexter’s in Lake Mary, FL on 3/27/21 Words By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

The last time Rewind It Magazine caught up with ’80s pop sensation Tiffany was just a few short months back last, when she played Buster’s Bistro in Sanford last November. While that show was no doubt a fun night for all those there, Tiffany seemed much more in her element at Dexter’s in Lake Mary, where she performed a longer, and much more interactive set with fans than said last show.

Local musician Rob C (or possibly “Z” – my apologies for not getting a concrete name!) started off the evening with a number of cover tunes that spanned multiple decades. Everything from ’80s staples such as “Karma Chameleon,” “Faith,” “I’ll Be Watching You,” “Shout,” “Blister in the Sun,” and “All Night Long” were included along with older and contemporary classics like “Three Little Birds,” “Proud Mary,” “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” “Sex on Fire,” “Say it Ain’t So,” and “Under the Bridge.” By the time Rob had finished his set, the crowd was more than primed for the slightly tardy Tiffany (who, after arriving, explained the power had gone out where she is currently staying).

Despite the late start, Tiffany (once again joined by guitarist Mark Alberici) more than made up for it. After a short Q&A with the audience, and plugging several of her other endeavors that ranged from cooking, mixed drinks, to skin care products, she opened with a new track from her upcoming studio album, Shadows, titled “Hey Baby.” A couple of tracks from her 1987 debut album, including “Spanish Eyes” and the hit “I Saw Him Standing There,” followed before unleashing another semi-new track in the form of “Pieces of Me.”

The Billboard number one hit single “Could’ve Been” followed before a slew of other admirable newer tracks, including “Storm,” “King of Lies,” “Starting Over,” and “Waste of Time” (the latter of which included a small mishap that saw Tiffany briefly singing the lyrics to “King of Lies” again, causing the duo to briefly stop and even laugh at themselves for a minute).

And finally, Tiffany brought down the house once again with her biggest hit to date, “I Think We’re Alone Now,” which even saw her rising from her seat and dancing along with numerous members of the elated audience. But surprisingly, they didn’t stop there, unleashing a rollicking version of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” before finally calling it a night.

Even if you’re not a huge Tiffany fan (which I never claimed to be by any means), it’s still easy to enjoy one of her shows. There’s a sense of familiarity while watching her live, like catching up with an old friend. If the chance to watch her perform ever presents itself, I highly recommend giving it a try.

Jackyl at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach, FL on 3/13/21 By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

Last night, heavy metal southern rockers Jackyl raised some much-needed hell at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach, the first time the band had shared the stage together in well over half a year according to lead singer/madman Jesse James Dupree. And judging by the size – and enthusiasm – of the rowdy crowd on hand, they were definitely more than welcomed to do so.

Tampa rockers Stonegrey opened the festivities with their ’90s-tinged styles and sounds. As soon as the band took stage, it was apparent everyone in the audience was in for a good time, as the the band’s lead singer almost immediately produced a bull horn. Covers and original tracks (and hopefully I get all of the titles correct here) like Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Saturday Night Special,” “What Are we Fighting For?,” “Walk Away,” Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused,” and “Take Me Down” were just some of the notable songs the band had to offer.

The mighty Jackyl (which, in addition to Dupree, also consists of original members/brothers Jeff and Chris Worley on guitar and drums, and former Brother Cane bassist Roman Glick) quickly took stage afterwards (as they have many times before for Bike Week) with relentless energy, opening with “Blast Off” and breaking out such fan favorites as “Down on Me” early on in their set. Not long after, the band brought out and honored a 97-year-old World War II vet on stage, which quickly prompted chants of “USA!” from the patriotic crowd. A couple more tracks in the form of “Push Comes to Shove” (from the extremely underrated album of the same name) and “Just Because I’m Drunk” followed before the music was paused once more for a brief contest that saw a Harley wheeled out on stage, and one lucky contestant walk off the stage with a trip to Sturgis.

Once the band got back to business, it was an onslaught of fan favorites (along with a quick verse of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” thrown in there for good measure) from the band’s 1992 self-titled debut album, including “I Stand Alone” (famously remembered for its music video which saw the group performing in front of a Georgia Kmart), “When Will It Rain,” “Dirty Little Mind,” “Redneck Punk,” and “She Loves My Cock” (the very song that saw said first album removed from Kmart stores nationwide, and caused Jackyl to shoot said video outside of one in response).

And finally, frontman Dupree brought out his trademark chainsaw to do some damage on a wooden stool for their performance of “The Lumberjack.” After thoroughly dismantling it with his saw, Dupree continued to set it on fire, before finally smashing what was left of it on stage. The band then went out with one last literal “bang,” as Dupree picked up a custom built mic stand with a shotgun attached to it, and fired off a round above the audience. At that point, it seemed like the only fitting ending to an already wild show.

Jasmine Cain and Afterlife at Dirty Harry’s Pub in Daytona Beach, FL on 3/6/21 By Jesse Striewski

The 80th Annual Bike Week officially kicked off in Daytona last week, and so did the many live shows it brings along with it every year. Although I made it out to Dirty Harry’s Pub & Package this past Saturday, March 6, I must come clean before I get started on my ‘official’ critique of the show; I might have been there past the barricades the whole night, but not only did I not have my main photographer (who also happens to be my lovely wife, Brooke), but I was also lacking a professional camera on hand with me. Hence the reason for just one (very mediocre) live shot here in place of a full photo gallery.

But as the old saying goes, the show must go on (in this case, with or without good pics), so I’ll do my best to describe Saturday night’s show in full detail. Local rocker Jasmine Cain is someone I’ve been following for some time now, but had still not had a chance to see live yet. After finally witnessing one of her sets firsthand, I can finally see what all the fuss is about.

Cain actually opened her set with a number of originals (one that sticks out specifically was “1995”) before going into a host of covers. Some not-so-surprising, like Heart’s “Barricuda” or Pat Benetar’s “Heartbreaker.” But it’s when Cain dug a little deeper that things really got interesting. Cain and her band then took on the likes of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at the Moon,” Megadeth’s “Symphony of Destruction,” White Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ’65,” Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” and Skid Row’s “Monkey Business,” and with total ease. Cain even ended her shift on a high note by jumping off the stage and briefly crowd surfing.

By the time Afterlife took the stage, the temperature outside had clearly dropped, and rain began to steadily creep in. However, the well-intoxicated crowd did not seem to mind one bit by this point. Before I analyze the band’s set, I will weigh the pros; the musicians were all extremely talented (especially their lead guitarist with his noticeable handicap) at what they did, and the songs they played were nearly identical to the originals. But it was the majority of the songs/bands they chose to cover that I just don’t care for much (and to be fair, I understand having to ‘play for your crowd’). Most of the material the group entertained were the type of overplayed rock songs I tend to immediately change the channel as soon as they come across the radio. And their singer may have been good at handling the likes of Godsmack or Alice In Chains (which each appeared to be his specialties), but a lot of the material from time to time seemed out of his vocal range.

And I would honestly be completely content if I never had to hear another cover band take on such forgettable tracks as Nickelback’s “Figured You Out” or Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff” ever again, but that’s just what Afterlife offered. And not only that, they also committed one of the biggest ‘no-no’s’ in my book of rock; performing some of the same songs as the other band on the bill. This was not only done once or twice, but THREE times when they covered the same tracks by Ozzy Osbourne, White Zombie, and Megadeth that Cain previously had. Maybe the conversation of who was playing what that night never took place, but it probably should have.

The crowd of course didn’t mind at all though, as long as they were given more of what they are used to. It seemed like the later the night went on (Afterlife actually played two full sets), the more unbearable the attendees became (there were even several drunken patrons who saw me on the other side of the barricade that actually asked if I could get them on the stage, or if I would relay a ‘song request’ to the band, as if that were how it actually works!). But the biggest shocker of them all came at the very last song of the night; a rendition of Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” caused the audience to rage in such a frenzy, said barricades were dangerously close to being knocked down by, well, bodies. I don’t think I was ever more relieved for a show to be over by that point, and left grateful to still be in one piece.

Pauly Shore at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort on 1/25/21 By Jesse Striewski (Photos By Brooke Striewski)

I don’t claim to be a huge fan of stand-up comedy by any means, and it’s been well over five years since the last time I willingly went to see a comedian live (and even then, I was there once again for work purposes). But how could my wife/photographer and I not go see the ‘Weasel’ himself, Pauly Shore, where it all began for him so long ago (and on our seventh wedding anniversary, in the same city where it all began for us as well, none the less) in the city of Daytona Beach?!

Presented by Bonkerz Comedy Productions and held at the Grand Ballroom at the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort (which coincidentally, is where my wife and I actually ate dinner right before getting engaged years ago, making the evening all the more special for us on a personal level), it was an extremely welcomed relief to a long year lacking an aubundance of laughter (even Hawaiian Tropic founder Ron Rice made his way into the audience last night).

Central, FL local Lou Pharis warmed up the crowd with (literal) enormous enthusiasm. Although towering at an intimidation-level height, he came off as a harmless gentle giant, there to simply win the audience over with laughs not too far off from your common dad jokes (but in a good way).

Kirk Bonacci, who has appeared on such Disney Channel shows as Game On! and The Avatars, used more of a self-depreciating style of comedy, with a slower approach, albeit perfectly timed punchlines. His ability to handle – shall we say – not the most welcomed audience participation from one particular crowd member, was also priceless.

And at last, the mighty Pauly Shore whisked onto the stage to the tune of David Lee Roth’s “Just Like Paradise,” encouraging the crowd to rise and proclaiming it was time to “party!” Once he began, it was nearly impossible not to laugh at every ridiculous thought that flowed from his brain to the microphone. Even the most simple, monotonous lines (I was dead after he stated, “I have to go grocery shopping when I get home”) were enough to bring the audience to its knees.

A good portion of his jokes relied on his age, and analyzing how much things have changed with him (and the world) since his early ’90s, MTV-fueled heyday. And while politics did make their way into the jokes from time to time, it was refreshing for once to hear something that wasn’t just one-sided and simply for the sake of bashing. Shore no doubt seems to still come from the old-school mentality where it’s okay to poke fun of everyone and anyone, regardless of what side of the fence they happen to land on (something sadly missing way too often in many platforms these days).

And of course, there were plenty of quotes from the vault brought out; classic lines like “Weazing the juice” from Encino Man and “Steven Tyler PJ’s” from Son-in-Law are among many that could be heard uttered throughout his set last night. Chances are if you grew up during Shore’s prime of the late ’80s/early ’90s (like I did), his stand up routine will be right up your alley as well; catch him if and when you get the chance (Shore’s next show will actually be at the Orlando Improv tonight).

The Beautiful Bastards at The Alley in Sanford, FL on 11/28/20 Words By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

The third and final show Rewind It Magazine made an appearance for this past Saturday, November 28, was none other than local cover act, The Beautiful Bastards. It was the only fitting ending to an already epic evening in Sanford that began with a Tiffany show at Buster’s Bistro in downtown, was bridged by an outdoor concert from The Original Wailers at Executive Cigar, before finally finishing things up at The Alley.

As some of you may recall, we have covered shows from The Beautiful Bastards in the past, as well as even interviewed drummer Timothy DiDuro (formerly of Skid Row/Slaughter/the Vince Neil band) earlier this year. On this particular night, the band – which is of course rounded out by the talents of vocalist/bassist Rick Navarro (formerly of the Pat Travers Band) and guitarist Dean Aicher (formerly of ex-Bad Company singer Brian Howe’s solo band), were once again firing on all cylinders.

Upon arrival, the boys were just closing out their first set with a cover of the Queens of Stone Ages’ “No One Knows” before taking a breather. We were able to briefly catch up with a couple of the guys (Tim and Rick) from the band during the intermission, and they both seemed as pumped up as ever to be out playing live again during these strange times. But the absolute icing on the cake came just minutes after when, my wife/photographer, Brooke, pointed out that none other than Tiffany herself was in the bar as well – and seated right behind us! It was an absolute thrill to finally meet her, and for the night to come full circle in such a way.

After the excitement, the band returned to the stage with a mammoth version of Led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” before launching into a fury of classic rock numbers that also included Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar,” The Who’s Behind Blue Eyes,” Alice in Chains’ “Nutshell,” The Beatles’ “Helter Skeltor,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer,” The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go,” and Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun,” before finally ending things with a raucous version of Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music.”

After eight months since last covering a live event (which was Overkill at the House of Blues in Orlando last March), Saturday’s trio of shows was a much-needed jolt back into the music scene that was without a doubt one for the books. And if you haven’t already caught the ‘Bastards live for yourselves, be sure to check the band’s FB/social media sites for show dates near you!

The Original Wailers at Executive Cigar in Sanford, FL on 11/28/20 Words By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

This past Saturday, November 28, was one of those rare nights full of unpredictable moments and chance encounters. Eight months since Rewind It Magazine covered our last live event (before the world was stopped in its tracks by the pandemic), we were able to amazingly cover three shows in one single night, with reggae legends The Original Wailers sandwiched in the middle.

Along with my wife/photographer Brooke and a close friend (Kurt), I was already in downtown Sanford watching ’80s bombshell Tiffany play when someone mentioned The Original Wailers were also playing nearby for the one year anniversary show at Executive Cigar. I knew I could not pass up the chance to see the band behind such classics as “Could You Be Loved,” “Three Little Birds,” and of course, “No Woman, No Cry,” live (my beloved dog of 15 years, Kaya, was even named after a Bob Marley and the Wailers song). So the minute Tiffany finished her set, we were on our way to catch them play.

The second we arrived, we could instantly hear the chords to the classic Marley/Tosh penned-anthem, “Get Up, Stand Up,” and I knew we had made the right choice to make the short trek to see them. The crowd danced and sang along with joy as they continued with “Buffalo Soldier” before closing the night out with “Exodus.” Immediately after their set, we were even able to briefly meet and converse with frontman Chet Samuel, who seemed ecstatic to be there.

Although their name might be slightly confusing to some (guitarist Al Anderson is actually the only member from Bob Marley and the Wailers here, with his association with them going as far back as 1974), it is still no doubt a thrill hearing these songs, which are nearly as embedded in our minds and culture as the music of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, performed live in some capacity; catch them for yourselves if you’re ever given the chance.

Tiffany at Buster’s Bistro in Sanford, FL on 11/28/20 Words By Jesse Striewski/Photos By Brooke Striewski

I was honestly not expecting to write another show review for the remainder of 2020, let alone actually go see not one, not even two, but THREE live shows in one night. But that’s exactly what happened this past Saturday, November 28 in Sanford, FL, starting with the lovely ’80s pop princess, Tiffany.

While she will always be known for her perfection of the ’80s mall tour, a Tiffany show in 2020 looks slightly different than it would have in say, 1987 or 88. Armed with only a microphone and her guitarist, Mark Alberici, by her side on the acoustic, Tiffany’s set was perhaps more akin to a mid-’90s Alanis Morissette set than would be expected from a former ’80s darling. Tracks like “Waste of Time,” “Beautiful,” and “King of Lies” were all actually quite well written and eye-opening, though unfortunately largely ignored by the rest of the crowd at Buster’s Bistro, who it was apparent had only come to drink and hear one song.

Of course, when Tiffany closed out the night with what will always remain her most well-known hit, 1987’s “I Think We’re Alone Now,” the place went wild, with dancing and sing-a-longs as far as the eye could see in every direction. It was a surreal, fun moment for everyone, though the crowd could’ve maintained the same respect throughout the duration of her entire set (though I know that would be asking too much from most people these days).

As previously noted, our evening did not end there; after leaving Buster’s Bistro, we were able to catch both The Original Wailers, and The Beautiful Bastards, who were also playing shows that very same night, all within walking distance from each other (and of course, more reviews will be coming shortly for those as well!). But our time with Tiffany was not over yet; while sitting inside watching the last band of the night play, I turned around to see none other than Tiffany herself sitting behind me watching the show! It was as surreal a moment as ever, getting to briefly meet this pop star, who I can specifically remember looking at on the cover of my older sister’s cassette tape and crushing on when I was just a kid. Thank you for one incredibly unforgettable night, Tiffany.

You can also catch Tiffany live again this week from December 2-4 at the Beach Front Grille in Flagler Beach.

Overkill/ Exhorder/ Hydraform at House of Blues Orlando on 3/10/20 Words and Photos By Jesse Striewski

7SM_3826_Edit - Edited

There’s times when going to a metal show can seem like a tedious affair, often being subjected to three, four, sometimes maybe even five opening acts you couldn’t care less about seeing before finally reaching the headlining act you came to see. Last Tuesday night’s show at the House of Blues in Orlando was by far the exception, where each band on the bill was worth their weight in their own respective rights, as Overkill, Exhorder, and Hydraform stormed through the H.O.B. with as much fury humanly possible (and allowed) in Disney Springs. Concert goers had other options that night in central, FL as well; just down the I-4 corridor, pop star Billie Ellish was playing at the Amway Center. But the dedicated metal maniacs of the region showed up in droves to support the music they love.

Colorado-based newcomers Hydraform were first up on the bill, and immediately I was reminded of Queensryche (albeit a heavier version of them). I only caught about half of their set (admittedly, I had arrived fashionably late), so I can’t really give a full, fair assessment of their set, though what I did catch seemed like a tight progressive rock band with a promising future.

Exhorder were up next, and I have to admit, my knowledge of their catolog prior to the show didn’t go past a handful of songs.  The crowd definitely seemed to be into the New Orleans-based grove rockers as they trudged through the likes of “Slaughter in the Vatican,” “(Cadence Of) The Dirge,” “Legions of Death,” “Hallowed Sound,” and “Desecrator.” Also of interest worth noting; lead vocalist/band founder Kyle Thomas is also doing double-duty as the current front man for classic doom metalheads Trouble, and current bassist Jason Viebrooks did also time in the band Grip Inc.

And finally, the mighty Overkill took over. I’ve seen many bands from my home state of New Jersey (The Misfits, Skid Row, etc…), but for whatever reason, Overkill has escaped my radar up until now (although they were on the same bill as Megadeth the first time I saw them in 2006, but missed their entire set, again due to arriving late). I always knew we were destined to cross paths eventually; not only did we both emerge out of the gutters of NJ, but we were each born around the same time (with Overkill beating me by just a year, forming in 1980). At one point, lead vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth even asked the audience who was from NJ, then proceeded to jokingly taunt the crowd with both fists in the air, claiming “I’ll take all of you motherfuckers on!”

The band did not disappoint. Neither did they rely on only their ‘classic’ material, as they kicked off their set with a hard-hitter, “Last Man Standing,” off their latest studio album Wings of War.  Another semi-recent number, “Electric Rattlesnake, followed, before the band packed a 1-2 punch that included “Hello From the Gutter” and “Elimination.” From then on, it was a mix of old and new tracks alike (some obviously more effective than others), including “Bring me the Night,” “Head of a Pin,” “Necroshine,” “Under One,” “Bastard Nation,” and “Mean, Green, Killing Machine.”

A short bass/drum solo lead up to an epic, nearly 10-minute rendition of the 1985 classic “Feel the Fire” (arguably the best performance of the night) before closing things out with “Ironbound.” There was no doubt the band held the stage captive that night; core members Ellsworth and bassist D.D. Verni (the band’s two remaining original members) have held complete control of their vision for over four decades now, and showed absolutely no signs of slowing dow.