Overkill : July 18, 2023 @ Trees in Dallas, TX

Overkill made the right call referencing their latest album “Scorched” with their current US Tour. With temperatures blistering parts of the nation, the tour name Scorching the Earth July 2023 is appropriate for the current conditions.

Five dates into the 16 -date run, the New Jersey thrashers were experiencing peak afternoon temperatures hitting 111 degrees fahrenheit. These are the conditions that were present when Overkill rolled into Dallas for the show at Trees.

Too hot for a cookout but not for frying an egg sunny side up on the pavement outside. It would’ve been an easy task.

Exhorder, Heathen and Sunlord join Overkill for the Scorching the Earth July 2023 tour as support. Kicking off in San Francisco, the tour ends in Huntington, New York on July 30.

Four bands on a Tuesday night called for an early start and that’s what happened.

New York’s Sunlord utilized their opening set delivering their style of metal / punk to the early arrivals. Even though the band is a three-piece, the trio delivered a punch to the respecting Tuesday night crowd.

Like a previous visit with Overkill, Exhorder took the stage as a four piece with Kyle Thomas on vocals. Not only was Thomas handling vocals he was handling rhythm guitar duties as well.

After the first set change, Heathen followed, delivering a mighty set of pure San Francisco Bay Area thrash. Everyone against the stage and back eagerly devoured the band’s six song set. For some reason, thrash rallies the metal troops and Heathen eagerly dished it out in true thrashing form. The five members made what room they had work for their set.

Exhorder blew through their set busting out classics like “Slaughter in the Vatican” and “Exhorder.” Thomas even encouraged stage diving and one brave soul did take him up on the offer.

The Trees setup isn’t ideal for bands with five members without obstructions. A band consisting of four members can pull it off if a headliner. Five members, it’s a different story. Whatever band member anchored on far stage right deals with a support pillar that’s modified to look like a tree trunk. Green neon tape attached facing outwards on the pillar perfectly summed it up with, “This Tree Sucks.”

The last time Overkill visited Dallas was in March 2020 when the global craziness was just ramping up. Several days later, the tour was cut short. 

Now, nearly three and half years later, Overkill returned to the Dallas Fort Worth area with no worries of the tour being canceled. The best part, the band is supporting a solid piece of thrash metal titled Scorched. It only made the night more special as the band ripped through their set.

With a release as solid as Scorched and extensive catalog, Overkill needs to be selective on material for the night. 

And that’s what they did. Overkill pulled the title track, “Scorched” for the set opener as well as “The Surgeon” and “Wicked Place.” Ideally, opening with “Scorched” set the tone for a blazing night in Dallas.

Overkilled pulled classics out as well. Fans received ear candy in the form of “Electric Rattlesnake,” “Hello from the Gutter,” “Coma and “F*ck You” and others. 

Plenty of thrashing and pit action was continuous throughout the night. It’s obvious there was a craving for the New Jersey thrashers. As expected, the band was a solid unit from start to finish. When everything was all said and done, that thirst and hunger for Overkill was satisfied.

The sight of Overkill on stage in the DFW area was welcoming and long overdue.

Overkill on stage at Trees in Dallas. (L-R) : Dave Tailer, Bobby Blitz, Jason Bittner (drums), D. D Verni and Dave Link. Photo by Brian McLean