Overkill Imperial, Quebec City QC July 13

Overkill Imperial, Quebec City QC July 13
It's hard to imagine thrash legends Overkill without their sinewy, ball-of-energy lead singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth. And even if Blitz constantly runs offstage to huff oxygen from a tank (after suffering an onstage stroke and going through a cancer scare in recent years, the guy isn't taking any chances), it didn't discount any from his performance. By the end of Overkill's headlining spot at Festival d'été's metal showcase, Blitz was soaked in his own sweat, covered in scratches, and loving every minute of it.

The band's other original member, bassist D.D. Verni, was also in fine form, taking those out-of-control, high-in-the-mix bass runs from the longtime New Jersey band's extensive catalog (17 releases and counting) and making them just that much fucking louder.

As Overkill cranked through a good sampling of their best thrashers, such as "Elimination," "Hello from the Gutter," "Deny the Cross" and "In Union We Stand," which was dedicated to imprisoned Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe, it was clear Overkill were here to shred. Which is ironic, since despite requests from the diehards in the audience, the band didn't actually play "Shred," one of their flagship head-bangers. Not many complained, though.

With a multi-song encore culminating in the epic middle-finger opus, "Fuck You," it was clear that thrash will never die in Quebec City. Or New Jersey. Or anywhere for that matter.