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Club Raven; Edgerton, WI; 04/13/02

Reviewed by Jason Savage

When I found out that American Head Charge was coming through Wisconsin again, I was stoked! These road warriors have been touring for about a year now, having completed stints with Fear Factory, Kittie, Ozzfest, and the Pledge of Allegiance tour with Slipknot and System of a Down. They have made their way across Europe and Japan and are set to do Ozzfest UK next month as well as a handful of other European dates with Rammstein and Kittie. I had the chance to sit down with bassist Chad Hanks and keyboardist Justin Fouler for an interview before the show, which can be read right here at Rough Edge.

I arrived at Club Raven not really knowing what to expect. This was one venue that I have never been to and I was pleasantly surprised by its "resort" feel. It sat below a bridge that spanned the Rock River, complete with a small beach that the bands seemed to like just outside the back of  the club. The inside offered a view of the river and some good food, at least according the members of American Head Charge that ate there. The stage was small and sat back in the corner of a small room. The capacity mustn't have been more than a couple hundred. There was also a small balcony  area and one corner and side was made of all glass. It reminded me of one of those big fish aquariums at the zoo. In this case however, the 21 and over crowd were the tourists and the underage kids and the band playing were the ones on display. I felt like I was inside some twisted futuristic museum exhibit depicting the heavy metal youth of the new millennium.

Headstrong opened the night to what seemed like an unreceptive crowd. I sat up at the bar inhaling my Bacardi and coke as various metal heads vented to me about how bad they thought this band sounded. I thought they were pretty good and ironically I just received their CD to review that day.

Next up was Sw1tched, Cleveland's bastard son whom I interviewed several months ago. I didn't know these guys were playing, for I was under the impression that only AHC and Gravity Kills were on this bill. Sw1tched were cool as usual and seemed a lot heavier live than they did on their debut  release, "Subject To Change." By this time, the venue had started to fill up and Sw1tched got a good response.

And now, the moment we had all been waiting for - American Head Charge! AHC stormed the stage playing some killer tunes off their "War of Art" album. Dressed in their futuristic war ensemble and deathly white gothic face paint, AHC recruited more troops for "The Head Corps," their army of loyal  fans. Their very tight set included 'Violent Reaction,' 'Pushing the Envelope,' 'Never Get Caught' and my personal favorite 'Song for the Suspect,' which had been recently added to their set list. They closed with "Seamless' to a now-packed house. The metal heads were out in full force to support these metal warriors who clearly stole the show. 

I had the chance to talk to AHC after their set and they said that the fans have really wanted "Suspect" added to their live show.

For reasons unknown, Gravity Kills' bus broke down and they arrived very late. They took the stage sometime after midnight to a very small group of leftovers. I missed most of their set while outside talking to AHC and now regret it. The last 30 minutes of their show that I did see was truly awesome.

I have always liked these guys but never went out and bought any of their CDs. That, my friends, is going to change. Gravity Kills knows how to rock and they were professional enough to go on in front of a mere 50 people. This figure may even be generous because the room was maybe a quarter full  compared to the packed house AHC had. I can't honestly tell you what songs they played, but I definitely liked what I heard.

Overall, this was a pretty kick ass show and a night of fun that I won't soon forget. I look forward to seeing more shows in the intimate setting Club Raven has to offer. Next time I'm going to try some of the food!

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.