Powerman 5000 & American Head Charge remember Wayne Static NYC 11-16-14

Powerman 5000 & American Head Charge remember Wayne Static NYC 11-16-14

The night of November 16th could have been a dark and sad one for some whom were heading into New York City to be at B.B. King’s  Club in Times Square, mainly only for the fact of the untimely events which transpired two weeks early. Originally scheduled to be a co-headlining bill with Wayne Static, Powerman 5000, and American Head Charge, mere days before the opening night of the tour the sudden bombshell news was the passing of Wayne Static on November 1st at the young age of forty eight years old.  Catching fans and colleagues completely by shock, rather than despair in the tragic loss, Powerman 5000 and American Head Charge decided to soldier on with the tour as a tribute to Wayne Static along with support from Wolfborne.   As fans gathered inside the venue it was easy to see a sense of bittersweet emotion surrounding as the evening was about to begin.

Beginning at 7:30 PM, from the neighbors of the Northwest, Vancouver, B.C., was the band Wolfborne. A four piece band, who are starting to make a name for themselves on the road, just released their debut album, In the Beginning, in September before heading out on a European tour with Soil, (hed)p.e., and current fellow-tour mates, American Head Charge.  Now back in North America, the current run with Powerman 5000 and American Head Charge is the band’s first proper USA tour and they are ready to make an impression. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Chris Witoski, guitarist Lanning Kann, bassist Brett Nussbaum, and drummer Robbie Sheldrick, the quartet rocked out a set containing tunes from their album, starting off with the track “Jellyfish.” Whoever was hearing Wolfborne for the first time definitely turned their head and paid attention as they grooved to a half-hour performance that also included “Livin’ the Life,” the fast paced and heavy track “Stars Are Eyes,” “Let it Rain,” “The Fall,” “Out in the Streets,” and ending with the first single from the album “Sex Sells.”  Wolfborne are worth checking out for fans of high-octane modern Hard Rock.

American Head Charge was up next bringing their form of Heavy Industrial Metal to the floor at B.B. King’s. The six-piece band out of Minneapolis formed back in 1997 and was an intricate player in the Nü-Metal movement during the earlier part of the 2000’s.  Releasing two full-length albums, the band stood strong for over a decade, withstanding the tragic loss of guitarist Bryan Ottoson in 2005, and a three year hiatus between 2009 and most of 2011.  Now led by founding members Cameron Heacock (vocals) and Chad Hanks (bass), American Head Charge is complemented by the classic line-up of Justin Fowler (keyboards), Chris Emery (drums) and Karma Cheema (guitar) with the addition of Ted Hallows (guitar).  Considering their home state of Minnesota has some of the most bitterly cold winters of any portion of North America, the band was ready to warm up New Yorkers in an extraordinary way.

They came out heavy and impactful on the audience, starting off with 2001’s “All Wrapped Up”, then proceeding into “Pledge Allegiance.”  The crowd began a mosh pit behind those just watching the show, really enthralling themselves in the moment as the set moved on through tracks like “Dirty,” newer song “Let All The World Believe,” and fan favorite “Just So You Know.”   Closing out with another newer song titled “Drowning” along with “Seamless,”  American Head Charge capped off the set with a touching moment where Heacock asked for a moment of silence for Wayne stating, “Hold up your drink or if you don’t have one, put your fist in the air,” and everyone in the room did exactly that.  While there is seldom ever real silence at a Hard Rock/Metal show, this moment resonated with such quietness one could hear a teardrop hitting the floor. A very heartfelt sentiment followed by a mosh pit of emotion that solidified the powerful performance American Head Charge gave fans.

Shortly after, it was time for Powerman 5000 to take the stage.  Led by mastermind Spider One for over two decades now, the band has withstood a plethora of changes, still rising to the top with their unique style and sound.  With a return to form in recent years, some may say their latest album, Builders of The Future, is their best since 1999’s powerhouse Tonight The Stars Revolt.  Now featuring a supporting cast of bassist Gustavo Aued, aka X51, the dynamic duo on guitar Richard Jazmin, aka ZerO, Nick Quijano, aka sci55ors, and DJ Rattan on drums, Powerman 5000 were ready to launch in B.B. Kings Club NYC for the second time in the past four months.

Right off the bat, one thing that needs to be said about a Powerman 5000 show is it is always a fun, full of action-packed energy.  On this night in New York City they would live up to that name as they came out fired-up starting with “Super Villain.”   Quickly going into songs like newbie “Invade, Destroy, Repeat,” old classic “Nobody’s Real,” and mid-era “Hey, That’s Right!,” the show felt like a rave party with fans dancing, singing along, and just having a blast. Pushing forward with a balanced assault of songs from their entire discography, some more highlights included “How to be a Human,” “Bombshell,” and “Supernova Goes Pop.”  Spider One and company entertained from beginning to end and all while sounding as tight and full as the studio recordings. Wrapping up the night with mega hit “When Worlds Collide,” fans screamed loudly in appreciation of the spectacular set.

While Wayne Static was billed to be the main headliner of this tour, the remaining acts did a fantastic job of keeping the train on the tracks all fittingly in memory of Wayne himself.  Any fan of Wayne Static would agree the evening was full of special moments and there is no question Wayne would be happy his fellow rockers continued the tour to give the fans exactly what they deserved.  Anyone who purchased a ticket for this tour is in for a special night of heavy rocking they will not forget.


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Felicia Rose
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Felicia Rose, a native and proud New Yorker grew up in the world of rock & roll since 1989 and never looked back from that first moment of being introduced to loud guitars, pounding drums and a charismatic wild-man vocalist. She may not look like a rock-n-roller, but don't let the looks fool you, because she just may shock you. Felicia has a history of writing reviews and conducting interviews with artists for the last five years and concert photography since the 1990's. Music has always been a passion for her. If a band has the talent, drive, tunes worth-mentioning to push on to others, Felicia will full-heartedly promote that artist/band.

  • dave
    Posted at 01:16h, 26 November Reply

    I wish some mention had been made in Knoxville by the headliners , the only nod made to Waynes passing were by local favorites Divided We Stand , who did a solid cover of The Only in memory of the recently departed.

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