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Veterans of NWOBHM, Raven Make Crowds Want More

“Anybody remember this place in Brooklyn called L’amours? Where the beers were tall and the skirts were very short?” Raven vocalist/bassist John Gallagher knew just how to ignite a spark in Europa’s metal-hungry crowd. With the band’s home being Newcastle, England, they felt right at ease being in back in Brooklyn. Gallagher said the grittiness reminded him of home.

Brothers John and Mark Gallagher formed Raven in 1974, according to their MySpace page, and they remained an influential band for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and thrash scenes. In fact, Raeph Glicken of Black Anvil went to the show just to see Raven. He remembered seeing them in ’83 with Metallica and Anthrax and was as excited as a nine-year-old in front of a decorated tree on Christmas Eve.

In the mic-on-mouth-clenching world us headbangers live in, it’s not often that one spots a metal musician with a headset microphone. So when J. Gallagher stepped onto stage with one, it was rather confusing. Why would a band from NWOBHM era need one? Then they started playing, and it made a whole lot of sense.

Every song the band executed, they rocked with so much vigor that each one could have been their last. With high jumps and stage slides, the brothers made White Wizzard look like grandpas. When, in fact, the role could easily have been in reverse.

The second floor of what is usually a Polish dance club on Friday nights shook as the crowd stomped along to Raven’s staple song ‘Rock Until You Drop.’ Then, during an intense guitar solo by Mark, drummer Joe Hasselvander stared at him in awe. As if he couldn’t even believe that the guitarist was moving that fast. It really was Thunder Fest in Brooklyn.

After an hour-and-a-half set, Raven marched off stage for Manowar‘s Ross the Boss to finish off the night. Yet, it was 1 AM, and people were still chanting one more song. The first Raven encore just wasn’t enough.

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Raven Live in Brooklyn
Raven perform at Europa in Brooklyn on August 28, 2009. See All Photos >>
Justina Villanueva

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