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Watch Now: Heavy Metal Guitarist Brings Back Tokens, Space Invaders, Death Race & Expands Madison Area Arcade Scene | Local news

Parachute pants are no longer in fashion.

TaB soda is history, Blondie’s Debbie Harry is 76, and “The Love Boat”, “Knight Rider” and “The Dukes of Hazzard” have been banned from prime-time TV channels.

We may be over 30 years of the 1980s, but a slice of that period that included Reaganomics, space shuttles, and the emergence of microwave ovens is finding new life.

And a heavy metal guitarist who has collected and restored video game consoles for over 20 years is the latest to add to the Madison area mix.

Brad Van Kauwenbergh, co-owner of Aftershock Classic Arcade on East Washington Avenue, plays a vintage Space Invaders game. Van Kauwenbergh, frontman of heavy metal band Droids Attack, has been buying, selling and restoring video games for over 20 years. The arcade opened on New Years Eve and is another big addition to the growing presence of video arcades in the region.


Brad Van Kauwenbergh, frontman of aptly named metal band Droids Attack, has teamed up with Chris Welch of Trixie’s Liquor to open Aftershock Classic Arcade at 1442 E. Washington Ave.

The company, which opened on New Years Eve in the former home of Bar Maria, offers more than 120 classic games like Space Invaders, Joust and 1943, as well as more recent ones like Guitar Hero. There are colorful pinball machines with “Twilight Zone”, “Addams Family” and “Tales from the Crypt” themes and an air hockey table.

The bar looks like an Atari 2600 console, and the ceiling features bright panels of blue lights to mimic the labyrinth of a Pac-Man game. And since it’s a bar, most games, which only take tokens, come with a cup holder.

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