The recent award-winning film/documentary “Anvil! The Story Of Anvil” is having a significant role in rejuvenating the band’s career. One only needed to give a cursory glance at tonight’s crowd to see this. In any case, no-one should have been disappointed – tonight’s gig proved that when the push comes to shove, Anvil are still eminently capable of delivering the goods.
The set-list pretty much covered most, if not all, the band’s discography. It included early classics, such as ‘School Love’. From 1983’s “Forged In Fire” album, Anvil played ‘666’ and the sex-charged ‘Jackhammer’. ‘Winged Assassins’ (from 1983’s “Forged In Fire”) and ‘Mad Dog’ (from “Strength Of Steel” of 1987) also found themselves in the set-list. Amongst the more recent compositions delivered tonight were ‘Fuel For The Fire’ and ‘This Is Thirteen’. The latter, being the title-track from the band’s most recent album, was also the song that started the show.
Lips’ singing was far from perfect but he once more proved to be a great showman, introducing most of the songs with amusing jokes like Paul Stanley, of Kiss, likes to do. “My dildo is in retirement…it was overworked. Can any of you people lend me one….ideally used, so that I can smell it first?” Lips’ aforementioned quip is a reference to his stage reputation in the 1980s of playing guitar solos using a vibrator for a plectrum (well, he did use it to hit the strings...). Evidently Anvil are still the consummate entertainers as much as they are accomplished musicians. Case is point on the latter was ‘White Rhino’, an instrumental number that featured the drumming exploits of Robb Reiner and which had the audience in awe. Also the occasional subject of Lips’ jokes were feelings of self-pity taken in context of the Anvil movie. I really didn’t think Lips needed to do this…Anvil have enough material to be able to stun the audience simply on the basis of their music and performance.
Anvil responded to 3 encores and the audience didn’t seem to want the band to leave. There was an amazing vibe when the audience sang the chorus of ‘Metal On Metal’ after which the band went off with a bang with their rendition of ‘Mothra’ that triggered some pretty rough moshing.
In the audience was producer Chris Tsangarides, who produced albums for Uriah Heep, Anthem, Metallica, Yngwie Malmsteen and several others. Chris, in fact, produced Anvil’s “This Is Thirteen” as well as the band’s “Forged In Fire” and “Metal On Metal” albums. His presence at the gig fuels speculation on whether he’ll be engineering Anvil’s forthcoming album.
As the audience trailed out of ‘The Underworld’ with their bruises and ruffled hair, the band members reminisced on this gig with friends, family and roadies. Meanwhile, the Anvil entourage prepares to travel northwards to the Download Festival. They’ve been about 30 years on the road but it seems we haven’t seen the last of Anvil yet. And that’s a good thing too.
Band website: www.anvilmetal.tk