w/ Against the Grain and Gunpowder Gray
June 15, 2016
The Earl – Atlanta, GA
As I surveyed the scene a bit, there was no denying that the people that were here this night were not here to see some hip, trendy, scenester metal band. Oh no my friends, these people were here to see the mighty Canadian metal legends, Anvil. After an outstanding support slot from Gunpowder Gray who played the best show I’ve seen them do yet and a totally forgettable and pretty fucking annoying set from Against the Grain, Anvil took the stage just around 11pm to a small but very enthusiastic and excited audience. The band immediately launched into “March of the Crabs” and lead singer/guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow jumped into the crowd and everyone formed a half circle around them as he ripped notes out of the fucking stratosphere as we all pumped our fists, head banged, and raged like metal maniacs. Lips jumped back on to the stage after the song and as he held up six fingers, the crowd yelled “666” and the band just slammed into it which had us all raging and screaming again like it was Donnington in 82. If you don’t know what Donnington was, please leave your “metal card” at the door on your way out.
The hour and some change long set list featured tons of classics such as “Badass Rock N’ Roll”, “Free as the Wind”, and “Winged Assassins” but even the newer material such as “This is Thirteen” and “On Fire” stood strong and meshed so well with the classic material. This show was also so full of highlights but the two that stand out the most was “Mothra” and “Swing Thing”. Their absolutely face melting rendition of “Mothra” which featured Lips’ now legendary vibrator guitar solo had everyone losing their shit but it was “Swing Thing” where we were all shown the jaw dropping talents of drummer Robb Reiner. How is this guy not considered one of the greatest metal drummers in the world? Well, you heard it here folks but he is. He’s a monster drummer who plays with so much finesse, speed, and class that I have never seen in a metal drummer. Hell, to be honest, the whole band in general is fucking amazing. The sheer power and amazing musicianship of Anvil is completely staggering to me.
Anvil seemed to be having a great time on stage and that really translated to the audience who seemed to be sharing in on the great vibe they were putting out. I’d even go as far to say that Anvil is without a doubt the happiest fucking band in metal. These guys are so fucking happy that they make Sabaton look solemn. New bassist Chris “Christ” Robertson seems to be the missing link that Anvil has been missing for long. This guy is an absolute blast to watch live and his harmony vocals too all those Anvil classics to a whole new level. The interaction between Christ and Lips on stage brought this element of fun that had the audience all smiles and knowing that they were seeing something truly special.
Having never seen them live, I really didn’t have much to go on but all I can say is that any expectations you may have this band will be exceeded 10 fold after seeing them live. For a bit over an hour, Anvil took us all away from the bullshit and bad juju that’s going on in the world with a relentless, fun filled, energetic display of metal on metal on metal! Anvil knows the healing power of music. Hell, they’ve used their own music as healing throughout all of their years of suffering and it has pulled them through the shit and now they’re smellin’ like maple leaves. Anvil is a band that has always stuck to their guns by being an uncompromising band. They know who they are, they know what they do, and on this night in Atlanta, the reaction from the fans should prove once and for all that we love Anvil just the way they are. Anvil is Anvil; always was, and always will be.