Anvil @ The Phoenix

Anvil's stamina, hammy person-alities and musicianship blew everyone away

ANVIL at the Phoenix, Fri, Jan 8. Rating: NNNN

Most of us have a soft spot for underdog success stories, so it was no surprise that Toronto’s Anvil – whose 30-year struggle in heavy metal was tracked in the hit 2008 documentary Anvil! The Story Of Anvil – took the Phoenix stage to chants of “AnVIL, AnVIL, AnVIL.”

It surprised the band members, though, who’ve clearly grown accustomed to Toronto not giving a shit. Guitarist/singer Steve “Lips” Kudlow, who looks permanently stupefied, shook his head in disbelief and quipped, “At least you’re not yelling for Advil.”

And while the tunes still have the same non-effect on me as they did in the 80s (too many solos, unnecessarily lengthy, lacking definition), the hard-working trio’s stamina, hammy person-alities and musicianship blew everyone away. Lips started and ended the -career-spanning set down on the floor with the crowd. He guitar-soloed with a gold dildo and sang into his pickups. His “fuck, yeah” banter was endlessly hilarious, while Robb Reiner’s double-bass drumming was unreal.

It was also fun to see veteran fan Colin “Mad Dog” Brown get onstage and drink beer through his nostril.[rssbreak]

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