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Review: Anvil - The Anvil Experience
The Anvil Experience
Venue: The House of Blues
City: Boston

Show date: January 16, 2010
Guests: Meliah Rage

Review online: January 20, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Readers Rating
The Anvil Experience

Rated 4.78/5 (95.56%) (9 Votes)

It's been more than thirty years, and now they've made it. After decades of floundering in low-mid level success, the legendary metal rockers Anvil have become a household name in both metal and rock scenes. The ubiquitous documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil! has been the propeller they needed, as they've now become the darling of every non-metal music journalist in North America. The unsuccessful band of characters who steadfastly stuck to their roots: hip writers salivate at the chance to romanticize it. However long their success will be, they've embarked on a US tour sponsored by VH1 Classic. On Saturday the 16th in Boston, they came to the city's overly hip and glossy venue, The House of Blues. It's great to see such an influential and dedicated band giving their all on stage, and for once getting a decent crowd, even if it was less than they had hoped for.

Opening up the show were Boston area stalwarts Meliah Rage. Unknown to most fans, these guys have been around since the mid-80s, releasing a string a classic thrash albums revered, but ultimately forgotten by, the New England metal scene. It was their first show on this scale in ages, and they played with the necessary energy to make it something special. You got the feeling that they had missed this just as much as their few die-hard fans standing in the audience. At the beginning of their set, they were playing to a less than satisfactory crowd, being less than 100. Through their performance though, people began to pour in, presumably showing their support for Anvil, as only four or five aging long haired rockers in the center thrashed around headbanged to Meliah's songs.

Before long, Anvil took the stage to a tumultuous ovation. Lips' stage presence is unparalleled. He clearly lives for the live show, and couldn't help but feel moved by the large crowd. He frequently referenced the film, and how thankful he is for the newfound fame and popularity it has given him. He even said how grateful he was for fans "You're not looking at us as a band. You're looking up at us as friends. Thank You." Playing such classics as "Forged in Fire" and "Mothra" alongside modern songs such like "This is Thirteen," Lips' bashful, joyous smile never left his face. He gave way to the ridiculousness of metal as well. Towards the end of his set, his reached into his pocket and pulled out a dildo. After taking a whiff, he used it as a slide bar for one of the strangest live solos I've ever seen. He truly has the right stage presence and personality to carry a band for 30+ years, saying of himself "I'm still a fourteen year old kid listening to Black Sabbath!"

This wasn't your usual metal crowd. Hipsters, whose interest in Anvil was sparked by the documentary, littered the crowd, preferring to keep to themselves, and to avoid socializing with the metalheads. Whatever. Maybe some of them were converted to the ways of metal. Adding to the unusualness of the event were the children in the audience. Now this was awesome. Lips giving detailed accounts of his roommate receiving oral sex in 1980 before going into "Jackhammer" may not have been the best environment for them. That's for their parents to get fussy about. By the end of the show, these kids, varying in age from grade school to the pubescent, sang along with "Metal on Metal" just as enthusiastically as the hardened metalheads. It was beautiful to see our clan acquiring young converts!

Anvil have been around for a very long time. That goes without saying. But their fame won't last long. This is only based in the popularity of the movie. Nevertheless, seeing such an energetic band play so happily is spectacular and glorious.

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Review: Anvil is Anvil (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Anvil is Anvil (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Anvil: The Story of Anvil (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Back To Basics (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Forged in Fire (reviewed by MetalMike)
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Review: Impact Is Imminent (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
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Interview with Anvil on December 31, 2014 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Interview with guitarist and vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow on March 22, 2016 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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