Anvil at Reggie’s Chicago June 9, 2018
By Fred Peth
I finally got to see Anvil, the heavy metal band from Toronto, Canada, who have the staying power, perseverance and passion that people can take note of. They might not have had the best of luck, but that has not dampened their spirits or their love for performing live.
The formation of Anvil began in 1973 by Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb “Robbo” Reiner. They were high school friends and began playing music together. The first line-up of the band was Steve “Lips” Kudlow (lead vocals and lead guitar), Robb “Robbo” Reiner (drums), Dave “Squirrely” Allison (vocals and rhythm guitar) and Ian “Dix” Dickson (bass). At the time, the band was then called “Lips”, but they changed the name to “Anvil” in 1981. Currently the band is a three-piece with Steve, Robb and Chris Robertson (bass and backing vocals).
It has been 10 years since their documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil came out. This is where I learned that Anvil has influenced many great musicians like Lemmy, Scott Ian, Slash, Tom Araya and Lars Ulrich just to name a few. The film has been nominated and won numerous awards including the category for Best Documentary Feature at the 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards. I was definitely excited to see these Canadians that I have heard so much about and who have a 17-album catalog, which they have funded a lot on their own.
The guys took to the stage to the crowd cheering and yelling for Anvil. They opened the night with “March of the Crabs”. Lips, Robbo and Chris were all smiles when they started on stage. Lips came down to the middle of the crowd and began shredding as people headbanged and took pictures of him and with him. Everyone loved the personal opening in this small venue. Lips made his way back to the center of the stage and they played “666” from their album Metal On Metal. A few guys were moshing around during the song. This was a nice strong song to open the night to get the crowd pumped up. The crowd followed Rob’s drumbeat on “Badass Rock n Roll” throwing their fists outstretched. Chris’ stylish swaying as he played his bass during his solo looked easy before they jammed “Winged Assassins”.
Lips’ vocals were great and the audience could see he was enjoying himself from the constant smiling he was doing as he played with his friends. The night consisted of a great variety of songs that spanned their album collection. “Doing What I Want” and “Bitch In The Box” came from their latest 2018 release Pounding The Pavement. They saved their most well known song “Metal On Metal” for the end of their initial set. The complete crowd was singing along as the guys interacted with each other on stage.
After a little time offstage the band came back with “Running”. A quick and fast-paced song to make sure the crowd was still having as much fun as the band was. Closing out the night they did a great cover of “Born To Be Wild”, which kept the crowd singing and moshing around until the last note.
Through all the ups and downs that they have gone through they are very appreciative of people coming to their live shows and listening to their music. They jammed hard and sounded great. They are a true hard working band plays heavy metal!
Setlist: Anvil live in Chicago at Reggies June 9, 2018
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