I was building a guitar in my basement fairly late on Friday night, listening to Q104.3’s Eddie Trunk Show, which features metal music instead of the classic rock normally played on Q104.3. I generally do not listen to metal except for the occasional Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath, unless one counts Zeppelin and Deep Purple as metal bands. So anyhow, I was listening to Q104.3 and I heard this song called “Metal on Metal,” and I was thinking how cool and catchy it was, and that whoever was playing it sounded talented. Well, it turned out that the mystery band was Anvil, the recent stars of Sasha Gervasi’s movie, “Anvil: The Story of Anvil.” [Click here to watch the trailer for the movie.] Gervasi was in the studio with Trunk, and they announced that they were going to give away tickets to a showing of the movie and then a secret performance by Anvil after the film.
I called in and miraculously won a ticket.
I did a little bit of research, and found that Anvil has been around since the late 1970’s, and they toured with Whitesnake, Bon Jovi (back when he was metal-ish) and the Scorpions. Due to a bit of bad luck for Anvil, they managed to influence lots of metal bands (Metallica being the most popular), but never really took off on their own. I was curious, and I had a free ticket, so off I went the next night.
“Anvil” was being shown at the East Village Cinemas, and the line of people waiting was around the corner of the block. The audience did not seem like the die-hard Anvil fan seen in the movie chugging a beer through his right nostril; most of them seemed like people who had grown up in the early 80’s around that whole metal scene. The movie turned out to be extremely well done from a film standpoint, but the movie’s greatest triumph is that it spurred Anvil’s reemergence into the public consciousness. This is fully illustrated by the fact that they’re opening for some of AC/DC’s shows in the North American part of AC/DC’s Black Ice World Tour.
When the movie ended, Anvil immediately started playing. They are talented, not virtuosos, just enough to be deemed a good band, certainly as talented as a band like Metallica. The most impressive bit about them is that they have never stopped playing since Lips met the drummer, Rob Reiner, when they were in high school. Even now, as Lips is balding, he still puts on as good a show as a video I saw of him playing “School Love” in Tokyo 25 years ago. Anvil’s enthusiasm and love of the music they play is so palpable both in their live performance and in the movie, it really affects whoever listens. At the end of the show, Lips vowed not to leave until he talked to everybody who wanted an autograph. This just displays even more the kind of true, pure band Anvil is. Certainly one of the most appealing aspects of Anvil is their underdog story, but their music would be no better if they had been touring stadiums throughout the world for the last 25 years.