Live at the Rock House, St. John’s, NL, Canada
Friday May 6th and Saturday May 7th, 2011
Reviewed by EvilG
Anvil is still riding high atop the tidal wave of success generated from their documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil. For the first time in their 30+ year history, the band is doing a coast to coast Canadian tour. The tour kicked off here in St. John’s, marking the band’s first ever performance here. Shortly after tickets went on sale, they sold out prompting the promoters to secure a second night for the band (the only place on the Canadian tour to get two nights). While the first night was sold out, the second was still packed and the crowd reaction for the second night was even more over the top with much more intense headbanging and moshing. It’s a weekend of metal like this that makes me proud to be from the metal starved shores of Newfoundland.
Local Openers Do St. John’s Proud
For Friday, the opening band was was the mighty local band, FIREIGN. The band’s blackened thrashy Iron Maiden style went down well with the band’s supporters packing the place early. If this band was from anywhere else, they could have been signed and on tour long ago. They well deserved the opening spot and showed that the local metal scene here is alive and well. For Saturday night, the opener was again well chosen with the melodic death metalers WEAPON tearing it up. The sons of Odin were out and in the club early to see our local boys kicking ass.
I can’t review one night separate from the other as the two Anvil performances have blurred together (plus the first night’s performance was taken in with many beers). The biggest difference, as mentioned, was that the crowd for the second night were much more alcohol fueled and over the top with enthusiasm, headbanging, and moshing. ALL the merchandise (CD’s and shirts) was totally sold out on the first night leaving nothing for those who only went on the second night. I guess the guys didn’t know how rabid a fan base they had here….well after this weekend, they know for sure!
Each show opened with the band’s iconic instrumental “March of the Crabs” followed by the song “666”. Both together fired up an already pumped crowd whipping many into a frenzy with hair flying, fists and horns in the air.
Lips is quite the charismatic front-man. While most are content to headbang and play their songs, Lips is very interactive with the audience both with his from the heart stage banter and while playing / singing continually locking eyes with the audience and making his patented crazy faces. What a dude! He commented on this being the band’s first time in St. John’s by saying “it’s taken 30 years for us to get here, it was a long walk”! Another memorable moment was dedicating a song to Ronnie James Dio by first telling a story about how Anvil had opened for Dio in 1983 and then hadn’t seen him again until 2005 in Italy where Lips asked in a hotel lobby where he could get some breakfast and “a short guy in front of me turned around and said, hey Lips, nice to see you again. Come up to my room and we’ll have breakfast”.
Although Anvil may be “stars” now and have rightfully achieved what so long eluded them, they are still down to earth Canadian metal dudes. After both shows they took a short break and then came out to meet with fans, get photos taken, and sign stuff. And this is not what they did for fans who paid for the privilege, they did this for anyone who stuck around for them and wanted to say hi. What a class act!
I didn’t make notes, so this from memory. I may have left one out, but it’s pretty damn close. Both nights had the same songs, but the 1st night had four songs form the new album, while night #2 had three new songs. From the new album, between the two shows the songs “Juggernaut of Justice”, “New Orleans Voodoo”, “Fuckin’ Eh”, and “Running” were brought out. “Fuckin Eh’” seemed to get the biggest response. Other songs in the set included, in no particular order: “Winged Assassins”, “Mothra” (extended 15min version complete with dildo solo! Ha!), “School Love”, “Jackhammer”, “666”, “March of the Crabs”, “Forged In Fire”, “Mad Dog”, “Thumbhang”,"White Rhino (instrumental with drum solo- Robb Reiner is a monster on the drums!!!!)", “This Is Thirteen”, and of course the metal anthem, “Metal on Metal”.
The band seemed genuinely floored with the hero’s welcome they received from a city in which they’ve never once played. I know there were some old school bangers in attendance who have waited well over 20 years for this day. A friend of mine had his old school ¾ length sleeve 80’s rock shirt signed by the band and showed them his fan club card that had expired in something like 1987! Ha! He got his new “Anvil Metal Pounders Union” fan club card this weekend though! I’m sure he and the rest of the metal fans both young and old will not forget this weekend and hope that Anvil’s promise to return next year is kept!
If Anvil are plying in your city, or anywhere near you, you have to go. They still have the magic and they are the real deal.
Saturday, May7th "Metal On Metal"
Friday, May 6th "Juggernaut of Justice"
Fireign "Out of the Dark"