This was the first time I've seen Anvil play an actual show since the release of the movie that has made them (movie? rock?) stars.
Well - the show was packed. It was almost surreal seeing them play in front of a jam packed crowd. In fact - I'd say that there were probably more people in the crowd last night than all the crowds that had been at the shows I've been at over the last 11 years combined.
While the band before them was on I ventured downstairs to the merch area & saw Lips....surrounded by people looking for autographs & pictures. I was able to make my way through - and he saw me, smiled & gave me a hug - which was very cool. He knows I've been around for awhile and was there when they were playing in front of 5 people....so it was a cool - but brief - moment....he had to get back to his adoring fans. I suppose the days of being at an Anvil show and being able to talk leisurely to Lipps and Robb are over....but to watch a band you have respected and followed - and watch struggle mightily - realize their dreams is a pretty intense thing to see.
The place had all different types....definitely a lot of older metal dudes who were probably fans back in the day but who forgot about them until now....and definitely a lot of people there who were there simply because they discovered them from the movie.
But you know what? They were great....and it seemed to me that a lot of the newer people really DID dig them....so who knows? Maybe they really are picking some genuine new fans.
They haven't completely cut the cord with the movie....Lips made references to it - and certain scenes or lines - in the between song banter....but I guess you don't bite the hand that feeds....he's very, very conscious of the fact that that movie is what has allowed his long suffering band to not be suffering anymore. He said from the stage it was the largest Anvil show they've played in NYC since 1982. I'm sure that that's true.
Through all the shit shows they played over the years - Lips always had a smile on his face - at least on stage. Robb seemed unable to hide the fact that he was bummed playing in front of so few people. In the 10 times or so I've seen them....I can honestly say that last night was the first time I've ever actually seen Robb look HAPPY playing.
The last thing I'll say is that I know that they're really into their 3-piece line-up these days....but they are definitely missing that 2nd guitar....they really need it - the sound just seemed a bit thin without it.
Anyway....good show overall.....here was the setlist....no real surprises:
March of the Crabs
This is Thirteen
Mothra (way too long...extended to 15 minutes filled with vibrator guitar solo & audience "games")
White Rhino (with ridiculous Robb Reiner drum solo)
Forged in Fire
Metal on Metal