Anvil at Station 4, 2/22/12
|Photos by Kyle Hansen|
Station 4, St. Paul
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
There was a a heavy amount of enthusiasm when legendary Canadian power metal trio, Anvil finally hit the stage last night at Station 4 in Saint Paul. While age would become a consistent theme of the evening, it was the vibrant and youthful spirit of lead vocalist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and his fantastic guitar slaying abilities that made the bands return to the Twin Cities most triumphant and joyful.
As illustrated in the 2008 film Anvil! The Story of Anvil -- one of the more heartfelt and endearing music documentaries ever -- the preservation and harrowing story of the band and relationship with Kudlow's long time brother in metal, drummer, Robb Reiner was most evident. Though Anvil only most recently caught fire among the mainstream, it was obvious these veterans have perfected a method of ear-bleeding molten speed metal heavily accented by Reiner's relentless bass drums.
After the breakneck instrumental "March of the Crabs" Lips greeted the massive crowd of faithful metal fans. "Fuck there's a lot of people here. We weren't expecting this! But I see a lot of bald heads and grey beards," he said. "But metal never gets old. You can't control getting old, but growing up is certainly your choice, isn't it!?" Then he tore into "School Love."
Anvil's newest recruit, bass player Sal Italiano, managed to keep up with his bandmates who never showed their age or acted it. Blasting through the latest thrash anthem, "Fucken Eh!" from Anvil's fourteenth record, Juggernaut of Justice, Lips professed, "I'm a fuckin' hippie! My hair just keeps growing and tonight I have the great Saint Paul pot to be thankful for."
"It's Anvil not Advil!" Kudlow barked as he stuck his guitar cord up his nose. With a sweet tribute to Ronnie James Dio, Reiner's thundering double bass drums and the band delivered each bllistering song, one after another, including their "National Anthem of Metal of all the music we all love," "Metal on Metal."
Anvil was high energy from the time they hit the stage to after the show when they came out to meet fans and sign records. As most certainly a treat for metal fans that, like an amazing wine, has only gotten better and never ceased to induce silly grins with age.
The Crowd: Lots of black, lots of beards - the ever so resilient Saint Paul metal faithfuls and someone's awesomely tolerant Mom who had to wait through the whole display.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Dude you missed it! He just pulled out the vibrator to play his guitar!"
Random Notebook Dump: No Lips, Metal does not ever get old.
March of the Crabs
Juggernaut of Justive
This is Thirteen
New Orleans Voodoo
Metal on Metal
Forged in Fire