In an unlikely, but not so unfamiliar place, the world famous ANVIL tore up the stage in North Richland Hills, TX at The Hideout. This small venue, having several couches and as many pool tables, was the place to be last Saturday. Playing with local bands 3EIGHTY3 and ASKA, the Canadian \m/etalheads brought SUNLORD and Brazilian headbangers SHADOWSIDE with them on their Pounding the Pavement Tour.
The Metroplex was only one place on the 29 stop US tour. I think the boys are on the road just about as much as I’ve ever seen anyone. They come through Dallas yearly and this is the fourth time I’ve seen them. Steve “Lips” Kudlow (lead vocals/guitar) and Robb Reiner (beats) have been together for an eternity. Their movie Anvil – The Story of Anvil tells their history. It’s an eye opening story for the average fan, who might think rock stars have tons of money and fame and a great insight as to what it’s like on the road for these smaller bands. Chris “Christ” Robertson on bass has been with the band for several years. The last two albums, in my opinion have been some of their best work and I would imagine Robertson has added to that change.
Every act seemed to be in top form. Although I had not heard 3EIGHTY3 before, their bass player is killer. Of course if you frequent the area clubs you know of ASKA. They are pretty tight and always solid. I didn’t have a whole lot of interest in SUNLORD. Four warm up bands and someone’s gonna get the cold shoulder. Anyway, my surprise of the night was SHADOWSIDE. A very heavy \m/etal band, with a unique Brazilian flare, and lead singer/frontwoman Dani Nolden, they kicked some some royal ass. I got to visit a little with them between sets and it turns out Ms. Nolden was the voice coach for Villu Castelo, frontwoman for A&GS favorites DIXIE HEAVEN. Once I heard Dani’s voice, I could distinctly hear the influence.
The ANVIL set list consisted of 14 total songs. If you’ve seen them before, you will recognize almost all the tunes they played. They start with “March of the Crabs”. Kudlow leaves the stage with a wireless connection and gets into the middle of the crowd. Not only do the fans love it, you can just tell Steve is having a blast jamming in the middle of the crowd. With 15 albums to choose from the set contained “666”, “Oh Baby”, “Badass Rock n’ Roll”, “This is Thirteen” and tribute to Lemmy Kilmister, “Free as the Wind”. If you know these guys, you PRAY that they do “Mothra”. Their equivalent to BLUE OYSTER CULT’S “Godzilla”, this one has something the boys from New York don’t. That’s right, you guessed it, a vibrator on guitar.
Lips pulls out his….vibrator and plays solo with his silver beast. Christ on the other hand shines on “Winged Assassins” with high frenzied bass licks. Man he can rock that Fender. “Swing Thing” is a great instrumental featuring Reiner with a 6-minute drum solo. He is truly one of the best rock drummers around like Bobby Rock of LITA FORD or DORO’S Johnny Dee. After the set was over, they came back to the stage for two encore songs and as a shock to me, Lips tributed the song “Running” to little old me. Lips and I have shared some personal tough issues as of late, so it was comforting and quite an honor to say the least. It made my week. They finished up with STEPPENWOLF cover “Born to Be Wild’”.
It was a fantastic night, full of great music at an unexpected little hole in the wall. I felt sort of bad that it was so small for ANVIL, but it’s right where they feel at home. Before a crowd of 3 or 3,000, they always give it 110%. It’s what they do. Salude’
LIVE IMAGES: M ERLICH PHOTOGRAPHY
LIVE WORDS: MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH