ANVIL – Live at Rockpile East

Rockpile East Toronto

October 20th 2013

By Keith Sharp

There comes a time when even perennial rockers like Anvil have to come to the conclusion that they need to move on from playing nightclubs. The trio’s arsenal of heavy metal rockers may go down a treat at some muddy festival in Europe or even North America, but their sonic powered sound is a little overbearing when confined to the walls of a suburban Toronto club venue.

True the couple of hundred fans that did half-fill the Rockpile East,  were in seventh heaven being in such proximity to their heroes, absorbing  heavy metal anthems like `666’, `Bad Assed Rock N Roll’ and an elongated workout on `Mothra’ which saw lead vocalist/lead guitarist Steve (Lips) Kudlow play his axe with his trademark vibrator. If you are a hard-core Anvil fan, the band’s performance was exceptional, but if you are not an Anvil fan, you would stay well away from this venue – which the majority of club goers, who had packed the place for Killer Dwarfs and Goddo chose to do.

It’s one thing for Lips to spout that heavy metal is timeless and that heavy metal fans are ageless, yet the reality is that the hard-core fans who are spawning a rebirth in hard rock are kids who are under the venue’s age limit.  Older fans, which supported Anvil in the early eighties, would be turned tone deaf if they attended Saturday’s performance.

This is not to take anything away from Lips, dynamic drummer Robb Reiner and new bassist Sal Italiano (a recruit from an Iron Maiden tribute band whose resemblance to Steve Harris is eerie), they know how to deliver a show, they hung around their merchandise table during Caym’s opening performance happily greeting fans and signing autographs.

And by the time they got around to playing their trademark `Metal On Metal’ finale followed by a two-song encore of `Forged In Fire’ and `Running’ they had given both themselves and their fans a rigorous workout.

But still, even Anvil must have been disappointed in the attendance.  Coming off an opening stint for Metallica in Singapore, a hometown band playing to a hometown audience of hard-core metal fans could and should have attracted a larger turn-out.

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