Anvil somewhere else, but similarly live.
'Anvil! The Story of Anvil'Market Street Cinema, May 25
Anvil was a band I read about constantly in music rags during the early to mid-1980s, but never actually heard on record or saw live. But after viewing the trailer for “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” at least 512 times, I was determined to remedy that.
I doubt so many musicians have ever arrived so far in advance to their own or each other's gigs, much less scored advance tickets, but a slew of them, as well as studio gurus, bar personnel and a pack of kids squeezed into Market Street to see the rockumentary and a live encore from the band.
Director Sacha Gervasi, who was a roadie at age 16 for the Canadian metal pioneers, lends the entire project an authentic foundation, which he builds upon through anecdotes from prominent cronies of the band like members of Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax. But the heart of the movie comes courtesy of founding members Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner, who, 25 years after the big break that never came, refuse to say quit.
After the film, just watching Kudlow and Reiner, who just moments before, had borne their souls, stroll the isle toward their gear with mile-wide grins was almost enough of an encore. But there was metal. The boys can still play. Ludlow’s pipes were strong and confident, Reiner’s drumming was straight from the clinic, and Glenn Five, Anvil bassist of 15 years, noodled like a humming freight train.
Only two setbacks come to mind. Maybe three, if ticket availability counts (a lot of latecomers were left out of the fun). With a drum set on a hard floor in a room surround by speakers, the wires beneath Reiner’s snare drum reverberated with every syllable of dialogue. The problem was, however, remedied. And unless you were in the first five rows, it was a mug shot-only view unless Ludlow happened to be patrolling the isles and shredding his guitar. But the sound was incredibly well-mixed and executed.
Thanking us for their realized dreams, Ludlow said in between numbers, “This is just too cool. I remember going to the theater as a kid and thinking to myself, ‘Man, I’d love to play here someday.’”