by Robert Bell
9 p.m. Juanita's. $15 adv., $19 d.o.s.
One of the great should-have-beens of the early '80s metal scene, Toronto's Anvil never saw the level of renown enjoyed by contemporaneous acts such as Slayer, Metallica, Exodus and others. Nonetheless, the band forged ahead in the ensuing decades, releasing albums on small indie labels and playing club shows while holding down decidedly non-metal day-jobs.
Anvil achieved probably its greatest level of fame via the 2009 documentary "Anvil: The Story of Anvil," which was made by a former roadie turned screenwriter. The film was a huge hit (Anvil was last in Little Rock performing after a screening at Market Street Cinema) largely due to the compelling friendship between unrelentingly positive vocalist/guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner (no, not that one, though there is an undeniable air of "Spinal Tap"-esque ridiculousness to the documentary).
For being about a thrash metal band, it's an amazingly touching film. And even though there will probably be quite a few folks at the show purely for rubbernecking, Anvil's music is ragin' and stands on its own merits.