W/Night Demon, and Grave Shadows
West End Trading Company
Saturday, March 18, Sanford, FL
One thing is for certain, Anvil ain’t quitters.
The Canadian metal act have been at this for a really long time with some years that were more than a little trying. Acknowledging the movie that shone a spotlight on them once more, Anvil!: The Story of Anvil, the band has made the most of the opportunity, have left behind tedious day jobs and now are full time headbangers once more.
It was an intimate gathering in Sanford, to an appreciative audience. Starting the show from the crowd on the floor, guitarist Steve Kudlow committed himself both the moment and his band’s legacy. It’s hard not to like Steve “Lips” Kudlow’s. His stories were consistently funny, his outlook upbeat,and guitar playing blistering. An audience member held up an album, and he said,”That one is a classic. We were sent to do some shows to promote that limited edition release,” Kudlow pointed to the album, “And our van was broken into. They were all stolen. I hope you enjoyed it, because we never got to.”
Drummer and founding member Robb Reiner was in fine form. His playing over the top or in the pocket, as needed. New song, “Badass Rock n’ roll” was a standout track. As was “Winged Assassin,” “Mothra,” and closing number, “Metal on Metal.” They returned for a singularly appropriate encore of the most famous number by fellow Canadian songwriter Mars Bonfire, “Born to Be Wild.”
In many ways it feels like Anvil is getting their second wind. They’ve ridden the notoriety of the film and now can focus on the music. The show was solid and there’s no sign of slowing down at all.
Opening act Night Demon proved to be a formidable presence. The Ventura County act made good on the promises of their amazing EP from a few years back. Theirs was a breathe of fresh air. Terse, melodic and powerful, the songs call to mind the glorious moment when British metal bands took some of their cues from 1st generation punks by upping the tempo and shortening the songs. With a throwback sound, matching Flying V’s, great musicianship and hooky songs, their performance was over the top and memorable. Definitely a band to watch for as great things are inevitable.