By Peter Lindblad
Those who watched the acclaimed documentary “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” will undoubtedly remember those lightly attended shows.
On Jan. 10, what used to be a downtrodden, but plucky, trio of heavy-metal survivors — Steven “Lips” Kudlow, Robb Reiner and a bassist known as G5 — rolled into Chicago to play the House Of Blues, and the crowd numbered in the hundreds.
It was the second time Anvil had played a House Of Blues venue. Three days earlier, their red-hot metal circus — complete with Lips playing his guitar with a vibrator — entertained one in Cleveland.
Interviewed backstage before the Chicago show, a wide-eyed Kudlow said, “This place is the lap of luxury.” Reiner added, “It’s where we belong.” Many diehard Anvil fans would agree with Reiner.
And what about the audiences Anvil has encountered on this tour? The people coming to see them now are of all ages.
“I’ve seen a lot of young kids,” says Kudlow. “That’s the future. That’s what’s been phenomenal in and of itself, seeing kids and their parents here. I’ve seen 8-year-olds. I saw a 12-year-old the other night, teenagers — 17, 18, 19. You didn’t see that in my day. But we’re bringing generations together.”
All of the success the critically acclaimed movie, directed by Anvil roadie Sacha Gervasi, has brought Anvil has affected them in different ways. For Lips, it’s meant more respect from his family, and one brother in particular.
Lips’ younger sibling has been a successful accountant. And Lips says, “I didn’t really think he respected my choices as to what I did.” Ironically, Lips’ brother is an entertainment accountant, and “ … for the first time, he’s doing my books, and that’s one of the beautiful things about all this.”
For more on the Anvil movie, visit www.anvilthemovie.com. Check out anvilmetal.com for more on what the band is up to, including their recent album This Is Thirteen, a hard-rocking throwback to early Anvil.