Anvil 1/10 at House of Blues

The new decade in the windy city started off with the return of a band that is into their third decade together as a band, three decades where they really didn’t get a whole lot of recognition in the big scheme of things until someone made a movie about them which finally got people to notice them. I’m talking about Anvil who thanks to the movie and VH1 classic taking notice, is touring again and playing to some decent sized crowds.


Rev Luv


Rev Luv


Rev Luv

Rev Luv got things started early. They were a rock/metal band with a bit of a Southern influence to them in a few of their songs. The singer paced back and forth constantly on stage fending off people yelling out “Slayer” probably alluding to the fact he looked a little like Tom Araya. Unlike Slayer however, Rev Luv weren’t as evil or nearly as entertaining. Their somewhat garage and amateurish performance was made worse by constant technical problems and the crowd were mostly silent throughout their entire set.


Earthen Grave


Earthen Grave


Earthen Grave

Earthen Grave quickly followed. They were a six piece band including a female violin player who it turns out is the sister of the lead singer. They played a mid-tempo melodic kind of metal with a bit of doom and almost fantasy elements. With the way some of the band members looked and the way the band sounded it is probably a surefire bet that at least half the band spends a lot of time up at the Renaissance Faire and using the term Renaissance Faire Metal would be a very accurate description of this band. They were quite entertaining and put together a very enjoyable set.


Anvil


Anvil

When the opening bands’ equipment was removed from the stage, a fellow by the name of Byrd from WLUP (The Loop) came out to introduce Anvil. After a few minutes of him talking up the band, Anvil came out and started playing “March of the Crabs”, which is an instrumental number. Anvil has been trimmed down to a three-piece band now with founding members Steve “Lips” Kudlow on guitar/vocals and Robb “Geza” Reiner on drums along with new bass player (and by new it means he has only been in the band the last 15 years!) Glenn Gyorffy. While they played this song, Lips came down and stood on a box in the barricade to be near the crowd who were throwing up the devil horns in approval and chanting the name of the band. It was probably one of the warmest receptions they’ve had in their 33 year history!


Anvil


Anvil

The band then played, “666” and the crowd, which consisted of lots of aging metal fans, a few younger folks and even families with their kids, pumped their fists, banged their heads, and threw up devil horns to show their signs of approval. There was no mosh pit as most folks were too old to partake of such activities so the security guards had an easy night.


Anvil


Anvil

Between such songs as “White Rhino,” “School Love,” and others, Lips would tell stories and talk to the crowd and he never stopped smiling the entire time. Before one song he told the story about how they played at Tuts in the early 1980s and the power went out in the middle of one of their songs. A few people in the audience claimed to be there for the event too!


Anvil

During “Mothra” Lips pulled out a vibrator and played his guitar with it to the amusement of the crowd during an extended middle section that included some fancy guitar work from him as well as a drum solo from Geza. It was a good old fashioned heavy metal show and a fun time overall.


Anvil

The band finished their set, predictably, with “Metal on Metal” and then came out for a one song encore of “Jackhammer” which was a fine way to end a lengthy set that consisted mainly of older material with a couple of songs from their latest album, This is Thirteen”. The crowd gave a big applause at the end as the band came out and took a bow before the curtain closed on a very fun filled evening.


Anvil


Anvil

Some additional photos from the show can be seen over at my Chicago Examiner review.