"Hello, Toronto! What the f**k happened man?" were the first words from Steve "Lips" Kudlow to the frenzied crowd at the Phoenix Concert Theatre where just a few minutes earlier he had jumped in and immersed himself the crowd to start off the show with "March Of The Crabs". A loud roar was the response from the fans who were chanting "Anvil,Anvil,Anvil" prior to the start of the show and a few times during.
"666" was next on the setlist and the excitement and pure joy of playing for a large crowd was painted on the faces of all three members, Lips, Glenn Five on bass and Robb Reiner who just killed it on drums all night.
I have to admit I haven't been to many metal shows and I've never seen Anvil play live before, but I felt very compelled to do so after seeing the documentary "Anvil! The Story Of Anvil". The movie depicts the struggle and persistence over more than 30 years of long time friends Kudlow and Riener in pursuit of their dream to make it as rock stars. The film had its funny moments and also some warm moments and by the end you just feel like cheering them on and hoping they achieve their goal.
The night would not have been complete without Kudlow playing a guitar solo with a vibrator much to the delight of the crowd. "I'm having the f**king time of my life" exclaimed Kudlow before ripping into a new song.
The band started into "White Rhino" in which Robb Riener played a drum solo that was close to five minutes in length and left the crowd in awe.
Anvil then dedicated the song "Mad Dog" to Colin Brown who makes an appearance on the documentary as the guy who chugs beer through his nose. The long time fan made his way to the stage and performed his nostril trick as the crowd chanted "Mad Dog, Mad Dog, Mad Dog".
Anvil finished of the night with their most popular song "Metal on Metal" before coming back to perform "Jackhammer" to end the night.
As I left the venue I overheard someone mention how he had seen Anvil a few times prior to his night playing for small crowds of only 25-30 people. I think it is fair to say that everyone there was happy for them to be playing for a much larger crowd. Anvil is currently playing their largest tour in years across the US.