Metal on Metal – A Non-Hockey Fans Journey
Metal on Metal – Review of Anvil and Sepultura shows
Written By: Michelle Panton
For most folk, May is a sacred time of ice and goal tending, and there’s some story about a Cup that’s rather important.. History may be in the making for our fair city, who only a year ago hosted a gold winning Hockey game (Go Canada Go!) and some other events linked to that one game. I myself am more of a band fan than a band-wagon fan, so I gathered my wits (and my earplugs, and maybe a wobbly pop or two) about me for another 48 hours of epic and incredibly Heavy Metal!
First up was Anvil at Vancouver’s The Biltmore Cabaret. A Toronto based band formed back in ’73, they have undergone several line up and label changes over the years, never losing sight of their real goal of bringing the music to the people. Original members Steve “Lips” Kudlow (Lead Guitar & Vocals) and drummer Robb Reiner have been performing together since day one and today are joined by bass player Glenn Five for a power trio combination that works so very, very well. There’s something to be said about a band that can make a small club with a small crowd feel like an open air, sold out 40,000+ stadium show…
And that they did! The band exploded onstage in a maelstrom of power chords and energy, with Lips leaping off stage to rock amongst the crowd for most of the first song, to the delight of the camera wielding fans. Lips is one of those types that you just know he’s having fun, no matter what has gone down, and he proved it by grinning wildly throughout the set. One half expects to be invited back to the bands hotel room, just to have a party, a few drinks and talk some music!~
30+ years gives them a more than generous repertoire of songs – old classics like Metal on Metal, 666, and Mad Dog were liberally balanced by tracks from their newly released album Juggernaut of Justice. Anvil, despite their newly rediscovered popularity stemming from the recent documentary surrounding their lives, have long been relatively obscure. I myself hadn’t heard much about them until I saw the film and I was instantly rendered a fan. These are guys that have paid their dues many times over and may not have achieved super stardom like their big 4 counterparts but that hasn’t slowed them down or turned them away from meeting fans after a show (thanks for the autographs, boys!). It may be early yet in the year, but this gig is going to end up very high in my top 10 list for 2011 shows!
Now was not the time to rest though – Tuesday night was coming up fast and that meant a whole different set of Metal with Sepultura headlining over at The Vogue Theatre. While they come from the same early 80’s era of Metal, Sepultura’s machine gun tempo music is heavily influenced by their Brazilian origins. They too have undergone several line up changes, with only the bass player Paulo Jr. remaining from the original, Cavalera brother led line up. Like Anvil, they have a large discography to play from and they too picked and chose hits spanning the entire 25+ year catalogue. Refuse/Resist, Roots Bloody Roots, Arise, Convicted In Life, Dead Embryonic Cells, and on and on. This was Not a night for a casual fan, nor the single (I asked the bar staff) white wine drinker in the place…
The (again, not sold out – Come ON Vancouver!) crowd was whipped into a metallic frenzy and the pit was going as soon as the lights went out – the only casualties being the several chairs that were obliterated early on – but everybody played by the rules. Any person that fell was instantly picked up and there was lots of hugging, oddly enough. This being the end of the North American Tour, Sepultura brought out members of Hate and the other bands for a metal Drum circle/jam session that reminded us of the tribal roots (bloody roots!!) of one of the most influential metal bands of our time.
To borrow a phrase “Too much Metal for one hand!”