ANVIL - Doing What I Want: Live In Philly!

May 8, 2018, a year ago

Mark Gromen

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First week of the North American Pounding The Pavement tour sees the lovable Canuck trio stop by Johnny Brenda's, the same Philly venue as last time (March '17, with Night Demon), a non-typical metal venue, trying to branch out. "March Of The Crabs" sees Lips playing from the crowd. Are those new tats (band name & namesake logo) on his right bicep? After "666", the frontman says it's fun to speak English again, having just finished an extensive European run. Some fat drunken slob in Washington Capitals cap clearly doesn't know/care he's infringing on others' fun and Lips let him have it. "Fuck off buddy. You're ruining my story." Cue "Doing What I Want". Announcing "Winged Assassins", the guitarist and bassist Chris Robertson face each other, from opposite sides of the stage, and salute, as Robb Reiner lays down a drum roll.

"Free As The Wind" is dedicated to Lemmy (Lips lamenting the recent spate of losses, including producer Chris Tsangerides). In gravel throated imitation, the singer recounts meeting the late Motorhead mainman in Birmingham, UK. During a night of drinking, Lem eventually takes a knife, cuts open a black bag and demands of the Canuck "Sniff it, you cunt", i.e. the white powder inside. "Next thing I know, there's knock at the door, 'It's showtime!' I protested, 'We have a day off.' and was told, 'You two have been sitting in here for 24 hours!" Lips got more animated, moving about the stage, rather than the usual hunched over the mic pose, like for the speedy "On Fire". Don't know if there is anyone who plays the lower end of the neck, near the pickups (which he occasionally speaks into) more frequently than Lips. "This Is Thirteen" segues into "Mothra", where (speaking of Motorhead) the guitarist employs a metallic vibrator for some slide guitar. 

A staccato "Bitch In The Box" sees Robertson add backing vocals, while the instrumental "Swing Thing" grants 'Robbo' a chance to strut his stuff. Even back in the Eighties, always thought his drum solo showed ability and stamina. Everyone clears the stage, only to return with Robertson sporting pot leaf lens sunglasses. Sorry, but the goofy Alestorm-lite pirate metal of “Daggers And Rum" is not Anvil. That would be "Metal On Metal", the one we were all waiting for, according to Lips. Truth be told, was hoping to hear "Forged In Fire" too, but maybe next time around, as Anvil aren't going away anytime soon. They're "just doing what they want.” 

Get to the show early, to check out the opening act, Brazilian power metallers Shadowside. In metal, the lead guitarist rarely plays second fiddle, but such is Raphael Mattos' lot in this foursome, behind female vocalist Dani Nolden and (surprise, surprise!) former HammerFall bassist Magnus Rosen, who chews up the limelight like Pac-Man. He and Joey Tempest (Europe) should battle for the Pepsodent white teeth initiative, constantly smiling as he contorts his body and bass, in all manners of unnatural shapes. Might be a tinge of gray in that impressive mop of hair, but he's still rocking the silver G-string atop black vinyl pants, from back-in-the-day.

Featured Audio

SABATON – “Great War” (Nuclear Blast)

SABATON – “Great War” (Nuclear Blast)

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GREYSTONE CANYON Premiere "Path We Stray"

GREYSTONE CANYON Premiere "Path We Stray"

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