As a rule, The Spin does not enjoy standing in lines. But when we saw the humanity-snake already twisting its way around the corner of 21st and Belcourt Saturday night, we were surpisingly psyched about it because we knew that meant The Anvil Experience had sold out--and frankly, anything less would have been a let-down.
It's been a while since we saw a movie with a packed house, or a band in a movie theater, but this was probably the first time we ever saw a movie open for a band. Come to think of it--and this shouldn't have come as any surprise--the movie did a better job than 98% of the opening bands we've seen. No offense, bands. Anyway.
If you haven't seen Anvil! The Story of Anvil, here's the condensed version: Two Canadian dudes (Lips and Robb) form a metal band, release incredibly influential album in the '80s, tour Japan with the Scorps, Bon Jovi and Whitesnake, seem like they're ready to conquer the world, then fall off the map. Thirty years later, they're still rockin' even if relatively few people still notice. Then it looks like they might get their big break again. Bunch of shit happens. They get in fights, they go to Stonhenge, it goes to 11, they play in Japan again. We laughed. We cried. Some people around us laughed at parts we didn't think were funny ha-ha, but tevs.
You know that poster where Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader are in a '70s arena rock band together, and, like, C-3PO plays synth or whatever, and it says "AWESOME" across the bottom? That's kinda how this movie makes you feel. And when the curtain went up, and Lips came charging like an excitable duck from underneath the credits to hit us with a machine-gun spray of Flying-V wankage, it just got that much better.
Sure, the way Lips is always making those wacky faces, the whole thing could get to feeling campy in a minute. But when they played--nay, thoroughly ripped through--their classic "666," it was no bullshit. Never mind that this was a couple of 50-year-old dudes playing faster than most young'uns would care to, or that there's a pretty convincing argument to be made that Anvil invented thrash metal--that song straight-up ruled.
In addition to standing in lines, we usually do not enjoy watching drum solos. That's not a knock on drum solos, just that the ones we end up seeing, for whatever reason, tend to bore us out of our mind. Not so with ol' Robb Reiner, who flim-flammed and boom-chick-digga-digga-kapowed his way into our hearts with some serious tonnage. Dude's got quick feet, too. Take that, Larz and your anti-Canadian sentiments!
The guys kinda lost us on the song about the "Tennessee leg hound," but then Lips then started doing something...counting to six over and over again? Oh wait, it was actually the longest set-up to being flipped off we've ever seen. Nice. Not surprisingly, Anvil closed their just-the-right-length set with some hot "Metal on Metal" action, and damn if it didn't put a grin on our face that took all night to fade.