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Stage Buzz: Anvil • Reggies • Chicago

| July 27, 2022


Canada’s heavy metal trio, Anvil, returns to Reggies on their Impact Is Imminent tour with White Wizzard and Midnite Hellion on Sunday, July 31.

Featuring guitarist/vocalist Steve “Lips” Kudlow, drummer Robb Reiner and bassist Chris Robertson, Anvil has been pumping out the same trademark tunes for over 40 years now. Formed in 1978, the band released a slew of commercially successful albums in the ’80s, but slipped into obscurity in the ’90s. However, when the band’s longtime friend/fan/film director Sasha Gervasi (The Big Tease, Hitchcock) made the 2008 documentary about the band (Anvil! The Story of Anvil), Anvil gained a renewed resurgence and broke through to the mainstream audience. 

For Reiner, it felt like all of the band’s hard work and perseverance throughout those lean years finally paid off.  

“That was the outcome of the whole thing; it validated all our hard work,” Reiner admits during a recent in-person interview before a show in Des Moines last week. “In a sense that was pretty well. The movie is coming back, it’s being re-released. Its success was well beyond anything I imagined at the time. A lot of people did discover the band (because of the movie) and brought us a bigger audience.” 

On its 19th full-length album Impact Is Imminent (released on May 20 via AFM Records), it’s business as usual for Anvil. Going by the mantra of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Anvil has followed its own musical blueprint since its formation.

“We were trying to achieve nothing more than being Anvil, and that’s all we do,” Reiner says. “Does AC/DC do anything different? Or does Motörhead do anything different? So, this is the same thing. We’re just being ourselves, that’s it. For some reason, this record has really resonated in a positive way, more so with a lot of older fans (as well as) new fans. We know who we are. We know what we’re supposed to sound like, and we just go with that.”

As the band’s current two-month long40-date US tour comes to an end on Sunday (it started on June 1st in Maine and ends with this appearance at Reggies), Anvil last greeted a Reggies crowd in June of 2018. Although Anvil has played in many US cities, Chicago always brings out the best in them.

“Chicago has always been a cool city to play and visit,” Reiner says. “As far as Reggies, there’s something about it; it’s got a street feel to it. I like the back alley. I like the Orange Line train that blows over your head in the back of the alley. I actually made a painting of that. It’s a pretty cool venue. It’s an underground place.” 

After this tour, Anvil will keep itself busy throughout the rest of the year and the following year with more continental tours. Their next album is already written and ready to be recorded for a possible 2023 release. 

— Kelley Simms

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Category: Featured, Stage Buzz

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