If you watch VH1 Classic, you've probably heard about Anvil! The Story of Anvil. It is a music documentary about a metal band from Toronto that has been around for a long time, never made it big, but kept playing without stopping. It's been highly praised by the critics. Since it combined my love of interesting things with my love of music, I went to a screening/early showing in Philadelphia on Friday, which was immediately followed by a ten or so song performance from the band.
Re: The Documentary
To be brief, it was enjoyable. There were quite a number of laughs, a few moving scenes, and a handful of slow parts. Overall, it was a positive experience, and I recommend it, whether you like metal or whether you simply hate all music in general. It's interesting to watch. It's Spinal Tap-ish, but not nearly as much as some would lead you to believe. Or maybe I've seen enough bands playing to 200 people where it doesn't seem that bad to me. As is my way, I will warn you that there is some exposed penis early on in the film.
Re: The Performance
I knew about Anvil before the documentary. I have their album Pound for Pound with the great hockey song "Blood on the Ice" and the educational "Safe Sex," and I own a Metal Blade compilation VHS with their video for "Mad Dog" (not particularly a great song). With the documentary, a bunch of folks have been trying to talk about how Anvil influenced a lot of metal bands. That may be stretching it. They were really no more influential than, say, Raven. So a little bit, but not major. They remind me of a Lizzy Borden style band.
Anyway, they put on a good show. It wasn't fantastic. I've seen a lot better, but they play hard and I respect that. Lips frequently came down into the crowd to shred and rock some solos, which was cool. I got to meet and talk with everyone in the band and get some autographs and pictures. I forgot to bring my album cover for Pound for Pound, but I bought their new CD, which worked out. I'll post some pictures of the show later.
I would rate it a :)
You probably won't get a chance to see the concert, as "The Anvil Experience" with the documentary + concert is a limited run, but I would recommend seeing the documentary.
Performance of "Metal on Metal" from Super Rock '84 in Japan (if that song annoys you, don't see the documentary as you hear that riff quite a bit)
Performance of "Winged Assassins" circa 2005