On Friday March 10, 2017 Metal Mofos attended the show at Jammin’ Java in Vienna, VA (Washington, DC suburb) to see Anvil on their current North American tour supported by Night Demon and Graveshadow. If this event comes to your town it is something you will not want to miss. It is a night filled with pure, heavy metal fun.
Jammin’ Java is an intimate club with a 200-person capacity. I will assume a lot of venues on this tour will be at small clubs like this which makes it really fun and energetic for a heavy metal show as you can get right up close to the action happening on the stage. Jammin’ Java also offers a full bar and menu along with coffee as you might guess from their name.
The night started off with two local bands playing, Dead Atlantic and Pain!. Dead Atlantic kicked off the night with their brand of modern hardcore meets death metal. It’s not my personal favorite type of music, but these guys were definitely talented musicians. Pain! are a horror punk/metal band in the vein of the Misfits. These guys put on a fantastic live show and got the crowd singing along to their songs with them. It takes a great frontman, such as Timmy Pain, to get the crowd involved in singing along to songs the majority of us had never heard before. I would highly recommend you see Pain! If they play a show near your city.
Graveshadow, hailing from Sacramento, California, was the next band to play. This symphonic/gothic metal outfit also put on a great show. The band members are all highly talented with the symphonic elements of their music being provided by backing tracks.
Frontwoman Heather Michele was exciting to watch as she caroused around the stage while both singing like an angel and screaming like a banshee. Be sure to check out their song “Blood and Fire”, from their full length debut album Nocturnal Resurrection, which they closed out their set with.
The next band on the bill was Night Demon, a personal favorite of mine who I was really looking forward to seeing (Check out our interview with frontman and bass player Jarvis Leatherby here). Night Demon had a good stage show as far as lighting and fog goes. It provided a good, creepy atmosphere which really matches their music and lyrical themes.
Night Demon opened up their set with the lead single off their upcoming album Darkness Remains titled “Welcome to the Night” to get us amped and ready to hear their new songs. They also played another song off their upcoming album called “Hallowed Ground”. The energy from vocalist/bassist Jarvis Leatherby and guitarist Armand John Anthony at the front of the stage was great entertainment, and drummer Dusty Squires kept the beat going through the whole performance. Their set also included fan favorites “Heavy Metal Heat” and “Screams in the Night” off their full length debut album Cursed of the Damned. I’m looking forward to the next time Night Demon comes to my area.
The mighty Anvil took the stage soon after Night Demon finished their set. Frontman/guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow started the show by coming out into the crowd and performing the instrumental “March of the Crabs” off their classic 1982 album Metal on Metal. Lips then returned to the stage where he starting holding up all five fingers on one hand and one finger on the other hand, performing this motion three times, while they launched into their song “666”.
Anvil’s performance was filled with great classic metal from the band along with fun stories told by Lips. He mentioned Anvil opened for Motorhead many years ago not long after they had changed their band name to Anvil. Lemmy complimented the band but said Lips’ vocals had too many high parts. Lips dedicated the next song in their set, “Free as the Wind” to Lemmy.
For those of you who don’t know there was a really entertaining and inspirational documentary about Anvil called Anvil: The Story of Anvil released in 2008. Seeing this documentary was the first time I heard of the band. The documentary chronicles the band being stuck in the heavy metal underground for the past 25 years and recording their 13th album titled This is Thirteen. Lips told us after the release of the documentary Ozzy Osbourne approached him at an event saying, “Your documentary was really inspirational, man”. Lips went on to humorously state Ozzy was so inspired by Anvil he called the next Black Sabbath album 13 due to the influence of Anvil. Anvil’s set included a guitar solo by Lips and a drum solo by Robb Reiner both of which were highlights of the evening.
Anvil closed out their set with their popular song “Metal on Metal” then came back for an encore and performed a cover of “Born to Be Wild”. I was very impressed with Anvil’s performance. The trio are talented musicians who never got the big break they deserve. If you can see this band live on this tour, do it.
– Isaac Sauers
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