Anvil @ London-Manchester (UK),Edinburgh (SCT)

ANVIL / REZET / MYSTERY BLUE

Date: 20th-21st-22nd October, 2016
Venue: O2 Academy Islington - London (UK), Rebellion - Manchester (UK), La Belle Angelé - Edinburgh (SCT)
Ticket: £22 (£25/$27)
Promoter: n/a
Photos: Erika Wallberg


It felt good being able to squeeze in two shows in the UK and one in Scotland; it’s always good to visit new places and it’s definitely always great to see ANVIL play. And the O2 Academy 2 in Islington filled up nicely as it closed in to show-time. It was the same thing both in Manchester and Edinburgh too. It’s great to see a good crowd for ANVIL, they work hard, kick ass and serve a damn good time.

As support, and first out on stage French MYSTERY BLUE set the bar very high. It’s always something superior with French Heavy Metal, there’s always a special touch, something that stands out. I was a little surprised to read that the band was formed in 1978. I mean, I knew they’d been around for a while but this was longer than I expected. Their set was from the most recent era though with Nathalie Geyer on the lineup. She is both a great stage persona and a cool vocalist. She worked hard to get the crowd moving too. For the fantastic “Running With The Pack” she got some clapping going and it potentially could have been more but the French accent wasn’t going through to the people on the floor all the time.

London was the second show on the tour and MYSTERY BLUE sounded good on that as well but as the dates passed it really got better and better, which made the Edinburgh show fantastic. How a band sound is of course the most important but it sure adds on to watch a band having fun on stage. It’s a true pleasure seeing musicians having a good time. Nathalie’s voice might be extreme for some but I do like her high pitched screams, it’s a little crazy but these make MYSTERY BLUE stand out.

It was a fun set to watch - who can resist songs as “Metal Attack” or “Psycho City”? I really like the first of the two, and then also “No Way Out” towards the end of the set.

MYSTERY BLUE setlist:

01. “Slave To Blood”
02. “Shades Of Death”
03. “Evil Spell”
04. “Running With The Pack”
05. “Metal Attack”
06. “Psycho City”
07. “Claws Of Steel”
08. “No Way Out”
09. “Hell & Fury” / “Roller Coaster Ride”

MYSTERY BLUE (London)

Mystery Blue @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Mystery Blue @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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MYSTERY BLUE (Manchester)

Mystery Blue @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Mystery Blue @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Mystery Blue @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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I’ve seen REZET only once before and it was a very young and hungry band that really impressed me. But this was five years ago or so. They’re still young and hungry but sure have grown since the ‘Headbangers Open Air’ show. We’re talking about some really crazy riffing, crazy fast and complex and super-tight straight through. I really enjoy this type of music and it is really a mix of two worlds and becomes a fantastic result. As REZET are Germans they have that natural raw and primitive sound of SODOM, DESTRUCTION or KREATOR with them but they also incorporate the more technical American style as MEGADETH, FORBIDDEN and such in their music and the mix is awesome. I can’t for my life understand why I never followed up on REZET after seeing them at ‘HOA’. I must change that.

Apparently REZET had some issues with the camper after the London show and their Manchester gig felt a little dense in comparison to the other two. But all three was still very impressive, the intensity of the shows showed real dedication and they sure didn’t end up on this tour by accident. The transition from song to song was amazing. So it was a definite booster with MYSTERY BLUE and REZET and the crowd for sure was warmed up and ready for ANVIL.

REZET (London)

Rezet @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Rezet @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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REZET (Manchester)

Rezet @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Rezet @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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Regardless how great the openers were, none of them could really match ANVIL. Their joy of being on stage night after night is something truly special. Lips’ way of handling a crowd and that broad smile on his face is not leaving anyone unaffected. These days, the way he and Chris Robertson work together on the front-line is absolutely fantastic. It’s great to see Chris taking space, claiming his part of the stage. Also filling out behind Lips during his solos, both visually and musically. And perhaps primarily he had his own moment in the beginning of “Winged Assassins”; the bass-solo has become quite extensive nowadays. And damn he’s acting up, jumping around.

Ok, Lips is actually acting out too; for the first song of the set, “March Of The Crabs”, he jumped out in the crowd performing the song out on the venue floor. And there can’t be many more than Lips, perhaps Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth for the “Fuck You” song, getting away and boosting the crowd by giving them the middle finger. This is the general introduction of “666”, together with a full hand right beside it of course. The new songs, from “Anvil Is Anvil” worked perfectly. “Daggers And Rum” will become a live classic, no doubt about this. And here, having the fat production from the album fresh in mind it was clear that the band is on fire these days. Their live-sound is massive and the band is on fire. I can’t remember them sounding better than now. The same can be said for “Die For A Lie”.

One of the true Lips moments is during “Mothra” with the dildo solo. If you’ve seen ANVIL before, it’s of course expected but this time he had competition from Chris. He was, a bit towards the back, illustrating Lips' solo with moves and facial expressions. He looked like a marionette and a hand-puppet at the same time and it was hilarious.

For the Manchester show, Lips had caught a cold and an hour or so prior to the show he hardly could speak. How the hell he pulled the show off is beyond me, but he did. And with the same great energy he normally has. The only thing slightly affected was the long high-pitched notes in a few songs but I doubt many noticed this at all. For the Edinburgh show he was back to normal and more charged than ever.

One more thing that never gets boring is to watch Robb Reiner playing drums. His intensity and power is fantastic, he also has a lot of fines. Listen to “Swingthing”, the groove and the technique is super.

The main set was ended with “Metal On Metal” and in Manchester some people had been waiting for this one. While at the other places this was received almost the same as the rest which is very good to see. There’s more to ANVIL than this song and it was good to see that they got a very good support throughout their set. In Edinburgh, there was a special treat for the crowd, for the two previous shows “Born To Be Wild” was the only encore. In Edinburgh, “Forged In Fire” was added to my delight since this happens to be my favorite ANVIL record so to get a few ones of that one is fantastic. And the shows were fantastic, never a low point.

For sure, these were absolutely fantastic three-day live festivities. One could think it’s boring to see the same bands night after night, but not when they deliver like these three did - just awesome!

ANVIL setlist:

01. “March Of The Crabs”
02. “666”
03. “Oooh Baby”
04. “Badass Rock'n'Roll”
05. “Winged Assassins”
06. “Free As The Wind”
07. “On Fire”
08. “Daggers And Rum”
09. “This Is Thirteen”
10. “Mothra”
11. “Swingthing”
12. “Die For A Lie”
13. “Metal On Metal”
14. “Forged In Fire” (Edinburgh only)
15. Born To Be Wild”

ANVIL (London)

Anvil @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Anvil @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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ANVIL (Manchester)

Anvil @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Anvil @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ Rebellion, Manchester (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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ANVIL (Edinburgh)

Anvil @ La Belle Angelé, Edinburgh (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ La Belle Angelé, Edinburgh (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ La Belle Angelé, Edinburgh (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ La Belle Angelé, Edinburgh (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ La Belle Angelé, Edinburgh (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Anvil @ La Belle Angelé, Edinburgh (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ La Belle Angelé, Edinburgh (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ La Belle Angelé, Edinburgh (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ La Belle Angelé, Edinburgh (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Anvil @ La Belle Angelé, Edinburgh (UK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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