If there’s one story we love, it’s the story of a young person who pursues his dream in the face of obstacles — with his money running out, with his family begging him to get a real job, with the public utterly uninterested — until he finally triumphs. And if there’s one kind of story we find pathetic, it’s that of the middle-aged person who is still hanging on to a youthful dream — who didn’t know when to grow up. The two stories seem to contradict each other, but the Canadian metal band Anvil represents both.
In 2008, the excellent documentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil started winning rave reviews. Bandleaders Steve “Lips” Kudlow and Robb Reiner saw an opportunity and started touring along with the film last year, playing a live set in movie theaters after the show. Never mind that the film shows them at some pretty humiliating moments — they knew that they were not going to have a chance like this again. And it worked. They were able to use this newfound attention to get bigger shows than they had played in decades. They turned what could have been a pathetic story into a story of triumph.
How long can Kudlow and Reiner keep this resurgence going? Their current tour was originally going to include a showing of the film, followed by a live set. But on Anvil’s website, Kudlow now says he’s dropping that idea in order to make the show “all about the music.” Only time can tell if that’s enough to keep Kudlow and Reiner’s dream alive for another 20 years.
ANVIL: House of Blues, Wednesday, February 3, 7 p.m. 619-299-2583. $20.