photos by Bao Nguyen

Anvil @ Giants Stadium
Anvil

Last year's doc Anvil! The Story of Anvil made audiences fall in love with Toronto's hard-luck metal band, which never stops despite a list of misfortunes that would fill a book, including a European club owner who tries to pay the band in goulash. But last Tuesday the band - singer/guitarist Lips, drummer Robb Reiner and bassist Glenn Five - found itself playing for 40,000 people. Let Lips explain how it went:

"I was thanking him as he shook my hand saying "great show, great show!" He then shook my son's hand as he was being whisked away in his SUV. Wow! I had just met Angus Young, lead guitarist of the mighty AC/DC. It was such an honour to be able to thank him in person for his big heart and generosity for letting Anvil have an opening slot at the biggest and most meaningful show we've ever done in America.

It has been a whirlwind two years for Anvil. Since that first screening at the Sundance Film Festival two years ago, the movie has slowly gained momentum and notoriety, especially among celebrities.

We had met and received kudos from the likes of Keanu Reeves, Michael Moore, Dustin Hoffman, Coldplay's Chris Martin, and Green Day, along with actress Tilda Swinton, who coined the phrase "The Anvil Factor" after seeing the film. When I met her at the Cannes Film Festival I asked what she meant by "The Anvil Factor." She said it meant you never give up; you do what you love and get away with it! Anvil in a nutshell. With all these great people supporting the film it was likely to hit some of rock's royalty. Angus Young saw the movie and was compelled to help create an incredible epilogue to the Anvil Story by offering us three dates on the "Black Ice" tour. Again, Wow!...

...What a night! What a show! We so appreciate these kind of moments. It's been a long, hard road to this destination. Next stop, Giants Stadium in New Jersey!" [Lips in the Toronto Star]

That article was posted right before Friday's AC/DC/Anvil show at Giants Stadium in NJ (7/31), which, unlike All Points West which started much earlier in the day, managed to avoid the rain. It stopped right before the outdoor football stadium show started. Pictures and the AC/DC setlist below...

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"As like last November in the Garden, the last three songs (before the encore-including a fantastic guitar solo) played is going to be something that I will never forget, as well as my son. He was so looking forward to "TNT" and as the opening riffs began- everyone was screaming -"Oi.. Oi" (or "Aye") with both arms pumping up and down over their heads. What a sight!!! My son sang word for word, along with everyone else, as we all "exploded" with pure enthusiasm for one of the greatest bands ever in rock and roll history!! Brian proceeded to let the audience know that they had a girlfriend for the show and you all know that "Rosie" was waiting in the wings. There was some innuendo's throughout the show including this one with Rosie... well let's just say my son's eyes were popping out of his head, along with Rosie's....Again the elder statesmen and women of AC/DC were delirious at this point. One dude in our section ran up about 20 steps and could have competed in the "air-guitar" championship. I was so psyched, the swarm of AC/DC had completely taken over the swamps of Northern N.J. and the stinging was not about to stop. They sky rocketed into outer space with the "Let There Be Rock." This could be the best head-banging song ever recorded. As Brian sang "Let there Light" the crowd was singled out by spotlights and it really was like watching a wave of humans being electrocuted at the same time. As the solo approached, Angus made his first trip all the way to the end of the runway and disappeared. Then the circular stage started to rise and there he was, as the floor leveled off, he leaped off and circled his way around the stage, hands moving so fast on the neck of his guitar. My son was amazed. Then he went back on the circle and it started to rise high above the floor seats, he looked like he was eye level with the lower tier. As the confetti was released all around him while he was jamming away, the sight was unbelievable. I will never forget it. I wondered what it would be like to be Angus at that point with all 40,000 or so pair of eyes on him. It was magical. The guitar solo during this song lasted a long time and as Angus went back to the main stage, he started another guitar solo-this time completely by himself. He drew blood on his left hand. At this point I think my son had "lock-jaw" as all of us couldn't believe what we were witnessing. It was like he was possessed- AND that's what I am talking about!! He gives it his all every time out there. " [Errols Weekly]

AC/DC played the Izod Center in November. Here is Friday's set list from Giants Stadium...

AC/DC @ Giants Stadium - july 31, 2009 - setlist
1. Rock N' Roll Train
2. Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be
3. Back in Black
4. Big Jack
5. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
6. Shot Down in Flames
7. Thunderstruck
8. Black Ice
9. The Jack
10. Hells Bells
11. Shoot to Thrill
12. War Machine
13. Dog Eat Dog
14. Anything Goes
15. You Shook Me All Night Long
16. T.N.T.
17. Whole Lotta Rosie
18. Let There Be Rock
19. Encore:
19. Highway to Hell
20. For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)