Like Father Like Son


Written by Joe Taylor

November 22, 2023

One of the hottest tickets in town happened at The Rockpile Friday night. The place was packed to the rafters to witness the legendary Canadian metal band- Anvil! The crowd was not only there for them but for the other 4 (Yes 4) opening acts. These people wanted to get their rocks off from the very beginning and they didn’t want it to end. All dressed in the classic denim and leather outfits, these people were there to witness a little family reunion of sorts. But I will get back to that later.

I walked in just as Devilz by Definition got on stage. They were hard, heavy and I quickly learned that the lead singer was fronting this band for the very first time. Apparently the other guy left and he stepped up to the plate, and he knocked it out of the park! These guys are like a rugby team with brass knuckles as they smash you in the face with their brand of thrash metal. The bass player reminded me of flea from the Red hot chili peppers. As the crowd was warming up to this pretty new band, there was one fan that stood at the front of the stage and gave it his all; A metal legend in his own mind. They finished off the set with an epic tune called Train Wreck. Not to be pessimistic, but any metal band that goes for a long epic tune can fail miserably. Thank the Metal Gods this did not happen, it clearly was their best song of the night.

Here are some images of Devilz by Definition:

Next up was King Moonracer, a band that did not look like a traditional metal band. The drummer was barely seen behind the kit, the singer had more of a James Taylor kind of vibe. The guitarist wore a kilt and the bass player looked like an angry truck driver looking for farm animals to knock off the road. But fear not, once you began to get the vibe of these guys, you found yourself rocking out to their heavy rock vibe. By the 3rd song, it had a hard rocking Ted Nugent thing happening right in front of you. They were celebrating their CD release. I found out later they were celebrating their CD release with every gig they were performing. That’s how you push your product! The bass player got behind the mike and snarled away a song where he could hear voices in his head. The question is: did the audience hear the same voices? They dedicated a song to a very well known companion of the Rockpile- Walter Froebrich. They did a song called “Fallen”.

Here are some images of King Moonracer:

The next hard rocking band to hit the stage was Buffalo Bill. They opened the set with the classic Sammy Hagar song- “Heavy Metal”, from the movie of the same name. They began to throw out some original material like “Black Widow”, a song that truly had a Monster Truck vibe to it. I personally loved it when they went into a Motorhead song called- “Dr Rock”. Then they quickly changed direction and did something pretty cool. They started off by playing the opening to Led Zeppelin’s “In my time of dying” and proceeded to slip into their own original song. All around this is a solid mass of great southern rock that will grab everyone as they grow into a well known act around the Ontario area.

Here are some images of Buffalo Bill:

Now we can talk about the title of this article. The son I speak of is Tyler Reiner, who drums with Spades GT. He is the Son of Robb Reiner, the Drummer of Anvil. I didn’t compare style because both these two heavy hitters have their own style, so why compare. These guys are out to make their mark as fast as possible. Their songs are short and fast, and hit you in the face like an anvil (Did I just say that?). They were so good they got people standing up out of their wheelchairs – Yes more than one. Their sound would be a classic blend of Metal and Punk. I must admit I really did enjoy the hard working guitar player who reminded me of the Road Warriors from WWE, back in the day. I just hope he doesn’t poke his eye out with his shoulder pad. Overall, these guys were great, and they may have to thank Tyler’s dad for all the years of inspiration, because they have the right rocking attitude to take them to the next level.

Here are some images of Spades GT:

Now for the Main Event: ANVIL! This band has been around for 5 decades and is still carrying that blast torch for Heavy Metal. The place was packed with new and old fans. Lips started the show off right, by walking into the audience right away with a blistering guitar solo. That is his way of saying hello. What a friendly guy! This crowd was eating it up as dozens of cell phones were trying to capture this opening magic. They began their career as a speed metal band and they haven’t slowed down at all, with such classics as Winged Assassin and their version of “Freebird”, called “Free as the wind”. To prove they are not slowing down the new material is just as visceral as their classics. I loved the song-“Shadow Ghost” and “Bitch in the box”. They even temped the crowd to go and have a quick smoke with the song-“Legal at last”.

Lips loves telling stories from his past and his story about how they opened for Motorhead back in the early 80’s will never grow old. He loves playing Toronto because he gets to look out into the audience to see all his friends and enemas. Speaking of enemas, Lips in fine fashion broke out a vibrator during one of his solos. I guess this is his version of Jimmy Page giving us good vibrations. Well the good vibrations were spreading through the crowd as the body surfing was prevalent throughout the show. There was a young boy going for broke being carried around and at one point was rocking out with Lips. The evening would not be complete without a drum solo from Robb Reiner, and this guy does not disappoint. For a man in his late 60’s he still drums better than most metal drummers today. “Metal on Metal” finished the evening off with the crowd singing their hearts out to this original Canadian Metal Classic. As the crowd stumbled out of the Rockpile exhausted and happy, they were accompanied by Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” Bububaaa!

Here are some images of Anvil:

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