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Evan Conway Hard Music, News, Reviews, Tours

DSC_3726 (2) - CopyIt takes a lot to go out on a tour by yourself. But if it’s one thing that Steel Panther has, it’s balls. They won’t let you forget that either, since the band is very quick to tell you that all four of its members have male body parts. Not without making you laugh, of course. To summarize, Steel Panther are excellent musicians who know how to put on a show and celebrate 80’s hair metal, but all the while poking fun of it in the most juvenile, crude, and hilarious way possible.

People know what Steel Panther is, and it’s the constant laughs and enjoyment that the band brings to their shows that give them the edge they deserve. This show, however, was different than the normal Steel Panther outing, in which the band was marketing it as “Sunset Strip Live.” This tour, as frontman Michael Starr would put it at the beginning of their set, would be Steel Panther songs with the group covering 80’s hair metal classics throughout. It was too good a concept to pass up, and honestly I knew I had to see this happen.

DSC_3587 (2)After opening the show with “Eyes of the Panther” and “Goin’ in the Backdoor” ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°), appropriately named drummer Stix seemed to have a technical problem, to which their stage tech rushed  to help him out. Without missing a beat, guitarist Satchel and Starr quickly took to the mics to entertain/distract the crowd with outright hilarious banter. I’m usually more collected when doing photos and try to keep myself ready for opportunities to take pictures, but I couldn’t help but laugh hysterically with the lack of fear this band had. Absolutely nothing is below this band’s sense of humor and they are very aware of that, even going so far as to actually being able to encourage women in the crowd to lift their shirts up. While this band is living the 80’s dream, they’re making cracks at the lifestyle at the same time. This usually resulted in the band picking on bassist Lexxi Foxx, who was very frequently seen fixing his make-up on stage in a bedazzled hand mirror while the rest held everyone’s attention.

No doubt that the band plays its own material well, but it was truly astounding to see the band tackle the material from classic artists like Van Halen and Def Leppard. Picking songs from the likes of Ratt, the previously mentioned bands, and an appropriately played Bon Jovi cover, (We’re in NJ, see what I’m getting at?) Steel Panther delivered on every front. As the band started playing “Livin’ On a Prayer,” they invited as many women as they could up on stage for the song for the occasion, seemingly like it was some 80’s rock star/groupie dream. Perhaps the highlight on the night, for me at least, was the band transitioning from their song “Just Like Tiger Woods” ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) into their cover of DSC_3942 (2)“Crazy Train.” Starr disappeared for a moment while Satchel and Lexxi decided to go ahead with the song anyways. As the vocals were coming up, the stage tech escorted Starr out from the back of the stage with his hair held back and walking out in a very similar way to an aged Ozzy Osbourne. As hilarious as it was to the see the band poke fun at the Prince of Darkness, it was made even better as Starr slurred every word to the song as he sang in a barely comprehensible manner. The band laughed it off, and quickly proclaimed it was in good humor because they loved the artist so.

One aspect of the show fell flat, however. Steel Panther is no doubt hilarious, but as they reached the last third of their set and began “Girl From Oklahoma,” each band member took turns coming up with and singing different verses to go with the song. As funny as it was, the song was stretched out far too long and the joke wore thin long after it had be genuinely. Thankfully, the band were able to bring it up again ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) after that, so the actual show barely suffered because of it.

Steel Panther are masters of their craft, and they no doubt know how to have a good time. In the span of 14 songs, the band delivered everything from achingly hilarious laughs to blistering heavy metal with more laughs to be found. The covers were a nice inclusion into the set for the night, and while the momentum slipped, the band knew how to keep the show going and stay professional. Steel Panther are a great time, and to be honest, having a good laugh at heavy metal is exactly what you need to appreciate it to the fullest extent.

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