Animal print spandex, neon guitars, bandanas everywhere and lots and lots of boobs. Steel Panther came back to London.
After spending the early 2000’s in various 80’s glam rock cover bands, Michael Starr, Satchel, Lexxi Foxx and Stix Zadinia joined forces to form the almighty Steel Panther.
The epitome of debauchery, their studio albums are a perfect parody of Glam Metal culture and the live shows are a fusion of classic heavy metal and the most uproariously offensive stand-up comedy you’ve ever seen.
You would be forgiven for thinking that Steel Panther couldn’t possibly find a place in today’s climate but, with new album Lower The Bar released in March of last year and a victorious performance at Download Festival in June, they’re stronger than ever.
Along for the ride are Wayward Sons (formed by the UK’s Toby Jepson) and Inglorious (formed by The Voice and Superstar contestant Nathan James).
Together these two acts hark back to an older music school but with just the right amount of dazzle for the momentous occasion.
Tonight’s headliner set list consisted of back to back bangers (if you’ll excuse the pun of course).
Lower the Bar is the fifth studio album from Steel Panther and their back catalogue is now an extensive list of immediately identifiable and endlessly hysterical tracks.
The result is that within three seconds of a song starting the crowd are roaring with excitement and primed to join in with the sordid, but nevertheless shamefully catchy, lyrics.
From Eyes of a Panther’s “she’s got the eyes of a panther, and soon you’ll be a-matin’” to Poontang Boomerang’s “poontang boomerang, thought about goin’ gay, the boomerang wang is even worse they say” – you do question what you’re singing…but you ARE singing it with mirth.
As tradition would have it for fan favourite 17 Girls in a Row, many more than seventeen girls (probably closer to a hundred, no exaggeration) jumped up on stage to really start the party.
It’s here when Steel Panther kind of, sort of, in a way, become quite endearing. Yes, the lyrics are repugnant. Yes, the comedy is not for the faint of heart. But it IS a PARODY.
When surrounded by a huge group of female fans the band are more than respectful posing for an endless number of selfies whilst continuing to play and making sure that everyone’s friends are up on stage too.
The show is nothing short of hilarious but guitarist Satchel, real (less ridiculous) name Russ Parrish, has a very serious talent.
Parrish has had a long music career starting when he graduated from The Guitar Institute of Technology at Hollywood’s Musician’s Institute in 1989 before he turned his hand to tutoring throughout the 90s.
Tonight that honed ability is given the chance to shine in London. Not only does Satchel pull off an incredible guitar solo but he manages to do it whilst simultaneously playing the drums.
And he’s not the only achiever in the band. Frontman Michael Starr (or Ralph Saenz to some) reportedly obtained a PhD in English Literature from the University of California in 1991 before bringing his frankly flawless vocals to the David Lee Roth-era Van Halen tribute band Atomic Punks.
Steel Panther are not without their merit. The idea is to highlight and poke fun at how ridiculous the 80s glam rock scene became not to necessarily advocate it (or at least we like to think so).
In any event, it can’t be denied they do it with some serious skill and with an enviable amount of flamboyance.
Whilst the easily offended would do well to give Steel Panther a wide berth, those inclined would be hard pushed to find anything more spectacular.
For me, it was the funniest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.
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