I envy those of the past generations. They were born or grew up in a time where music was starting to take off those chips on its shoulder in order to form into the sleek machine it is now. Those old motors paved the way for a new style of metal and rock. Glam/hair metal paved a road for bands like Bon Jovi, Poison, Skid Row, Whitesnake, Guns & Roses and Van Halen. All the names that come up when you mention sunset strip. The big hair, guitar wizardry, massive chorus singalongs, and those sexy bandmates that made every woman wish they could touch them. Sometimes not just with their hands. Those 80’s kids grew up with something I long to experience. I came the closest I’ve ever been to it tonight. In a sold out Eaton’s Hill Hotel. With a double dosage of dick jokes, comedy and killer rock’n’roll. Oh, and more tits out for the world to see than any red blooded heterosexual male could dream of. But I mean, like, come on. That’s not the reason I went… is it?
Steel Panther don’t just sound the part, but these guys look the part too. Despite them having lived through their days by the laws of rock and some maybe having seen better days, (Not Lexii though, he’s too fabulous) these old boys pulled cat out of the bag.
A metal cat.
Wouldn’t that be a danger kitty?
Maybe a lynx?
Definitely not a lion, they’re far from being that plain.
But still, four original albums worth of hilarious, hair metal anthems and ripping solos and having cut their teeth on all that sunset strip goodness from the 80’s meant only thing thing. the crowd was in for some prime (boobs) showmanship! Armed with two sets, one of classic Steel Panther tunes and another of all covers from the sunset strip, who needs an opening act?
Michael Starr’s singing easily outdoes David Lee Roth back in his prime. Those piercing high screams have such a deeply Van Halen II vibe. He could pierce through everything (that’s what she said), mainly because of how amazingly loud he could be! Even without that microphone helping him out, you could feel the surge of strength in his voice through the PA. It didn’t hit or smack you, rather it just cut through. Cleaner than a whistle. Stix Zadinia’s drumming was solid, grooving and full of flourishes. While this sort of shenanigans calls for showing off, even with his ability, I saw him aiming for a timekeeper role and massive thundering booms of kick and snare.
The classic anthem approach, shown especially effective in a rather subtly named song titled 'Poontang Boomerang'. Lexii to me didn’t strike much, apart from being the future face for Androgynous R Us, he didn’t miss a note from what I heard on the ol’ bass. Doesn’t look like he didn’t blow all the money for the band on hookers and strippers (Kidding, love you Lexii, strictly platonically).
But as a guitarist, I’m going to be forever frothing out over Satchel. The man did nothing but play that superstrat in all of it’s parts to the point I’m surprised it didn’t call out for the police. Every lick, every scale, every chord, every dive bomb was nothing short of ego-swelling glory.
If you go to a Steel Panther show you know that you’re going to have a fun night. Not just for the good tunes, but for the actual comedic material presented as well. Sure these guys take the Mickey out of that stereotypical approach to sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, but there’s more to it. The rehearsed stage banter takes some beautiful cohesiveness to attain. The number of dick jokes I heard tonight were easily over twenty. So what if it comes across as coarse and immature? It’s downright hilarious given the often self-deprecating context. Even with the somewhat controversial content at times, you’ll still get a laugh out of the lyrics to songs like 'Just Like Tiger Woods' and 'Asian Hooker'.
If you’re one of those social justice warrior snowflakes and all this apparent “injustice” started to it get you a bit down for some reason, there’s a cure that can be had on the same night! All you have to do is wait for one of the band members to encourage a lovely female audience member to expose her chest. That’s always a lovely distraction. Even without them though, the production for the show was much like the 80’s.
I’ve never seen so many lights at a rock gig, ever. Strobes, rainbow colours, more spotlights than the band members had fingers and toes, there was a marvelous quality to being over the top I will admit.
The highlight of the night for me was probably the most unexpected part for all of us here in Brisbane. Out of all the potential star guests they could have pulled out, they hit a soft spot. Taking helm at the drum kit for seven red hot minutes was Steven Adler of Guns & Roses fame.
Yeah that’s right.
Next minute Satchel and Stix are gearing up an intro with a familiar sound. Then the whole house starts bouncing to 'Mr Brownstone'. I was left in shock, I don’t think I managed to catch my breath for long since they then launched straight into 'Sweet Child of Mine'. Hearing 2’100 voices scream out the chorus really hammers home the power that the song can carry as one of the greatest rock tunes ever written. But to have Steven’s tightness and groove to back it up just floors me.
Almost as much as that pair of tits this one chick in leopard print leggings- oh sorry, are we still talking about the show? Well, let me just say that even though they played a second set of covers, those plus the originals had nothing on those seven precious minutes.
But seriously, nothing could have topped tonight. Now that I have experienced what the guys in Steel Panther are selling, I can say with 100% confidence that they are without a doubt the leaders in entertainment for rock music. Sure, they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s nothing compared to the fact that they’ve coupled three creative paths into a single performance. The finesse of mastering musical performance. The dynamics of humorous dialogue, and how to showcase it in the most pleasing manner possible: fusing it into two hours of nonstop fun.
Now, I’ve gotta get my game back on, wonder if my Tinder profile is still active…
P.S. Sorry Mum.
P.P.S. I’m not actually sorry.