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Live – STEEL PANTHER, Perth, Western Australia – 11 October 2012

| 29 October 2012 | Reply

Metro City, Perth, Western Australia
By Shane Pinnegar |Photography by Maree Richards

Steel Panther know the secret.  Van Halen knew it, Whitesnake knew it, AC/DC and KISS sure knew it.  Hell, even Spinal Tap knew it!

Heavy metal rock n’ roll is supposed to be FUN!!!!!

It’s a secret that punk were too busy sneering and feeling sorry for themselves to even contemplate, that grunge tried to erase from the history books, and that the majority of modern metal never even knew.

Steel Panther take you back to a time when hair was big, clothes were skin tight and tastefully torn and the guitar was king – when all we wanted from a night out was nuthin’ but a good time!

Steel Panther took the stage on Thursday night in front of a sell-out crowd with absolute confidence in their show, a swagger in their strut, and the chops to turn what is essentially at its core a comedy theatre show into a fully over-blown cock rock masterwork.

Barrelling through most of the best tracks from both of their albums, the song titles alone should give you a clue what to expect – Supersonic Sex Machine, Just Like Tiger Woods, It Won’t Suck Itself, Fat Girl, Asian Hooker.

Panther pad out a 2 hour set with long stretches of between song banter – as funny as hell as it is wildly un-PC and definitely adults-only.  That much of this is the same jokes they’ve been using at home in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for the past few years is pretty irrelevant when confronted with a crowd that lap up every word.

Guitarist Satchel and singer Michael Starr do most of the talking, the former a veteran of one of Rob Halford’s post-Judas Priest bands, the latter with a pedigree that includes a stint out front of the Atomic Punks Van Halen tribute as ‘David Lee Ralph’.  Bassist Lexxi Foxx milks his trademark jokes as he primps and preens in front of his on-stage fan and mirror, and offers up the dumbest on stage comments known to man, whilst drummer Stixx Zadinya (you may recognise him from the Hahn Super Dry adverts) is content to be the superglue who holds it all together.

Satchel’s solo spot is a full of familiar riffs from the likes of Sabbath, Purple, Priest, Van Halen, Metallica and, err… The Sound Of Music!  It’s testament to the years they’ve spent playing covers three nights a week in shitty Sunset Strip dives, and culminates with him atop the drum riser beating the bass drum whilst peeling off riff after riff to huge cheers.

An acoustic interlude featured an hilariously failed attempt to “gay” up Iron Maiden, leading into the gloriously rude Girl From Oklahoma, before Starr and Satchel dragged a clutch of strippers on stage seemingly at random, for a grind through the Bon Jovi-flavoured Fuck All Night (And Party All Day) and the single that started it all for them 4 years ago, Death To All But Metal.

An encore barrage of Community Property, Eyes Of A Panther and 17 Girls In A Row left not a single clichéd hair metal move unturned nor a sad face in the house, before the crowd came down off the saccharine high and exited back into reality.

Did everyone GET IT?  Probably not.  But what makes Steel Panther’s show work is that they have successfully straddled the divide between being a cheap novelty or parody and delivering a comedy homage – in short, they appeal to those who still love the music of the era and beyond, and to those for whom it’s a guilty pleasure or an excuse for a laugh.  Accordingly, the crowd seems half-and-half real rockers and weekend warriors who thought it might be good for a laugh to don cheap spandex and a fluffy wig for a rare night out, “Back to the 80’s” style.

To clinch the deal, Steel Panther prove live that they have the songs, musical skill and sheer unbridled showmanship – Van Halen, Poison, Warrant and Motley Crue style – to back it up.

Shane

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Category: Live Reviews

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