Steel Panther @ The Commodore Ballroom – March 9th 2011

steel panther

In the last 12 months of attending concerts, I have reminisced about one bands live show; Steel Panther. It had been an amazing display, on their part, during our last encounter. Watching them deliver an epic performance at the Commodore Ballroom – (February 17th, 2010 – Steel Panther Rocks Hard). Finally, last night, I caught them live again. And again they were at the Commodore Ballroom, and yet again they rocked the hell out of the entire venue.

Walking through the specks of people gathered outside the club, you could see the pandemonium was spreading like a virus. The eager filtered inside, dressed in their best glam metal fan boy outfits, ready to experience “The Steel”. As I crested the grungy stairwell, the faint sounds of Swan could be heard. After having seen them fall short a few weeks back, while opening for Dank Jones, I was interested to see if they could redeem themselves. Unfortunately, the group was still coming up short. I think the issue I have with them is that they seem to be musicians-for-money kind of outfit. Just out there playing because that’s what pays the bills, a very Nickleback inspired approach. There is no fire, no burning passion, they seem to play because they have to, which is not really my cup of tea. Plus the songs lack inspiration and the band seems limp on stage.

Between bands, the energy on the floor started to swell. Voices became louder, empty cups began sailing through the air, and shoving matches became all too common as the voracious few jockeyed for prime position. It was setting up to be another high impact herd, for whom Steel Panther’s entrance could not come quick enough

The lights lowered, and Danger, from 99.3 the Fox, walked out to introduce the band. Just then, as if time could not restrain them, the entire lineup of Steel Panther rushed to the stage behind him; while he [Danger] was mid-introduction. That is one thing you notice about the group right off the bat, they are as eager as their fans. Their larger than life persona’s and love for what they do, is evident in every action they make.

The foursome were raunchy and rude from the word go. Michael Starr (lead vocals), Satchel (lead guitart), Lexxi Foxx (bass) and Stix Zadinia (drums), relive the debauchery and dirty decadence of the 80s on the Sunset Strip. Bantering with the audience, about “eating pussy” and “fucking fat chicks”. Their presentation is one part music and one part theatrical comedy. It is the closest you can get to living out the days of Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses playing those now infamous club gigs. Steel Panther does it with perfection, and adds their own devious twist to the whole presentation.

Death To All But Metal, was the opening song, which had the meat heads, in the horde, roughing each other up pretty good. The energy of the evening flowed like fine boxed-wine from their on in. Songs like The Shocker, Fat Girl and Community Property, were echoed by the swooning fan base, creating a glorious harmony. Two great cover songs also fit into the set perfectly, Runnin’ With The Devil and Jump(originally by Van Halen), We’re Not Gonna Take It (originally by Twisted Sister) and Sweet Child O’ Mine (originally by Guns N’ Roses). For those who are curious here is the full set list:

Death To All But Metal
The Shocker
Fat Girl
Eyes of a Panther
Turn Out The Lights
Community Property
Runnin’ With The Devil
Girl From Oklahoma
Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin’
Sweet Child O’ Mine
Asian Hooker
We’re Not Gonna Take It

Although the set list might look a little deflated with only 11 songs and 1 solo, you have to know what happens between each piece. The band breaks into hilarious inter-group conversations about raunchy sex, they have female audience members on stage flashing their breasts and making out with one another and then you have Lexxi Foxxx vainly adjusting his makeup with his bedazzled hand mirror. Those being but a few of the memorable moments you experience at a Steel Panther show. Everything is in excess, everything is dirty, and its all pulled together with absolute precision.

In retrospect the evening was epic. Steel Panther is the morning wood of live music. At first you feel kind of funny when you see them, almost guilty (I mean parody rockers? Come on). But a few short, sweaty, minutes later you are out of breath and grinning from ear to ear. They get my vote as one of the must see bands of our time.

Here is a little animation for the Panther fans out there:

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