STEEL PANTHER – MANCHESTER ACADEMY – 2/8/19
Review and Pictures: Nicky Barker
Steel Panther are a glam rock band from Los Angeles, USA. They began as an 80’s rock/metal live covers band under various names including Metal Shop, Danger Kitty and Metal Skool before changing their name to Steel Panther in 2008.
Dressed in bright coloured spandex, big hair and make-up, they are an exaggerated parody of bands such as Motley Crue, Van Halen, Ratt etc who dominated the early 80’s LA rock scene. With relentless jokes throughout their show, lewd lyrics and humorous on-stage banter directed mostly at sex and drug related themes, Steel Panther are not for those without a sense of humour. There is zero political correctness at their shows and if you are easily offended, it’s not for you. That said, Steel Panther are extremely talented musicians and their songs are scintillating, catchy, sing along tunes.
The evening began with former Scuzz TV, and Kerrang radio presenter, DJ Matt Stocks. He played a number of classic rock tunes before welcoming on stage the support band Gus G, who entertained the crowd with a number of guitar instrumentals and tracks with very heavy bass drums. They played a very metal version of Dire Straits ‘Money For Nothing’ which went down well with the crowd. Following their short but tuneful set, DJ Matt Stocks came back to the stage and played some more crowd pleasing tracks.
With the venue now full at this sold-out show and the crowd sufficiently warmed up, DJ Matt announced the arrival of Steel Panther on stage. Lights dimmed but just enough for us to see drummer, Stix Zadinia, take his position behind his impressive drum kit. Quickly joined at each side by bassist, Lexxi Foxx and guitarist, Satchel both poised with their vibrant guitars and equally as colourful spandex pants. Lights went up and boom, out on to the stage bounced Michael Starr singing the opening track of their set ‘Eyes of a Panther’. The crowd, full of colourful characters went wild, singing every note to the track, Starr could barely be heard over them. ‘Goin’ in the Back Door’ was next and then the on-stage banter began, full of innuendos and crass remarks. Satchel shouting out “Manchester you are always the best and loudest” before Lexxi in his peacock print pants notes “you said Brixton Academy were the best?”. Starr introduced Stix as “the best drummer in our band” All in good fun of course.
Steel Panther are –
Michael Starr – Lead vocals
Satchel – Guitar
Lexxi Foxx – Bass guitar
Stix Zadinia – Drums
Steel Panther are currently on tour bringing The Sunset Strip to the UK and Europe which entails playing their own tracks along with some covers from the big hair bands of the 80’s. First of which was Motley Crue’s ‘Shout at the Devil’. Michael Starr’s vocals were impeccable as we were transported back to the 80’s. More on-stage fun and games and a quick check of appearance and reapplication of lip gloss for Lexxi (as he does frequently), and on with a few of their own songs ‘Fat Girl’, ‘Asian Hooker, ‘Poontang Boomerang’.
Another Motley Crue cover ‘Kickstart my Heart’ followed, after which Starr left the stage appearing to have an issue with his mic. Then, the funniest moment of the night occurred. The band began playing ‘Crazy Train’ and out from the wings emerged Starr with one of the best impersonations of Ozzy Osbourne I have ever seen. Strutting about the stage just like the real McCoy.
Next up was Satchel’s legendary guitar solo; Satchel stood in the spotlight slaying his bright green tiger print six string, incorporating and absolutely nailing riffs from well know rock tracks…the crowd all the while clapping and cheering him on.
Joined back on stage by his band mates the band then played a cover of Van Halen’s ‘Hot for Teacher. ’ Usually at some point during their set Steel Panther invite the ladies of the audience to join them up on stage. This evening was no exception and security were swamped by lots of eager ladies wanting to get up on stage. They danced and swooned over the band as they played ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ and ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’.
The last few songs of the evening were Steel Panther tracks. ‘Community Property’ had the crowd singing and swaying their arms. ‘Death to all but Metal’ and finally after a bit of messing about throwing and catching Michael’s hat between the band, (Stixx catching it on his drumstick) ‘Gloryhole’ saw this fun night draw to a close.
Steel Panther are one of the funniest metal bands in the world, they never disappoint and always give you a high energy, fun packed evening. The jokes might be a bit repetitive if you’ve seen them before but their music is brilliant.
Eyes of a Panther
Goin’ in the Backdoor
Shout at the Devil (Motley Crue cover)
Kickstart My Heart (Motley Crue cover)
Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
Hot for Teacher (Van Halen cover)
Party All Day (Fuck All Night)
Pour Some Sugar on Me (Def Leopard cover)
Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi cover)
Death to All but Metal