As a born and bred New Yorker the one thing you definitely do prior to the holidays is avoid Manhattan at all cost as it becomes overloaded with tourists. But on a relatively warmer than usual Tuesday before Thanksgiving I couldn’t help but get my cripple ass out to one more show before the holidays and figured who better than Steel Panther. As a fan of theirs since their first single it was about time I saw what they were capable of live.
As always I must give the opener their due credit when worth it and Stitched Up Heart is definitely worth mentioning. I had heard of them in recent years but never made time to check out their music. They’re your typical modern day heavy rock band whose mastered the mixture of adding technical sounds at the right times. Though that same technology allows for something I’m strongly against and gotten good at catching; backing tracks. I truly didn’t get a feel for Stitched Up Heart until “Catch Me When I Fall” where front woman Mixi was actually singing and can she sing. There’s pure power in her and while I understand the band as a whole wants to physically come out strong but it’s not worth losing vocals on the first songs of your set because you feel that moving around is more important than actually showing your talent. Which Stitched Up Heart has plenty of. Their closing song “Monster” had the right mix of the modern technical additions bands are using that has me pretty confident that Stitched Up Heart has the potential to be around for years to come.
It wasn’t long before Van Halen’s “Everybody Wants Some” came over the sound system and lights dropped which meant this was the song cue that, to quote Beetlejuice, “It’s Showtime!” Which was actually very fitting since Steel Panther’s sound is 1980s hair metal, for those of you who go by sub genres. This song becoming a DeLorean to take us back to when Metal was pure fun…which is exactly what pursued.
Coming out strong with “Eyes Of A Panther”, one of their more radio friendly songs, wearing outfits direct out of the 1980s. One look at bassist Lexxi Foxx with his big hair and over the top sequin outfit makes you almost forget it’s 2019. That is until you realize you’re taking pictures on a smartphone. As they slid into “Let Me Cum In” I immediately knew these guys were legit. There’s no backing tracks so they can “look” the part. There’s pure, legit talent in Steel Panther that gets overlooked simply because of how the band is.
You see Steel Panther doesn’t get the credit they actually deserve. Because they play off the humor of the 1980s metal scene and they write and perform songs like “All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)” and “Asian Hooker”, both sounding as good live as they do on the albums, they get snubbed by the majority of Metal radio and press. I myself have been a fan since 2009 but was always afraid my listeners wouldn’t get it and be offended in today’s overly sensitive society. But they’re just having fun. Writing great music, fun lyrics, and performing together.
Then they took things even further and performed their ballads, after all what 1980s band didn’t have at least three. Steel Panther continues to show their skills by going to just keyboards and acoustic guitar for “I Ain’t Buying What You’re Selling” and the fan favorite “Weenie Ride”. The latter showing their skills as writers on the fly as they invited a random lady from the audience on stage named Freddie, no joke, and the members took turns rewriting the song using her name. That rockers is talent you don’t find everywhere.
Then things went back to pure party mode as the band invited any women on stage that wanted to come join them for “Party All Day (Fuck All Night)” and “17 Girls In A Row”. And if anyone tells you that Metal is a guys only thing then let me tell you how wrong they are. I haven’t seen that many attractive woman dancing around on stage since my friends bachelor party when we spent hours in a strip club in Times Square.
The party ended with the songs that got me and many to become members of the Steel Panther fan club, “Community Property” and “Death To All But Metal”. Plus in typical Steel Panther form they made things unique as a bagpipe player they recently met joined the band to perform “Community Property”. A bagpipe and Metal is something I never saw or heard before, it sounded great, and I don’t think I’ll ever hear it again.
I’ve been to countless shows over the years and I can’t remember the last time I left a show that I laughed and rocked so much during the show. Sure I’ve had laughs after shows catching up with bands I’m honored to know but never during. Needless to say Steel Panther is a band the whole rock and metal community should be seeing because they’re everything you want – a good time and some kick ass tunes.