Music Reviews — 24 April 2013
Steel Panther at Irving Plaza: A Concert Review

Steel Panther
Irving Plaza, New York, NY
April 23, 2013

Concert Review: Steel Panther at Irving Plaza 2013

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Listen, it’s not our first time on the rollercoaster when it comes to seeing Steel Panther live. The crew has checked out the boys of hair metal on both coasts and even interviewed half of the band. And because of their frequent returns to an Irving Plaza residency, New York City has been given the “Panther” treatment on a regular basis. Tuesday night’s outing was absolutely no different as the band’s “Spreading The Disease” tour which is currently infecting the country with pure rock excess, made an other levels over the top stop in Manhattan.

A few ticks after 9pm the lights went out with a soft hue of purple filling the stage. And directly after their futuristic voice-over intro, drummer Stix Zadinia, guitarist Satchel, bassist Lexxi Foxx and larger than life lead singer Michael Starr took the stage to a barrage of applause. And without wasting a second they launched into their trademark three song opener kicking off with the powerhouse that is “Supersonic Sex Machine.” The band’s raw energy and ingenious sense of humor was felt by the sold out crowd with everyone in the house singing, swaying and placing their horns high into the air. A choice cut from the band’s latest album “Balls Out” followed moments later with what could easily be our favorite Steel Panther song, “Tomorrow Night.” The relentless show opener concluded with “Fat Girl,” a brilliant ’80s hair metal parody aimed at the oversized ladies and the irony of loving them. Starting that hot means that a band will usually bring it down for a few songs to pepper in some ballads. This is not the case when it comes to Steel Panther as they ripped into the tribute to our favorite adulterous golfer in, “Just Like Tiger Woods.” It may not be an all out speed track but it perfectly shows their range to play multiple sides of the rock genre. However, the rock insanity returned moments later with the band’s ode to going down in “It Won’t Suck Itself.”

At this point in every Steel Panther show, the guys to take a break from playing and interact with each other and the crowd with tons of tongue in cheek trashing and comedic misogyny. And at some point, the band will attempt to bring ladies from the crowd up on stage to expose themselves, but it’s always done in a fun, teasing way to rile up the smiling audience with a big laugh and a great song to follow. After failing to arouse any nudity on this night, the band sat 20 year old Vanessa down on stage, serenading her with rendition of the classic “Community Property” before shuttling her offstage for the rocking “Eyes Of A Panther.” Pleasant returns to the set also included an acoustic “Girl From Oklahoma,” the always fun-filled “Asian Hooker,” and guitarist Satchel’s mesmorizing guitar/drum solo which is a neverending crowd pleaser. And like all bands who represent the decade of decadence, it is important to finish hot with a marquee track that everyone can rally behind. “Death To All But Metal” was just what the doctor ordered to re-electrify the audience, and wrap up a night of rock and roll in both style and sweat.

How are you supposed to take a band seriously when they themselves don’t? Part of the fun in seeing Steel Panther is that the band is actually in on the joke. Is their hair real or fake, are the vocals even real, and just how old are they anyway? All of these are questions that run through your head at each of their live shows- each of which is so much damn fun, that the answers don’t seem to matter.

- Jay Rubin

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