The Big Easy became the Sunset Strip reincarnate when Steel Panther stopped by the Fillmore to fill the air with 80s nostalgia and Aqua Net galore.
What happens when you mix the swagger of David Lee Roth, the raunchy humor of Howard Stern, and the spandex and big hair of glam metal? Los Angeles rockers Steel Panther. It would be easy to write off vocalist Michael Starr, guitarist Satchel, bassist Lexxi Foxx, and drummer Stix Zadinia as a “joke band,” but that would be diminishing the true musical talent that the foursome possesses. Yes, the hair is big and the pants are tight and the lyrics are on the profane side, but these guys really know how to rock. They each have a role to play and they play it up to the hilt. Starr has all the lead singer swagger; Satchel is the epitome of lead guitarist, flirting with the ladies in the audience and boasting of his prowess; Foxx preens and primps throughout the set; Zadinia quietly holds down the fort with his beats.
Starting off the evening was Nashville-based rockers, True Villains. Although at first they seemed an odd choice to open for 80s glam rockers, the boys proved to be straight-forward, no-frills rock and roll. They put their own flavor on their sound by adding a touch of blues that made them sound like not just another rock band. Although they played mostly originals, their cover of Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” really got the crowd going.For those who lack a sense of humor and are unfamiliar with Steel Panther, maybe their show isn’t for you. Yes, they are musicians, and good ones too, but the humor is often lewd and crude and sometimes eye-rolling, but the audience can’t help but laugh and play along. It’s almost like watching a live version of This is Spinal Tap, only without the exploding drummer.
Opening the evening with a cover of the Van Halen classic “Everybody Wants Some!!” the band set the tone for the entire evening, jumping around, mugging for the crowd, and generally having a great time. The set list isn’t especially long since the band takes quite a bit of time between songs to playfully interact with each other and the fans. It’s arguable that the banter is the best part of the Steel Panther set. As Starr and Satchel trade barbs with each other, Lexxi Foxx can be seen in the corner checking his lip gloss and hair in his special mirror adorned with his name.
The interactions with the crowd made them so much fun. Satchel put a pick in his mouth and pointed to a fan in the crowd before spitting it out, ala John Belushi in Animal House. Two girls were picked out to come onstage as the band broke into “Asian Hooker” and Satchel pawed all over them. It’s refreshing to see people drop the PC attitude and appreciate the humor for what it is, inappropriate and fun. The highlight was the finalists of an 80s costume contest came out to have the final judging by the band. The excitement of the fans that got to be close to the band was palpable.
After playing a couple of originals, “Death to All but Metal” and “Gloryhole,” the set concluded with a cover of Ozzy’s “Crazy Train.” The crowd left happy and exhausted but obviously could have traveled back to the heady days of 80s hair metal with Steel Panther in their DeLorean for a few more hours.STEEL PANTHER
Website Facebook Twitter