Steel Panther is arguably a band that relies heavily on being a lampoon on all that was 80’s hair metal. But underneath the parody and party, there lie some very talented individuals. Maybe this is what keeps them coming back year after year to a die hard and loyal city like Pittsburgh. Any resident in this city knows that the 80s still rule in many ways, from our unofficial Steelers theme song of “Renegade” (OK ’79 close enough) to those who cannot let go of big hair and mullets. Thus, Steel Panther brings their misogynistic rock to big crowds and people who are in on the joke, and possibly a few who don’t even realize it;s a joke.
In the same vein as WWE, Steel Panther are entertaining for a certain crowd. Though their songs surround tales of backstage prowess, blow out parties, and innuendos gone wild, it is a scathing look back on all the was popular with the hair metal movement. Lead singer Michael Starr steals all the looks and moves from David Lee Roth while guitar player Satchel mimics Eddie Van Halen perfectly in tone and fret-blazing style. Stix (drummer) harkens to a bit more of the Guns N Roses era with his look while Lexxi Foxx (bass) fulfills the glam metal, Ratt, Cinderella, etc. look. So if you get the joke and don’t take the subject matter too seriously, Steel Panther is one big party, one of the best things about that era of music.
As the band members make fun of each other, parody all the choreographed moves of the bands of that day, rip a bit on whatever city they are in (i.e. Butt Pirates as the baseball team), and generally make lewd remarks or gestures, many may miss how hard it can be to pull off what they do. Each member is very accomplished at what they do, be it singing or playing their instrument. Let’s face it, if they sucked at replicating the music, the whole schtick would fall flat. Back when they were known as Metal Skool and were the favorite bar band of L.A. and later Vegas, these guys perfected their act and chops on cover songs and the same type of humor. As they became Steel Panther and started to push more of their originals, the band grew exponentially in popularity and were able to pull off full-scale tours of their own. Having been to Pittsburgh numerous times, the band has developed a big following in the Steel City. The 1200 plus attendance was a bit lower than normal, though, maybe it was the rainy weather that even called off the Pirate game, but most certainly it had a lot to do with the Penguin game and the playoffs.
All in all the evening was as expected, raunchy tunes, girls getting up on stage, audience members dressing in 80’s gear, and the band doing what they do best, not taking themselves too seriously.
Pittsburgh band Gene the Werewolf opened and fit in perfectly with the genre. They sounded great, played with intensity, and showed why they are one Pittsburgh’s go-to bands.
All photos © 2016 AWeldingphoto
STEEL PANTHER 5/22/16
GENE THE WEREWOLF