Updated: Jul 5
The floor of London’s historical Roundhouse is sticky with all kinds of fluids under the sun, and that’s even before comedic metal headliners Steel Panther take the stage for their Sunset Strip LIVE set. With the crowd riled up and ready to rock thanks to openers Gus G and DJ Matt Stocks of Life in the Stocks, a backdrop of the Hollywood sign and imagery imperative to the Sunset Strip reminds us that for one night only, we have time travelled back to the 80’s when heavy metal ruled the world.
The unmistakable thunderous jungle roar of ‘Eyes of a Panther’ instantly throws the crowd into an animalistic overdrive, and the boys of the band prove just how sex, drugs, and rock and roll should be done, with a little help from the lewdly named ‘Goin’ in the Backdoor’ from their newest album Lower the Bar.
Steel Panther’s signature comedic energy and onstage banter is paramount compared to bands of the same age, proven through singer Michael Starr’s and guitarist Satchel’s hysterically humorous exaggerated acts of wooing female audience members, some of which were all too keen for the attention. Bassist Lexxi Foxx’s trademark fashion maintenance comprising of ritualistic hair flips and pouting into his personalised hand mirror, coupled with tight animal printed spandex trousers, bandanas and ripped shirts, kept with the androgynous glam metal tradition that we’d all come out to see.
Although packed with Panther tongue-in-cheek risqué favourites like ‘Fat Girl,’ ‘Poontang Boomerang’ and ‘Asian Hooker,’ it wouldn’t be the Sunset Strip experience without stadium anthem tunes that defined the era. With Satchel shredding into the motorbike revving eruption of Motley Crue’s ‘Kickstart My Heart,’ and the anthemic chanting of ‘Shout at the Devil,’ the screams of delight would ensure a hoarse and burning throat the following morning, (I know mine did.)
Following Panther tradition in comedy value, an imitation of Ozzy Osbourne on Michael’s part complete with straight hair, bottle rimmed glasses and hilariously accurate mannerisms flowed seamlessly into ‘Crazy Train.’ During drummer Stix Zadinia’s (say it slowly, you know you want to,) impersonation of Def Leppard’s one armed drummer Rick Allan, a magnitude of desirous women were brought onto the stage for a moment of fanatical and carnal dancing to ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me,’ and Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer.’
Finishing off their set, the atmosphere in the room radiated with more pent-up energy than at the start, so much so that during ‘Community Property,’ a song about the sharing of one’s penis, a confident fan decided to show off his ‘community property’ while his friends hoisted him to flash the band... It might be 3 decades since the 80’s, but there’s still hope for the future as Satchel loaned his axe to a young guitarist to shred out the end of the bands biggest song, ‘Death to all but Metal,’ and ended with an encore to the exotic suggestions of ‘Gloryhole.’
A band not for the faint of heart, yet an experience like no other band could give you, Steel Panther no doubt go balls out for both the music and the fans, seemingly carrying the torch for the past and future of heavy metal. Proving not only how excruciatingly talented they are at their instruments and song writing skills, but also that heavy metal is about the enjoyment and pleasure you can have with a genre so open and accepting. #DeathToAllButMetal