Australia just can’t get enough of Steel Panther those raunchy boys from LA, the Sunset Strip’s favourite sons are once again on our foreshore for a world first run of shows with their Sunset Strip Live! Tour, which is ALL PANTHER, ALL NIGHT. Consisting of two sets, one set of Steel Panther originals, and one set of classic covers. This should be a night like no other.
Melbourne’s Forum Theatre is a majestic beautiful venue, just the place to witness a show as classy as a Steel Panther show lol. No support tonight as this is a double set so things get underway early and the sold-out crowd gather in making it nice and tight just the way the guys like it. As the stage lights dim and the bass vibrates right through us Stix is first to appear and salutes us with the devil horns followed by Satchel and Lexxi and when Michael walks out the place erupts. Satchel shreds away on the guitar and Stix’s drum beats pound in our chest as they kick things off with their war cry Eyes of The Panther.
From then on in it is just an all-out hard metal assault on our senses. Satchel shreds his guitar just like the best in the business and these guys have their stage moves perfectly in sync, they have matching spandex outfits to their instruments and boy can Michale hit those high notes. Sexual innuendo, jokes about sex with your mum and your pets are what you get at a Steel Panther show and no one delivers these better than Satchel always teasing his bandmates looks and playing ability, no-one was safe even telling a punter to shut up and he is sure he has fucked his ugly girlfriend, lol. One thing we learned tonight is drummer Stix Zadina can do a mean impersonation of the drummer from Def Leopard, these guys absolutely have their stage show down pat.
Comedy isn’t the only thing this band can deliver they know their audience and what we want to hear and that is classic Steel Panther hits such as Asian Hooker, Glory Hole, 17 Girls in A Row and the big sing-along moment Community Property. Of course a Steel Panther show has huge crowd participation and as is tradition at these shows the ladies were bought up on stage to dance and grind away showing us their breasts, and Melbourne girls have some of the best there is, be proud ladies you represented your hometown with full honour and set the bar for the rest of the tour. The vibe in the room was truly feeling good, Satchel even suggesting they lock the doors, play till 4 am and hand out free JD and Coke to everyone, to which nobody had any objections. But the first set had to end and they went out guns blazing with our fists clenched and thrust towards the stage we cried out Death to All but Metal!!!!!
If you didn’t know Steel Panther started their career as Metal Shop playing some of the best hard metal songs of all time in places like The Viper Room in LA, eventually the guys would go on to make their own music and become the Steel Panther we know and love. This tour though is all about getting a hit of the Steel Panther we all know and love and then a massive dose of some of the greatest songs ever written from one of the greatest decades of our time, the 1980’s.
They re-emerge and quite literally Kick Start Our Hearts then proceed to Rock Us Like a Hurricane, wow, not only are these guys so capable of delivering their own great tunes but they are great at covering other bands as well. The set plays like being at Frankies Pizza on a Saturday night, classic glam metal track one after the other. Michael does a perfect Ozzy Osbourne impersonation on Crazy Train. Satchel completely rocks our world with his solo, covering every great metal riff ever known, the skill of this guy is nothing short of astonishing. After Satchel finishes wooing us Michael comes back with a special guest and that is the lead singer of Airbourne Joel O’Keeffe and together they oh so naturally deliver a superb version of ACDC’s Highway to Hell. The sexual energy on stage got turned right up when they covered Def Leopard’s Pour Some Sugar on Me, one thing that was a truly unique experience was having White Snakes’ Here I Go Again broken down to a reggae song. Then we find out just how many bands have ripped off the riff, from Steve Miller to Weezer even the late Tom Petty was guilty, the lesson here is don’t rip off White Snake or Steel Panther will find you and out you, lol. They end things with Paradise City but the Melbourne crowd weren’t down with that they stamped and cheered for more until the band obliged as it was way too early to stop playing heavy metal. They have a key guy side of the stage who has hair too short to be seen playing alongside them, he intros us into Party All Day.
What I saw tonight was a visual and sensory orgy to the delight of all inside the Forum. Steel Panther’s ability to entertain the masses is sensational, the musicianship is sharp. These guys are the sort of band everyone should see at least once in their life and tonight’s show was one of the best I have witnessed for them, and I have seen them every single time, but my first time in Melbourne.
Review – Chad
Photo Gallery – Christian Ross