Steel Panther: Live At Newcastle O2 Academy

Rating: Steel Panther have built a massive following since the release of 2009’s debut “Feel the Steel”. Parodying all that was…

Sunny Singh

Contributor

Rating: ★★★★½

Steel Panther have built a massive following since the release of 2009’s debut “Feel the Steel”. Parodying all that was 80’s American hair/glam metal excess (think Poison and Motley Crue), some critics may have questioned the longevity of what is essentially “just” a comedy band. Well fast forward to 2012, and I’m glad to report they’d be eating their words.

Selling out an almost 2000 capacity venue on a Wednesday night is pretty darn impressive and it’s nice to see some costume clad revellers amongst the crowd. Peering through the wigs, I spot several children – I’m going to assume the parents have took the time to listen to the band, and have mentally prepared for “Little Jimmy” asking what “two in the pink and one in the stink” actually means.

When Steel Panther take to the stage (after a brief intro from their current effort, 2011’s “Balls Out”), it’s easy to see why the band have so many fans and critics. The stage setup and visuals are textbook hair metal, shed-loads of lights, a great sound out front and more than enough hairspray to have Mother Nature worried about the hole in the Ozone layer.

The songs on the other hand are well crafted, with massive sing along hooks and lyrics that are as ridiculous as the band’s onstage personas.

Vocalist Michael Star is just as good live as he is on cd, and I certainly wouldn’t be the first or last to compare him to Van Halen’s Dave Lee Roth in his (sort of) heyday. Guitarist Satchell plays a mean guitar solo, as proved in his spotlight moment, and Lexxi (bass) and Stixx (drums) complete the line up, each bringing their own onstage piece of the puzzle.

In between songs there are lengthy sections of comedy banter, rehearsed (to an extent) or just well gigged they are still laugh out loud moments. The crowd interaction is phenomenal – nothing like standing shoulder to shoulder with a complete stranger spelling out “Gold Diggin Whore” – truly these guys have honed their craft to perfection, and the crowd lap it up.

Joey Belladonna, singer for bay area thrashers Anthrax, joins the band for a rendition of “that” overplayed, yet well-loved Journey classic – definitely a highlight of the night.

In all there are around 15 songs in the main set, mostly songs from “Balls Out”, but some old favourites like “Asian Hooker” make a welcome appearance.

A 3 song encore draws the evening to a close, the rowdy crowd still wanting more! I can’t really think of any band, other than perhaps Motley Crue, who’d have girls get up and party onstage – you don’t see that at your local on band night! We all pile out of the doors knowing that there’s going to be some sore throats and sore heads in the morning – definitely the signs of a good night.

Entertainment seems to be the main aim here, and a bit like pro wrestling, you know it’s fake but it sure is good fun.

Set-List

Supersonic Sex Machine
Tomorrow Night
Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
Asian Hooker
Let Me Cum In
Just Like Tiger Woods
It Won’t Suck Itself
I Like Drugs
Turn Out the Lights
Girl From Oklahoma
If You Really Really Love Me
Party All Day (F*ck All Night)
Don’t Stop Believin’ (Journey cover) (with Joey Belladonna)
Death to All but Metal

Encore:

Community Property
Eyes of a Panther
17 Girls in a Row