Steel Panther at First Avenue, 12/17/13
Photo by Erik Hess
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Comedian Dave Chappelle set the record for the most genitalia jokes at First Avenue during his recent four-night stand this year, but then along came Steel Panther. With relentless penis, ejaculation and inventive expressions of their own obsession with lady parts, the Los Angeles hair metal revivalists truly raised (or lowered) the bar. With each of the four members never holding back during the 16-song set, the group whipped up the sold-out Mainroom crowd with power chords, a classic pop metal sound, and their dirty mouths.
Like a sort of musical theater, Steel Panther provided a sheer release that lays heavy on nostalgia. Their exaggerated references might've started as parody, but they end up as something super real.
With lyrics that are either tongue-in-cheek or tongue in other significant body parts, lead singer Michael Starr's presence dripped with as much hair spray and testosterone as expletives did from his mouth. Playing up every '80s metal power ballad Starr led his band and the audience through several crass sing-alongs from the band's last two records, 2009's Feel the Steel and last year's Balls Out.
Never shy about their sexual fetishes, the between song banter between Starr and guitarist Satchel veered on the absurd and comedic. They ultimately devolved into more fabled sexual exploits and lewd descriptions in riff-driven rockers, "Asian Hooker" and "Just like Tiger Woods."
Photos by Erik Hess
"We like to party and we love pussy. It looks like we got a party here tonight, Mortherfuckers!" screeched Starr. "Hey so this is the place Prince played before he got big?"
Chiming in, Satchel clarified, "He's only 5'4", he never got big!"
Finishing off "Let Me Cum In," Satchel, who looks like a cross between all four members of Dokken, took an extended guitar solo.
Playing off every heavy metal cliché, Steel Panther demonstrated an efficiency with their instruments that is quite palpable and inspired an abandon in their well-lubricated audience. These people were grinding on one another in alcohol-fueled tandem with each suggestive verse.
Inviting more girls on stage, the band serenaded one who was celebrating her 21st birthday. Doling out shots, Starr sang to her "Weenie Ride" and eventually "Not Going to Suck Itself." The gags never grew old for the rabid fans in the packed house, many who were metalled out in hairspray and spanded. It continued to deliver in the encore with more of their signature tunes, "Party All Day(Fuck All Night)" and wrapping up with a "stage full of pussy" for "17 Girls in a Row."
Photo by Erik Hess
With a somewhat tired form of music, the endless fulfilled requests to see women's chests and invitations to join them on stage, Steel Panther have struck gold in this formula. Somehow, the songs are made fresh with inspiring many call-and-response moments and got fists pounding and cheers from the willing audience.
Critic's Bias:Though I was unfamiliar with their body of work, I've always been up for some good metal. Steel Panther was definitely all that and more.
The Crowd: Lots of "dudes," "bros," and "chicks." All hella wasted.
Overheard in the Crowd: "That chick whose boobs were flopping around up front knew every lyric to every song about venereal disease!"
Random Notebook Dump:Steel Panther and Blowfly tour in 2014, make it happen!
Eyes of a Panther
Just Like Tiger Woods
Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
Let Me Cum In
Turn Out the Lights
Eatin' Ain't Cheatin'
It Won't Suck Itself
Death to All but Metal
Party All Day (Fuck All Night)
17 Girls in a Row
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