A good time is always on the agenda when Steel Panther roles through town so it was no surprise that the party started before the fans even entered the Fillmore with some tailgating on Geary Boulevard. What was a surprise to the already inebriated crowd (some of which managed to keep themselves together better than others) was that when showtime rolled around an unannounced opener took the stage resulting in someone upfront yelling, “who the hell are you!?!?”
It turns out that the opener was a rock and roll band out of the Carolinas called The L.A. Maybe and the proceeded to more than simply warm of the packed house with their seemingly contradictory self-labeled brand of “new wave of classic rock.” Forget the labels, these guys simply kicked ass and delivered a whopping 45 minute performance that would not be forgotten by those that didn’t over-indulge at the bar.
As Steel Panthers set time rolled around the packed general admission floor was clearly ready do rock. Dudes wearing ironic hair metal wigs and spandex pants were more than happy to join in as Kiss’ “Lick It Up” blasted through the house as the crew scurried around the stage making sure that everything was perfect. With everything set, the house lights finally lowered and Van Halen’s “Unchained” (no doubt a nod to the band members’ days in Van Halen tribute act Atom Punk) and the band finally took the stage led by drummer Stix Zadinia.
Steel Panther is definitely not for the easily offended and when they launched right into “Goin’ in the Backdoor,” the double-entendres were not so subtle. Between songs Michael Starr and Satchel kept up the shtick by haranguing the front rows with banter but honestly no one was off limits with band taking jabs at Vince Neil, Brett Michaels, Ozzy Osbourne and even Rick Allen (with Stix contributing to a one-armed jam of Def Leppard’s “Photograph”) over the course of the night. Heck, they more than happy to bag on each other!
Early in the set, legendary Bay Area guitarist Phil Demmel joined the band on stage for “Asian Hooker” as well as a Van Halen-ized rendition of the Kinks’ “You Really Got me” which included some impromptu guitar dueling with Satchel. While it wasn’t clear how many people in the room were actually aware of Phil’s legacy, the crowd’s reaction was over the top.
Throughout the night, a lone crew member scurried around the stage serving the band’s every needs as they played the role of hair metal rock stars knocking over mic stands and running out of picks as they kept hurling them into the crowd.
What makes Steel Panther’s irreverent parody of hair metal work and the fans returning time after time is that it’s all carried out by a bunch of truly talented musicians. Therein lies to paradox and appeal of Steel Panther because at the same time you really can’t take them too seriously.
- Goin’ in the Backdoor
- Tomorrow Night
- Photograph (Def Leppard cover)
- Just Like Tiger Woods
- All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)
- Asian Hooker
- You Really Got Me (The Kinks cover)
- Never Too Late (To Get Some Pussy Tonight)
- Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
- Guitar Solo
- Girl From Oklahoma
- 17 Girls in a Row
- Death to All but Metal
- Community Property
The L.A. Maybe
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