To say last night’s show was politically incorrect would be an understatement. It was raunchy, inappropriate and made up of most of the things I hate but I still left the show with a smile on my face.
Local group Vaudeville opened the night with a quick set stuffed full of radio friendly rock anthems. They brought a lot of energy and were the perfect opening act for such an interestingly good show.Steel Panther is made up of four guys who obviously just couldn’t let the 80’s hair metal/ glam rock scene die. They pranced onto stage wearing flashy outfits made up of spandex and had bandannas tied around their foreheads to keep their giant hair out of their face. Now, I wasn’t alive in the 80’s but I have a feeling that this is exactly how it was back then and that’s why I stand by the t-shirt I used to wear in high school that said something to the extent of “80’s Music Sucks”.
When I first looked up Steel Panther, I thought it was a joke. The outfits, the music, the lyrics, hell, even the song titles seemed to be a joke but that changed last night within the first couple of notes. Sure, it’s obvious that these guys don’t take themselves too seriously, but there’s no denying that they have worked their butts off to get where they are today.
Their music matches their look and seeing them in concert really does make you feel like you’re back in the 80’s where hairspray reigned supreme and spandex was the clothing of choice. It’s power chords galore with cheesy guitar solos and over the top vocals but the way it comes together is truly beautiful. Again, I’m not a fan of 80’s music. I think it’s over produced and repetitive that’s exactly what I think of Steel Panther’s music, but seeing it live changes something. It makes it fun and more of a show than a concert. If they were to have stepped onto stage and performed their music without the outfits and their attitude, I don’t think I would have lasted more than a song or two.
The music was over the top, the clothes were over the top, the scripted banter was over the top… the whole show was cheesy as hell but it matched the cheesy smile that had taken over my face. What the band members talked about through the microphones was far from politically correct or even appropriate. They made fun of minorities and came off as complete womanizers but not in a serious manner. I’m not quite sure how to explain it. Honestly, they said some stuff last night that was beyond offensive but the way they said it made it go from inappropriate to just funny. I don’t think anyone in the crowd was taking what they said seriously and it was clear that neither were they. It’s part of the act, the shtick and somehow it works.
Being an audience member at this show was truly an experience. It was like you were transported back to a completely different time. I had always heard that about Steel Panther’s shows but I just didn’t think it was possible. Oh, how wrong I was. I definitely felt like I was at a concert in the 80’s but that wasn’t just because of the band, it was also because of the eclectic crowd. People were dressed up in the most 80’s things they could find at their local Goodwill. The women weren’t afraid to flash the band or even the near sold-out audience when invited on stage. It was uncomfortable and inappropriate but, because of the atmosphere, it wasn’t offensive and truly added something to the show. The drinks were flowing freely and it was easy to tell that every soul in the venue was having a great night.
Steel Panther could have entertained the crowd enough for one night but they had brought Wilson along for the ride. I caught Wilson a couple months ago, when they were on tour with Trivium. I was impressed when I saw them that first time and was just as impressed last night. These guys have a way of commanding a crowd and their music is something that really sticks out to me. Like the members of Steel Panther, the members of Detroit-based Wilson were obviously having fun on stage and seemed to truly enjoy performing.