Steel Panther @ Sheffield O2 Academy 20/3/14 ★★★☆☆

O2_Academy,_Sheffield_-_DSC07438

1395886_10151901274746768_846265507_n

There’s no better way to get a loosely “metal” crowd riled up than playing a Maiden song half of them can pretend to know while they fuck about in leggings and wigs. The pageantry that comes with a Steel Panther crowd is fun. For a while. There’s only so many gross dudes in wife-beaters and bad wigs you can take (unless you’re Lexxi Foxxx). But when SP crash onto the stage, opening with ‘Eyes Of A Panther’, the annoying costumes fade into the background, and you’re captivated by this living, breathing, time capsule from the 80s.

Michael Starr 20/3/14
Myles Wright Photography

After a 20 minute interval of banter and jokes (works better at their weekly Vegas shows, not so much on a big UK tour) in which a blown up condom floats by flowing-haired frontman Michael Starr, prompting Satchel to retort “how come you couldn’t catch that, but you can catch everything else?”, they rattle out the hits. Their new album not yet out, they still tease us with a couple of tracks such as ‘The Burden of Being Wonderful’ and ‘Gloryhole’; but unfortunately they don’t seem as funny as their previous hilarious offerings such as ‘Asian Hooker’ and ‘Just Like Tiger Woods’.

Amid the normal ‘show your tits’ bravado and “there’s a lotta tight p*ssy in Sheffield” jokes is a hope that perhaps the not-yet-converted in the crowd will realise it is an act, and Steel Panther are fabulous and talented musicians who just happened to get their big break at a more mature age.

The production game this evening be strong; Satchel’s guitar contains a mini confetti cannon, there are side-splitting accompanying videos for ‘Asian Hooker’, and a special performance by Lexxi; a hair solo.

12074316411296807266camera white.svg.medCheck out our photo gallery of this show HERE 

It’s all good fun, but the possibility of such fame in years to come is not a bet I want to take. Steel Panther’s facade is SO believable that it is sometimes the problem. But moving away from the usual journalist take on Steel Panther, teaming comedic lyrics with badass riffs is harder than it looks, and shows, for a band who hasn’t done a straight interview yet, that it works.
Girls clamber onstage at every invitation, and even a joke about the scandalous Lostprophets frontman passes the lips of outrageous guitarist Satchel. There’s a heartfelt stadium-esque sing-along to fan favourite ‘Community Property’, and a small child (who, we find out, is named Chris) is pulled onstage for the most surreal 15 minutes of his life, sat on the riser as the guys perform around him, the final couple of songs of the evening.  The guys close with ‘Party All Day (Fuck All Night)’, then Chris steals Michael Starr’s hat.

One word for a Steel Panther show?  Bitchin’.