Steel Panther – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom – NH
Review by: Dale Jr.
Photographer: Ilya Mirman
Venue: Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
Show Photos: HERE
80’s glam/hair metal made its way to the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom on Saturday night, but not in the way that one might expect. It returned in the form of Steel Panther. Now on first listen, I totally understand how one might not get Steel Panther. The lyrics are beyond vulgar at times and it’s a style of music that has been trashed and bad mouth since grunge took to the scene in the early 90’s. But if you actual get the band, and how it’s all in fun and an act, then you will have the time of your life listening to the band and seeing them live like I did this past weekend. Since I discovered Steel Panther, one of my close friends have talked about possibly going out to L.A. to see the band, because they play on the west coast all the time, so as soon as the show was announced, I knew that I just had to see the band, and a trip out to the west coast would not be necessary.
One of the big things about acts like Spinal Tap, Weird Al Yankovic, Richard Cheese and Lounge Against The Machine and Beatallica, is that you can be all cool and different with your concepts, but it doesn’t work unless the artist pulls it off musically, and that’s what those act and Steel Panther have in spades is musical talent. Beyond the funny lyrics about how many girls lead singer Michael Starr says he slept with in a row, are great musicians and with the case of Starr, a great vocalist.
The show opened with the band Hillbilly Herald, one that I had never heard of before, but I will definitely go track down some of their material. Their style is very similar to acts like Airbourne and AC/DC, whom they latter they covered during their set. So if you like that kind of hard pounding rock, definitely give them a peek. You won’t be sorry.
During the intermission between acts, all in attendance were part of something pretty special in light of what happened with the Boston Marathon bombings. Andy Blacksmith from the Morning Buzz came out, and much like the memorable sporting events of the last week, he led the crowd in the singing of the national anthem. It was something that gave me goose bumps while I was singing it and it is something that I won’t ever forget.
Moments later, the lights went out and I was hit with “In The Future”, and right then I knew that I the band was going to melt my face off with their first song “Supersonic Sex Machine”, the first song off of their “Balls Out” album.
After two or three songs, the band would have some “banter” in between songs, and this is where their characters really come to life with their hilarious conversations, mostly between Michael Starr and Satchel, and occasionally bassist, Lexxi Foxx, when he’s not too busy fixing his hair in the mirror off to the side of the stage. Drummer, Stix Zardinia, keeps pretty quiet, but that’s ok. He and Lexxi are one hell of a rhythm section. There was one part when Satchel joked that he was almost just as good as Eddie Van Halen, and he then proceeded to play Eruption, except the last note, where he then reminded us again that he was almost as good as EVH.
Satchel would have his time in the spotlight again later in the show, when he had one of the most impressive guitar solos you will ever see. At first he is supported by Stix, as he gives multiple EVH-type licks, but the highlight is when Stix goes and takes a break with the rest of the band, and Satchel gets behind the drum kit himself. He played the kick drum, supplying himself rhythms to play over as he played some of the most famous riffs in rock history, but it eventually makes its way to a selection from “The Sound of Music”.
The crowd was singing along with every song, and so was I, and you can tell by the look from Michael Starr that he was thrilled that people from New Hampshire knew all the words to their songs. Steel Panther was not only one of the most concert experiences I’ve ever had, but it was also one of the best. If you ever make it out to L.A. or Vegas, or if my prayers are answered, they ever make their way back to New England, you should go out of your way to see them live and “Feel The Steel”!!!
In The Future/Supersonic Sex Machine
Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
Just Like Tiger Woods
Turn Out The Lights
If You Really Really Love Me
It Won’t Suck Itself
Girl From Oklahoma
Eyes of a Panther
Death To All But Metal
Party All Day (F*ck All Night)
17 Girls In A Row