Photos By Carbie Warbie
Growing up in the ’80s was awesome. Seriously, there was no better time to be a fan of heavy metal and for me personally, glam rock was just another one of those things that resonated with me. How could you not enjoy the likes of Danger Danger, LA Guns or Faster Pussycat?
Once Nirvana rolled around we knew it was the beginning of the end and even Mother Love Bone couldn’t save us. It was sad and gloomy days. Sure, Bon Jovi kept the faith and Motley Crue still walked on the wild side, but those lesser known overlooked groups of teased hair and spandex were fading into obscurity. Fast forward around 15 years and LA’s own Steel Panther begin shaking things up with their own parody of the long lost days of hair metal. From playing a Monday night residency on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip to packed houses, it wasn’t long before someone was going to sign them up and send them to the grandest stages across the world including the Sidney Myer Music Bowl right here in Melbourne.
Kicking off the night’s antics was metal rockers, Fozzy, fronted by the World Wrestling Entertainment’s first Undisputed Champion, the ayatollah of rock n rolla, Chris Jericho. It’s been a great ride watching these guys come up through the years and having toured Australia a few times now, they just get better and better with each show. Jericho’s high amounts of energy matched Rich Ward’s flawless guitar noodling. They were a great band to open the night’s events and you could tell they were having the time of their life up there.
Buckcherry followed and kicked things off with their smash hit, Lit Up, working the crowd into the right mode for what was to follow. Their brand of hard rock seemed lost on the younger generation of fans who appeared unsure of how to take Buckcherry and if they were a new band. Vocalist Josh Todd must have sensed this and reminded the audience that they’ve been around for quite some time now (even longer than Steel Panther’s first incarnation as Metal Shop) and have released six albums. I like Buckcherry but on this seemed I to be one of a minority as they seemed to fall on deaf ears. Finishing with Crazy Bitch, the band left the stage and were unfortunately quickly forgotten once the headliners took to the stage.
As the band’s intro video played showing them partying backstage with a bunch of naked pornstars, it was a sign that this show was going to be anything but politically correct. Ripping straight into Eyes Of A Panther, they were on fire and it was like 1985 all over again. Big hair, spandex and flashy guitars, they delivered it all. The screen playing behind the band was filled with hilarious and sometimes quite graphic images to coincide with the lyrics of certain songs and you can just imagine what was playing during Asian Hooker. Whilst it was censored, it didn’t leave anything to the imagination. Their popular anthem, Death To All But Metal, had possibly the funniest video playing during it that if you weren’t laughing at the stage moves, you were laughing at what was on screen. Quite ingenius. Whether they were busting out perverted classics like It Won’t Suck Itself or Turn Out The Lights, or even rockin’ new songs Glory Hole and Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World, there is one thing that it all has in common and that is simply ‘fun’. Oh, and Just Like Tiger Woods is still one of the greatest glam rock tunes to have ever been penned by any band of the genre, ever. Yeah, I said it.
Steel Panther is good time party music. Sure, it’s not for everyone and I get that, but for me, I grew up in a time of hair metal and these guys are taking the piss right out of the attitudes and the idiom of that era. But seriously, if you look past the perverted lyrics and political incorrectness and just take it for what it is, those songs are well written, well played and capture the spirit and essence of ’80s heavy metal. It’s obviously not easy to do, especially when you look at what some other bands that started in the same genre have been releasing over the last 20 years. Sure, I’ll take Steel Panther any day.
This night was an all up great show that was filled with good times and no hassles. Two thumbs up. Now, where’s my copy of Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry?