The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




11 OCTOBER 2012




Supersonic Sex Machine
Tomorrow Night
Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
 Asian Hooker
If You Really, Really Love Me
Just Like Tiger Woods
Guitar Solo
Turn Out the Lights
The Shocker
It Won't Suck Itself
Girl From Oklahoma
Party All Day (F**k All Night)
Death to All but Metal


Community Property
Eyes of a Panther
17 Girls in a Row




As a Panther veteran with seven tours of duty under his belt I can honestly say that there are few shows you look forward to more than the Panther, for a fun night of carefree rock and roll.




Steel Panther may come across as a car crash between a Vegas show and back in the day Sunset Strip Metal but that’s largely the point, and thankfully it’s also a chance to leave that most damaging aspect of modern life – political correctness firmly outside the door.



Opening act ‘The Art’ aren’t really that bad, just misplaced and the vast majority of the crowd know that.  They purvey a sort of sleazy art rock with a definite punk vibe and a sleazy heart. The singer looks the part at least- leather clad, with pointy boots and a Les Paul strapped on. It’s pretty obvious he wants to be Jim Morrison, albeit with eighties rock hair. The songs are OK but far more Alt-rock noise than Sunset Strip swagger and from the off the crowd looks rather nonplussed and there are a free with their fingers. Sadly no one really came for this and even the kids didn't expect it, though to be fair with a certain amount of cajoling they build up a respectable degree of appreciation, even though the singer’s voice is clearly gone, which may mean we are being a little harsh in our judgement.




Four songs in we get a megaphone that proves the Jim fetish theory right, and towards the end we realise that the female bassist probably wants to be the bassist of the Smashing Pumpkins. There are livelier moments – such as ‘Dirty Girl’ but still the overall impression is that they could have been placed on a more suitable bill. A drum solo turns out to be the highlight and if you are left wondering if they might be a little pretentious they thank the audience for ‘making them warm’; (It is hot in here but surely that is some kind of post-modern irony?)  and add “We are The Art: stay in tune with us’ for good measure…



As they leave the stage we glance around the crowd: it’s obvious that there may be lots more guys in wigs here than even in Sydney’s Oxford street on a Saturday night but like in a totally non gay way dude…




After a decent intro tape the lights go out, and the crowd makes some noise as Stix takes the stage followed by Satchel then the rest of the band. 




The set is pretty lean and well rehearsed with the standard set-ups and punch-lines and liberally sprinkled with the ‘p’ word. But it’s also great music and fun from the off. The opening barrage of “Supersonic Sex Machine”; “Tomorrow Night” and “Fat Girl” fly by in a moment, laden with single entendre, innuendo and band intros. The crowd know every word.




Whilst tonight’s sell-out crowd has its fair share of Motley and Poison shirts, it’s interesting that there is a sprinkling of Death Metal in there too, as well as one girl we spot in a Sea Hags shirt (now there’s a blast from the past).  It’s also great to see that the crowd contains a high percentage of females, just like ‘Hair Metal’ shows used to have in the old days. The crowd shouts along and gyrates to “Asian Hooker”, and a heartfelt “Just Like Tiger Woods” slows the mood down long enough for some more cock gags, and the first bra hits the stage, followed by the first ‘boobies’ of the night, which make their way on stage, followed by a miniature blow-up doll, which receives the Mike Starr treatment before being punted back into the crowd.




There’s still time for some ‘my side of the stage is louder than yours’ shenanigans and a mini-Slayer pastiche after Michael Starr proclaims ‘if it was any more tense in here we’d be Slayer’. There’s also some great career advice: ‘Why get a job when there’s chicks out there to support you’ and a word of caution ‘Don't fall asleep in a pool of your own sperm.’




After some more onstage banter Satchel is left alone for his solo and you can’t deny the man can wail! He starts off all Eddie Van Halen, before throwing in a few snatches of standards like ‘Hell bent for leather’; ‘Sweet Child of Mine’; ‘Iron Man’; ‘Paranoid’ and even the ‘Sound of Music’s ‘Do a Deer’ all on the back of a Speed Metal extract of ‘Flight of a Bumblebee’.




And after that taster and thanks from Michael Starr for making the new DVD number one in Australia it’s back to the sing-along Panther love fest. “Turn out the Lights” and the Van Halen-like “Shocker” are swallowed up by the crowd before the delicate subtleties of ‘It Won’t Suck Itself’. Then it’s time for the traditional ‘get the girls onstage’ routine for the Panther “Girl from Oklahoma” and Perth does itself proud with the girls from the Voodoo Lounge Strip Club and selected audience members putting on quite a show.




And then the night starts to draw to a close: after a high octane pairing of “Party All Day (F**k all Night)” and “Death to all But Metal” with the girls still gyrating, you feel that this has to be the wildest night of the tour. Perth has done you proud Steel Panther in the sleaziest way possible.




Thankfully there’s still a nice long encore to come: we wind down for the touching ballad “Community Property” before catching a double-dose with “Eyes of a Panther” and “17 Girls in a Row” which have to be two of the best The Panther has in its armoury. And let’s just say the finale was the icing on the cake!




For a great night out you can’t do a lot better than catch the Panther, and even if, like me, you’ve seen it all before it really doesn’t get old.



I still keep remembering bits and pieces from the night – like when Satchel played an acoustic ‘Number of the Beast’ and ‘Run to the Hills’ then had an imaginary conversation with Bruce Dickinson who warned him not to play his songs ‘gay’ again… and that’s I guess part of the enduring appeal of Steel Panther: great music, bad jokes and leave your PC at the door.




Words and Images by Mark Diggins