As I arrived at the Guildhall, I was greeted by the sight of dozens of chubby men in their thirties wearing purple leopard print leggings and hairmetal wigs. I figured this night would be nothing if not entertaining. I remember finding Steel Panther’s first album Feel the Steel very funny a few years ago, I heard four guys who were seriously into their eighties-style metal but who appreciated the ridiculousness of the genre and had a bit of fun with that. As I picked up bits from the conversations amongst the crowd however, I started to fear that either I or they had slightly misinterpreted the band. They did not seem to have any sense of humour and appeared to be taking the band’s ‘opinions’ on drugs, women and generally being a douchebag as gospel. I really, really wanted Steel Panther to confirm that they were just joking…
But first on were Falling Red. The band’s biography reveals that they are from North England, yet their lead singer had a rather obnoxious American accent apparently intended to give them a 1980s LA vibe. Ignoring the ridiculousness of this for a second, Falling Red definitely had some decent songs. They are obviously skilled musicians, and fans of say, Motley Crue would certainly enjoy them.
After receiving some indecent proposals from more guys in spandex trousers (do not go to a Steel Panther gig on your own when you’re a girl…) it was finally time for the main act. The show started with ‘live footage’ from Steel Panther’s dressing room on a big screen, showing them playing strip-battleship with girls in their underwear. This was quite funny. I had good hopes for the actual gig. The band opened with ‘Supersonic Sex Machine’, by all means a strong and entertaining song, followed by equally fun party-anthem ‘Tomorrow Night’. It is immediately clear that musically this band is really as good as they come, which is why it is a shame that after just two songs it is time for their first ‘comedy’ interval. Their idea of humour is just to say really gross things all the time, and it seems like most of the audience agrees. The anecdote of how guitarist Satchel’s mum takes out her fake teeth before giving the rest of the band oral sex is painfully unfunny, as is to be honest 90% of what they say, but it isn’t until they make the entire audience scream at a clearly underage girl to show her boobs that I give up on this band. Songs like ‘Community Property’ and ‘Party All Day (Fuck All Night)’ really are funny, and the epic minutes-long guitar solo shows that Satchel is a force to reckoned with when it comes to high-speed shredding, which is why it is extra disappointing that they feel the need to point out a girl and say that ‘her pussy is probably so big we can all fuck her at the same time’. Surely a band that once rhymed ‘South-Korea’ with ‘gonorrhea’ really doesn’t need this.
In the end, this gig mostly showed how much fun Steel Panther COULD have been, if they hadn’t decided to devote half of the time they’re on stage to making stupid non-jokes. If you want to see a band that is even better musically and manages to be funny without being complete jerks all the time, get tickets for The Darkness’ upcoming tour.