|» Steel Panther 2014 02 16||
With around 1200 tickets sold in advance, the venue Münchenbryggeriet (The Munich Brewery) was near, or even, sold out. The place was pretty packed by determined and excited fans, there to welcome the badass Americans and brazen jokesters of Steel Panther, who absolutely fears nothing in terms of lyrics about the arts of sex, fucking and all that comes around those words, negative or positive. The crowd's numerous capacity came clear when I tried to leave the venue right after the show, as it probably took me 15 minutes just to get out from there. C'mon, I didn't leave my jacket at home for no reason. There was only one way out, leading through a narrow stairway and everybody had to initially follow the line to where people pick up their clothing.
Steel Panther is like no other band and I don't even know if I should write a review about comedy or music. The night was still young when the lights dimmed at 8.10 and Iron Maiden's The Number Of The Beast came out of the amplifiers and personally I have nothing against gigs starting early. The band enters one by one to the last tones of this song and also to a roaring crowd on this Sunday night in Stockholm, Sweden, who expected nothing more than a completely dirty and foul-mouthed event from the glam rockers on stage.
Just over 90 minutes later, a major share of the crowd has sung along to the band's simple, catchy and nasty lyrics with an enjoyable attitude. The people has seen main man and guitarist Satchel talking to the crowd for long periods between the songs in some kind of juvenile dialogue with lead vocalist Michael Starr, who takes his fair share of obscenities and insults. Bass player Lexxi Foxx occasionally finds himself in focus, but drummer Stix Zadinia rarely gets any moments in the spotlight on this matter. This is a well staged theater, although the words don't come out precise in every moment. You can feel that most of the structure is rehearsed in some way, although the choice of words differs from time to time.
When this outfit is debated, a not too uncommon way of thinking is that they rely totally on the words and that they aren't especially good at what they perform musically. Nothing could be more wrong. This is a bunch of well experienced musicians who has found a way to approach success and Starr's voice is working close to flawless through the entire show. The band's new album All You Can Eat will be released in about 6 weeks and therefore we are only presented 3 songs off that effort. With 6 songs each off Feel The Steel and Balls Out respectively, they perform a balanced set with around two thirds of music and one third of trash-talk and other activities. I reckon that's what their fans are looking for when they enter a venue for a Steel Panther show.
Unsurprisingly, the band eventually invites a group of young girls up on stage. All for show, yet this section is probably most valuable for the girls themselves. Even if I don't mind staring for a while, this treat lasts for 3 full songs and the gig loses its momentum. The band is simply not given enough room to perform 3 of its absolute best songs, Gold Digging Whore, It Won't Suck Itself and Death To All But Metal, in a proper manner. The band and the girls get off the stage together and when the band members return for encores, they can't reignite and reach the initial atmosphere that was evident all throughout the first hour. In the end it also turns out a little repetitive and the major part of the songs are somewhat similar. In my sober point of view, this was a good show, but nothing extraordinary. If you ask the confirmed fans however, they will probably say that Steel Panther totally destroyed Stockholm tonight.
As a Stockholm native, I just have to mention an enjoyable thing. Starr
told us that last night they played
(long pause before someone helps
him out with the city's name, Gothenburg). The crowd naturally boos and
Starr says "I know, that's why I forgot the fuckin' name".
Performance: 6 chalices