steel panther

Steel Panther + Winger @ o2 Academy, 18th May 2023

If you’re easily offended and didn’t like the 80’s, Steel Panther probably aren’t for you. If you’re up for a nostalgic dose of hair metal, un-PC jokes and excess, then you’re in for a good night!

Steel Panther

80s/90s band Winger opened tonight’s show, compiled of all original members after several line-up changes through their career. Winger’s sound compliments Panther well, and the venue was full in time for their set. If you don’t think you’ve heard of them, they have two platinum albums – Winger and In the Heart of the Young – and are best known for singles ‘Seventeen’, ‘Headed for a Heartbreak’ and ‘Miles Away’. In terms of sound think bands like Whitesnake and Def Leppard. Unfortunately for Winger they lost momentum after their second album, and faded in popularity as the 90s progressed.

Steel Panther

Captivating, LA-based Steel Panther are touring their new album Out On The Prowl. Tonight we get three songs from it – ‘1987’, ‘Friends With Benefits’ and ‘Ain’t Dead Yet’ – but most of the set is compiled of hits from their first album Feel The Steel.

The band opened with ‘Eyes of a Panther’ followed by ‘Let Me Cum In’ from second album Balls Out. They were joined by an “Asian hooker” for ‘Asian Hooker’ and a young female fan for ‘Girl From Oklahoma’, who didn’t seem at all fazed by a bunch of men at least four times her age singing profanities at her for an extended period of time.

Steel Panther

As usual, Steel Panther were larger than life, highly crude and obsessed with tits. Some of the material could have been fresher, in that they’re recycling the same comedy routines from 10 years ago. However, they’ve even incorporated that into the routine: “This is definitely new material, not the same show we did last time” laughed singer Michael Starr. There are jokes about sex, drugs and more sex, hilarious domestics between members, and a roadie pretending to teach Stix how to hold his sticks.

The band came with a full height backdrop showcasing the artwork from their new album, and dressed to the nines in their trademark glam gear. Today this included sequins and leather for singer Michael Starr, and a neon, leopard-print guitar for Satchel. At the end of the main show, the stage was filled with women who were invited to join the band for ‘Party All Day (Fuck All Night)’ and ‘Community Property’.

Steel Panther

Musically the band are all excellent and aren’t using the comedy to mask any flaws in their talent. Satchel can shred like the best of them, and the harmonies in songs like ‘Ain’t Dead Yet’ were totally on point.

Steel Panther Setlist

  1. Eyes of a Panther
  2. Let Me Cum In
  3. Asian Hooker
  4. All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)
  5. The Burden of Being Wonderful
  6. Friends With Benefits
  7. Death to All but Metal
  8. 1987
  9. Ain’t Dead Yet
  10. Impromptu Song for a Girl
  11. Girl From Oklahoma
  12. Party All Day (Fuck All Night)
  13. Community Property
  14. Gloryhole

Review: Chrissie Duxson

Photographs: Chris Bowley

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