We could say Steel Panther brought the house down here in Adelaide on Tuesday.
We could say there’s never been that much cheap n’ dirty, but oh-so-good entertainment in the one building since the Crazy Horse opened on Hindley Street.
We could also say there was a bigger display of tit at the show than there is on the average night in the maternity ward of the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
But if you know Steel Panther and have been lucky enough to witness one of their performances, then you already know they’re more than capable of blowing the socks (or shirts, hair and clothing in general – whatever takes their fancy) off their fans time and time again. Their show at Thebby was nothing short of this, the band sparing no expense for their stage set-up with more glam than Dee Snider’s eyeshadow and enough lights to illuminate the whole theatre, making a dizzying and visibly pleasurable night for all.
Kicking off the fun experience were glamorous experimental four-piece, The Art. With international tours and supports for many accomplished bands (Marilyn Manson, Thirty Seconds to Mars and The Pixies to name a few) and a whirlwind stay in the United States from their early years under their studded belts, these East Coast musicians have gone from strength to strength. Bringing that energy to Adelaide, they delivered a solid performance full of leather, sweat and raw tunes from their angry anthem, I Wanna Know to more melodic tracks like Homesick and the self titled ‘love song ballad’, Dirty Girl. The Art have got making their presence felt in the industry down to a fine art and despite setbacks with sound and their lust for touring overseas, this rock ‘n roll outfit and their ballsy attitude will be here to stay.
But foreplay and The Art’s support aside, we were prepped and ready for the smoke and mirrors set-up (no, literally – with mirrors on the sides of the stage, and smoke machines blowing harder than a Panther groupie, you know you’re in for a glam treat). The wait between bands flew until the lights were down once more and the headliners burst onto the stage, adorned in colourful uniforms of leather, glitter, bandanas and spandex that made them look larger than life. They leaped straight into their set with frontman Michael Starr quickly combating the brightness by borrowing a pair of shades from a fan, dancing and jacking his way through their first song Supersonic Sex Machine.
After each member gave another an imaginative introduction, Steel Panther touched up smudged make-up and out of place hairs, crossing priorities off the must-do list for a show before flirting and riling up one another and the ladies. For their troubles, they received full displays of Aussie skin from their female fans. They broke into Fat Girl (Thar She Blows), Asian Hooker (complete with accents and eye gestures) and If You Really, Really Love Me. Showing the rockers just how much they really, really loved them, several girls fought their way to and on the stage throughout the night, sashaying to the groovy riffs and crooning vocals of Party All Day (Fuck All Night) and Death to All But Metal. With several wardrobe changes and a switch of lights and background banner during their set, Steel Panther’s partying lifestyle shone through in every song. Determined to have one big party with their Adelaide fans, the band were the gift that just kept giving. Equally determined not to be outdone by their backdrop or frontman, guitarist Satchel dove into an impressive guitar solo that included snippets of old classics like Metallica’s Battery and Black Sabbath’s Iron Man, while drummer Stix literally passed the sticks over to a fan halfway during their set for another remarkable solo and a cover of Van Halen's Hot For Teacher with the band. Returning to the stage for the last leg of their show after a slight break and encore chant, Steel Panther went out on a high with Community Property and 17 Girls in a Row, thanking fans for their musical success and leaving everyone feeling good and satisfied – just the way they like it.
For one of the top fifty heavy metal bands to ever perform in Adelaide, who’ve toured under several banners for over thirty years to date, it was a memorable performance from Steel Panther who by all accounts, are still just as sleek and sensational as they were from their Metal Skool days of the 80’s.
Review by Rebecca Grant
Photos by Melissa Donato. View full gallery here