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Steel Panther’s Spooky Strip Live

Trick? or Treat?

Steel Panther brought their unapologetically lewd brand of comedy metal to The Fillmore Charlotte on Sunday, October 28. It was the last of four Halloween themed shows, dubbed Spooky Strip Live, in the midst of their current North American tour.

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I’ve covered plenty of comedic and parody acts before, with varying ratios of emphasis on the comedy versus the musical parts, but it was my first experience with Steel Panther. How would they compare? Would it be like scoring a full sized candy bar while trick or treating? Or dental floss?

The Wild! - 20

Opening was Canadian outfit The Wild! If you’re bold enough to include an exclamation point in your name, you best be able to deliver and suitably they did.

The Wild! - 09

The band really invokes an earlier era. Rowdy, raucous, and rooted solidly in the blues. A little rough around the edges, but never sloppy.  

The Wild! - 10

Vocalist/guitarist Dylan Villain has a higher pitched voice that reminded me of Bon Scott. So probably not coincidence they chose to include a cover of AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood.”

The Wild! - 11

Just straight ahead rock’n’roll with no filler.

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If you’ve even considered attending a Steel Panther performance, you probably know exactly what you’re in for.

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For the uninitiated, Steel Panther hearken back to the 80s with a completely over the top style of hair and glam metal. All the excesses of those styles, big hair, makeup, and spandex mixed with the most non-politically correct lyrics and show you can possibly imagine. Perhaps more than you can imagine. All done for comedic effect. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll taken to the logical extreme and beyond.

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The fans certainly knew what to expect with many showing up in wigs and leopard print. See more fan shots over on our facebook page!Spooky Strip Live - 04

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 The band played a mix of their hits, like “Poontang Boomerang” and “Death to All but Metal” and covers. Singer Michael Starr doing a spot-on impersonation of David Lee Roth and Ozzy on “Jump” and “Crazy Train.”

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Interspersed with the actual music, the band spent time bonding with the audience. By bonding, I mean heckling the crowd, each other, and making the most profane jokes imaginable.

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You’d think making a crack about fucking your grandmother would be tasteless at best, but somehow they manage to pull it off. No stereotype was off limits. Bassist Lexxi Foxx seemed to bear the brunt of the jibes, but was unperturbed. Or perhaps just too busy fixing his or hair or makeup to notice.

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At about the halfway point, guitarist Satchel played an extended solo medley of classic metal riffs and an instrumental version of “Do-Re-Mi.” After that it was acoustic time, inviting two female fans on stage and serenading them with “Girl From Oklahoma.”

Steel Panther - 03

One willingly flashing the audience, the other deferred on the grounds that she was nursing. Of course, this only prompted the band to encourage her to lactate on stage, which she declined, and though the band continued to prod her to do so, thankfully they backed off just before it started to become uncomfortable.

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She seemed to take it in stride and remained on stage as all more women were welcomed on stage, dancing and singing along as the set wound to a conclusion.

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Overall, a highly entertaining and hilarious performance. It’s clear the members of Steel Panther have the musical chops, but would hair metal sell now without the schtick to go along with it?

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In lesser hands, their persona would quickly become objectionable, but I found them too ludicrous, too over-the-top to take seriously, musicianship aside.

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Like Spinal Tap before them, they may play the part of buffoonish oafs, but it’s been turned up to 11. Were they break character even briefly, the whole act would tumble like a house of cards, but I think they’re well aware of the risk.

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It certainly helps that their followers are in on the joke. In fact, being singled out for abuse seems to be a mark of pride amongst their devotees.

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If you’ve read this far, and haven’t turned away in disgust, then make sure to check out Steel Panther next time they’re in your neighborhood. Just hide your daughters, and possibly pets, before doing so.

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See full gallery of the night here!

Remaining tour dates:

Date Venue City
Nov 03 Tecate Mother of All Rock Festival Monterrey, Mexico
Nov 29 House of Blues Chicago Chicago, IL
Nov 30 20 Monroe Live Grand Rapids, MI
Dec 01 Kewadin Casinos Sault Ste. Marie, MI
Dec 02 The Fillmore Detroit Detroit, MI
Dec 04 House of Blues Cleveland Cleveland, OH
Dec 06 Egyptian Room at Old National Center Indianapolis, IN
Dec 07 JJO Yellow Snow Ball Madison, WI
Dec 08 Piere’s Entertainment Center Fort Wayne, IN
Dec 09 The Pageant St. Louis, MO
Dec 31 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR

Once an aspiring male model, Kevin quickly realized he had a face that was better suited to being behind the camera. When he's not at a concert, he can often be found at sci-fi conventions or preparing for the coming zombie apocalypse.

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