Editor Note: Details in this review does contain content and language for adults 18 years and older only and may be offensive to some. Reader discretion is advised.
Any time Steel Panther comes to Orlando, it always ends up being a great show. Last year when I covered their show for DreadMusicReview.com, the show was fun, entertaining, full of laughs, and just an overall great time. When I heard they were returning this summer, I had no intentions of missing the show. Held once again at The Plaza Live, there was a noticeable difference between last year’s show and this one; this night was a sold out crowd. It was the first time Steel Panther sold out a show in Orlando and half the crowd was decked out in 80s glam metal clothes. Women had their hair teased out or poofed up high with spandex and boots. Men wore their favorite 80s rock band or Steel Panther shirt with ripped jeans and boots. The crowd was excited to see them as was I.
Opening for Steel Panther was the Orlando local band Maybe If You Hit It. The Orlando rock band has been around since 2010 and has shared the stage with Eve To Adam, Ratt, and even played the acoustic stage at Earthday Birthday XX. Though many of my friends knew them, I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of them before that evening. The band consists of Barton Hill (vocals), Brian Kizer (guitar), Wally Harper (guitar), Paul Ziccardi (bass), Paul Ziccardi (bass), and guest Chris Lane (drums) who also is the drummer for A Brilliant Lie and Meka Nism. When they came out on stage to roaring guitar chords, they seemed like your standard rock band, until I noticed Wally’s blonde hair and sensed something was up. The band opened with “Devil’s Playground” from their album ‘The Party Inside’. A hard hitting rock with great energy had the crowd starting to take notice. Some people were screaming and cheering off the bat already familiar with their music. And right towards the end of the song, Wally’s blonde hair fell off. He laughed, grabbed it, and tossed it into the crowd showing off his bald head. I started to laugh and from there I knew this would be a fun night.
They followed it up with “Reckless Until The End” also from ‘The Party Inside’. A very solid tune where Barton’s vocals shine. The band was very active on stage moving around, pointing their guitars upwards and playing hard, Paul one-handed bass playing, Chris rocking it out as usual behind the drums (the man is a machine behind the drumset!), and Barton even throwing in some kicks during the performance! The longer they played, the more the crowd was getting behind them. A blonde woman, who we learned was named Sunny, came up on stage during their set and helped throw out some free merch to the crowd. She stayed on stage, dancing and grooving for a song. She definitely grabbed the crowd’s attention. the more I watched and listened, the more I was liking their music. They were hard rocking, engaging the crowd, and then introduced a song called “Throw Out The Sheets” that Barton said was about squirters. I couldn’t help but laugh. And when he asked “Do we have any squirters out there?” a fair number of women held up their hands and cheered. The band closed their set that night with “Texas Swagger”, which is the title track of their EP. Maybe If You Hit It was the perfect band to open up for Steel Panther’s Orlando stop and I’m sure they gained a bunch of fans that night.
And now everyone was waiting with anticipation for Steel Panther to hit the stage. The band formed back in 2000 performed a weekly show at The Viper Room under the name of Metal Skool. The band gave crowds a comedic musical performance of 80s cover tunes while poking fun at the bands they covered. The band decided to release their own original songs with their first album ‘Hole Patrol’ back in 2003. They changed their name to Steel Panther in April 2008 and was signed to Republic Records. They released their first album as Steel Panther titled ‘Feel the Steel’ in June 2009. Their excellent music and raunchy lyrics were an immediate hit. They followed up with ‘Balls Out’ in October 2011, which was another success. The band found themselves playing on tours for bands such as Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, and Motley Crue. ‘All You Can Eat’ was released in April 2014. The band has been touring over the past year for ‘Lower the Bar’, which was released on March 24, 2017. Steel Panther is Michael Starr (vocals), Satchel (guitar), Lexxi Foxx (bass), and Stix Zadinia (drums).
They came out rocking right away to “Eyes of the Panther” from ‘Feel The Steel’. The band wasted no time coming out of the chute hard and fast with this awesome song. The crowd was completely behind them singing along. Satchel and Lexi were throwing kicks center stage together while Michael was hitting some great high notes that night. I noticed Michael was wearing their latest t-shirt that has the Pussy Melter guitar pedal on it. Satchel had the guitar pedal in its pink glory on stage that night. They jumped right into “Goin’ In The Backdoor” from ‘Lower The Bar’. It was a great start to what was going to be a phenomenal show.
Right after their second song, the band stops for a little intermission to introduce themselves. I remember this from their last show and their improv is never the same. Michael was playing around with the photographers blocking the lens with his hand and picking up a fan on stage and blowing it over all of us. Satchel, when referring to Michael, said “…this is a man still playing like he’s in his mid-60s”, which got a huge laugh. He also said if they really got the crowd rocking they were promised an extra six-pack of Diet Coke. Satchel said that Orlando was the greatest city in the world and Lexi jumped in replying, “You said Tampa Bay was favorite…” with Satchel firing back “Shut up asshole.” The crowd was roaring in laughter, the photographers were laughing just as hard, and the band was on stage smiling. Lexi showed us his impression of Joan Crawford dead while Stix did his best impression of Rick Allen from Def Leppard catching a drumstick with his left hand. The jokes are crude and rude and definitely not for everyone. Though, this crowd was eating it up alive.
One thing Michael pointed out was the name of this tour Sunset Strip Live. Steel Panther was taking this tour back to their old days in the Viper Room and would perform cover tunes that night. They kicked that off with an amazing version of “Jump” by Van Halen. I absolutely understood why they did so well as Metal Skool back then. Though during the first set of kicks Satchel and Lexi were doing, Lexi took a kick in the crotch which Satchel apologized by a high five. And Satchel absolutely blew away that guitar solo in “Jump”.
They followed up with “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows) and “Poontag Boomerang” before jumping back into covers with “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks. Michael invited Sunny onto the stage to dance. She showed off her tight underwear that read “Tip Me” on the back along with her alien head pasties over her nipples. They followed that with “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne with Michael dressed as Ozzy being guided on stage by a stagehand. He mimicked him so well and even yelling out “Sharon!” during the song. It was hilarious! And then Satchel went into his infamous guitar solo while making the Shocker hand gesture at women in the crowd and his tongue between two fingers. The man’s guitar skills are unreal! And like the last time they were here, he got up on the drumset to play and started using the bass drum pedal to provide his own drumbeat for his guitar solo. Wow. Just wow.
And then comes one of my favorite parts when they serenade one of the ladies from the crowd on stage. This lovely blonde named, Paulina, was brought up as each of the band members made a song for her. Lexi even did one though he said he wouldn’t. And then they sang to her “Girl From Oklahoma” from ‘Feel The Steel’. Afterward, the band invited as many of the women from the audience as they could on stage. Many of the women were hesitant at first and Michael and Satchel even called the women out on it telling them to get up there as they referred to Orlando as Whorelando. Once they were satisfied with the number of women on stage they performed “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi and then followed it up with “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard, which is probably the most perfect song for them. I was pleased to get permission to get photos of the women on stage with Steel Panther. The ladies stayed on stage through “Gloryhole” from ‘All You Can Eat’ before being escorted off stage. They wrapped up their set with my all-time favorite “Community Property” and “Death To All But Metal” before walking off stage. The band came back and encored with “Party All Day (Fuck All Night)”.
Once again Steel Panther absolutely rocked The Plaza Live to an energetic and ecstatic crowd. They are one of my favorite bands to see live and I look forward to the opportunity to see them again. Don’t miss Steel Panther: Sunset Strip Live. It is absolutely worth seeing.