It was 1986 all over again Wednesday, April 27, at The Tabernacle as the comedic, glam-metal tribute band Steel Panther stopped in Atlanta on their “All You Can Eat” US tour. Lead singer Michael Starr, guitarist Satchel, bassist Lexxi Foxx and drummer Stix Zadinia have built quite a cult following in their years together as a band, and their performances seem more like a gathering of friends than a traditional rock concert.
The general idea is that Steel Panther mixes raunchy humor and songs about sex acts and drugs with 80s-inspired “hair metal,” all to poke fun at how indulgent, cliche and over the top the music scene got back in the late 80s before Nirvana sent everyone packing. I myself was and still am a fan of many of those bands, so I guess I can appreciate Steel Panther’s tongue in cheek take on the scene.
I saw the band a few years ago, and since then not much has changed with their live set. Was it fun? Yes. Did they sound great? Yes. Did they perform well? Yes. Did they tell penis jokes and make fun of people in the audience? Yes. But now in their 8th year as Steel Panther, I guess I was hoping for something a little different. Here’s an example: the band has just released an all-acoustic live record called Live from Lexxi’s Mom’s Garage. Why not add a three or four song acoustic set in the middle of the show to promote the new album? Sure, they performed their acoustic song “Girl From Oklahoma,” but why not keep going? You know, have a sing-along with the audience, like they used to do years ago at The Viper Room in Los Angeles when they were known as Metal Skool. Sadly, it was basically the same show that I saw three years ago. But, like a good fart joke, even though you’ve heard it a million times it’s still pretty entertaining.
All of the band’s most popular songs were there, including my personal favorite, “Just Like Tiger Woods.” “Party Like Tomorrow Is The End Of The World” should probably be the band’s theme song, because it sums up their vibe and the late 80s better than any other song in their catalog. “Girl From Oklahoma” started another long-lasting trend for the band’s live shows: inviting 20 to 30 of the ladies in the audience up on stage to dance, sing and flash body parts as the band performs.
So overall, a fun and entertaining night of adult humor and rock and roll.