About a year ago, I had the pleasure of shooting STEEL PANTHER at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey, which I can easily say was one of my favorite concert experiences. I knew that the moment I got the chance to see them again, it would be just as incredible, if not more-so, and it certainly was this time around at Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. Still going strong on their All You Can Eat Tour I knew what to expect, as the lights went down and Van Halen’s “Runnin’ With the Devil” came on. It was an explosion of light and sound as the band began “Pussywhipped,” followed by “Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World.”
Something that’s admirable about the band is how they’ve come up with this tradition of pausing after their second song, to stop and take a few moments to talk to the audience and crack a LOT of jokes. They continually brought up how amazing it was to be in Bethlehem, PA where “Baby Jesus was born, and without Jesus we wouldn’t have lipstick and spandex pants.” They then began to introduce each member of the band, giving each other credit and making fun of each other, including calling Michael Starr, lead vocalist, a fat version of Bret Michaels. Lead guitarist Satchel commented about how lucky he was because all the hot girls were on his side of the stage, rather than Lexxi Foxx’s, and continued to make fun of the bassist by saying that Lexxi did not play bass on the records, but instead he did.
The band introduced what they called their “latest upgrades” being their matching guitars and drums, claiming they skinned “real cheetahs” to make them. Michael Starr finally introduced their drummer Stix Zadinia, having the audience chant his name, causing a drum solo that then led into “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows).” Satchel followed up with one of his absolutely amazing and lengthy guitar solos, with the band’s hit song “Ten Strikes You’re Out” right after. Other hits “Kanye” and “Weenie Ride” ended the night with an eruption of cheers and screams…and a ton of women flashing their breasts.
STEEL PANTHER is a must see for any 80’s hair metal fanatic like myself who can appreciate the complete insanity of this band’s stage antics. As a professional and as a fan, they are without a doubt one of the most interesting and unique concert experiences I have ever had and I look forward to seeing them once more the next time they come around.
LIVE WORDS AND PHOTOS: SINISTER PHOENIX