On a rainy night I made my way up to Philly for a night of killer heavy metal with the one and only STEEL PANTHER! The sold out show was at the TLA and also featured CROBOT as direct support, so there was something for everyone. With John Buczek who shoots bands for, and runs MetalheadShots.com at the helm…errrr, lens, all signs pointed to a super-fun evening. The place was packed, which is great for the bands, but the older I get the more I hate big crowds. Plus, full discloshe?? The drunks were out in droves. More on that later…
By the time I got to the venue CROBOT was in full swing and whipping the crowd up nicely. Songs like “Skull of Geronimo”, “Burn”, “Gasoline”, and “Drown” were made even better by vocalist Brandon Yeagley’s powerhouse singing. And to call his stage presence as a frontman “enthusiastic” is simply not doing the performance justice. The cheers rained down on them from every corner of the club. This band really impressed me with their live show, and I can’t wait to see them again.
STEEL PANTHER hit the stage at 9 p.m. and it was full throttle from the door. “Eyes of a Panther” and “Let Me Cum In” made a great double shot to start us off, then “All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)” from new album Heavy Metal Rules brought the house down. And then it happened. This loud, drunkass older lady stumbled down the stairs right in front of me, spilling beer all over the floor. Then she decided to stand right next to me and ask me questions in a slurred voice like, “Ssshoooo what’s the deal with these guys?” and, “People like this? I don’t get it.” I responded with, “Well the show’s sold out so I think they’re doing pretty well,” hoping that would be the end of it. It wasn’t…
As the guys rocked “Asian Hooker” dis bish became more vocal in her displeasure. “These guys are fuckin’ poseurs. I’d rather hear RATT, DOKKEN, or MOTLEY CRUE!!” I couldn’t resist. “Have you SEEN/HEARD MOTLEY live? They have sucked since before the year 2000. And Don Dokken is singing octaves lower than before!!”, I said. She had the balls to hit me with, “This shit sucks. The fact that you like this shit is embarrassing!” I turned and said, “Don’t worry, honey. You’re embarrassing enough for the both of us. Have a great night,” which made the two guys behind me laugh their asses off.
Once this was behind me it was back to business, and waitaminnit-hold-the-phone, Yeagley and guitarist Chris Bishop from CROBOT were onstage jamming “You Really Got Me” with the PANTHER guys!! This is the kind of stuff I love. “Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of The World” and “Poontang Boomerang” from All You Can Eat and Lower the Bar respectively were up next, and everything was sounding awesome. Singer Michael Starr, guitarist Satchel, bassist Lexxi Foxx, and drummer Stix Zadinia were a well-oiled machine and the crowd was going wild, Cuz!!
The best moment of the show for me was hearing the boys do acoustic number “I Ain’t Buying What You’re Selling,” also from the new album. This is easily a Top 5 Song of the Year for me, so getting to experience them play it live was really, really fucking cool. Starr’s delivery was perfect, and the track totally made my night. “Fuck Everybody” was a great anthem for how I was feeling that day, too! “Community Property”, “Death to All But Metal”, and encore “Gloryhole” rounded out the show with an awesome metal trifecta that had the fans going nuts, and this guy grinning from ear to ear.
All told this was a great night. I love STEEL PANTHER, and I have yet to be unimpressed when seeing them live. The evening had it all: a packed house, kickass heavy metal, drunk white chicks who were 30 seconds away from alcohol poisoning, and a fantastic selection of tunes. Heavy Metal Rules is an excellent record, and you can just see how much fun these guys are having when they play live. So do yourself a favor and catch them in concert when they hit your neck of the woods.
LIVE IMAGES: JOHN BUCZEK/METALHEADSHOTS.COM
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO