Steel Panther w/ Crobot, & Tragedy • March 11, 2023 • Jannus Live — St. Petersburg, FL • Photos by Randy Cook — instagram.com/horns_raised
Steel Panther | March 11, 2023 | Jannus Live, St. Petersburg, FL
The notorious Steel Panther brought their “On The Prowl” tour to St. Petersburg, FL, on a quaint Saturday evening March 11, 2023. This band is known for flaunting their glam metal life style in the ever eternal quest for these party rocking dudes to see multitudes of women naked. Each of the band members takes on an exaggerated onstage persona glamorizing the glorious years and sound of glam rock and metal. This musical era was right in the beginning of my musically formative years and I have always loved the sound and ‘the look’, as it is easy to pick someone out who is still ‘stuck in the 80s’. “Glam metal achieved significant commercial success from approximately 1983 to 1992…” and has never left my playlist.
Anyone unfamiliar with Steel Panther and who may think they are just a silly tribute band quickly finds out that they are vastly wrong as this band has and continues to deliver solid original metal tunes drenched in luscious debauchery. With six studio albums and a cult-like following, I knew as soon as this show was announced it was going to be a night to remember. This is not a show for the easily offended, even though it is just an ‘act’, it is a night of non-political, glorious metal music with a raunchy storyline. Steel Panther is touring in support of their sixth studio album, “On The Prowl”, recently released on February 24, 2023. With Crobot, and Tragedy opening in support, the weather could not have been any more perfect for this outdoor show at my favorite local venue.
Tragedy opened the show. This band is billed as “Tragedy: All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees & Beyond” and let me just say “this may have been the freakin coolest band I have ever seen”! Those are the words that I envisioned in my head and wrote down to use for this review once I did a little research and discovered what was in store with this opening band. Fittingly, the band opened with the Bee Gees hit “Tragedy” and the show was already off to a very interesting start. A metal version of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline was not too far down the road and just may have been the missing musical element that I never knew I needed in life. As Chief Metal Officer I noticed and appreciated how they slipped in the intro to Slayer’s “Raining Blood” to their version of “It’s Raining Men!” as well as a snippet of Slayer in the song’s closing notes as well, to which I thought it was absolute brilliance! Their seven song set finished and I said to myself “this may have been the freakin coolest band I have ever seen”! It was obvious the crowd was highly pleased as well, as I think we all wish this band had more time to play. I met the band at their merchandise table later in the evening and was able to express in person that they for sure had a new fan.
Next up, hailing from Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Crobot came out and dazzled the crowd with their unique stoner, funk, heavy rock sound. This was my second time seeing Crobot and I witnessed many people in the crowd wearing Crobot shirts so their fan following was well represented. Crobot has such a unique sound it is hard to put a finger on exactly who they sound like. The drums hit hard, and with a heavy bass line there are some crushing riffs that just scream ‘melt your face off high energy’. Lead vocalist, Brandon Yeagley, has a stage presence and rock-star persona that would make you think you are watching a young future rock legend in the prime of his career. The band certainly fed off the energy the crowd displayed in their appreciation for the incredible musicianship collectively made up in this band. Crobot played a very spirited nine song set and left us in the crowd primed and ready for the main event. I dare also say that I noticed what I thought was a surprising number of people who left the venue after Crobot played, that they had seen the band that they came to see. I would say their loss, not seeing Steel Panther, but we all have our own likes and dislikes.
Finally, the lights went out, and the moment why we all were here was upon us. With their hair held high from the spray can, adorned in studded denim and colorful outfits right out of a late 80’s Metal Edge magazine centerfold, Steel Panther hits the stage to ‘Eyes of a Panther’ and the beginning of this debaucherous journey was underway. Nothing was sacred this evening as the boys provocatively flaunted their way around stage, hoping to catch the eye of as many ladies in the crowd as possible. Every member of the band interacts with the crowd the entire show and it is easy to tell just how much fun the guys are having up there.
During their song “Asian Hooker” lead vocalist, Michael escorted a young lady of Far Eastern descent to the center of the stage as the song began. Not long after she is surrounded by Michael, bassist Spyder and guitarist Satchel and you could see the look of laughing surprise on her face as Satchel appears to mount her from behind while still slinging his axe on a totally sweet solo. That takes both skill and concentration I would imagine. I sort of lost where in the set it was, but the band brought up another young lady to the stage and performed a song they say they wrote on the fly just for her. I think it is more a template song that the location (city) and subject (young lady on stage) get changed for each particular show. Michael was very descriptive of the things he wished he could do with and to her and surmised that the rest of the band and every male in the crowd wanted to do the same. For every question asked about her ‘preferences’ by Michael, she sheepishly responded with approval and the crowd went absolutely wild based on her response(s). There was also a mention of why the band loves playing our area so much (which I am sure is said in every city). Michael said once the tour was announced the guys in the band circled the St. Petersburg date because the women in the area here are so easy to sleep with. Amazingly, when the crowd roared at the comment, it was the women I could hear leading the charge.
The band played a fifteen song set list spanning five of their six studio albums, but what solidifies the superiority of a Steel Panther show is the in-between song banter between the band and the crowd, mainly focusing on sleeping with as many groupies as possible and doing cocaine simultaneously. Guitarist Satchel even mentioned how the more merchandise the band sells, the more money they have for alcohol and drugs. At one point in between songs, all of the members questioned whether drummer Stix Zadinia even liked girls and challenged all of the women in the crowd to stick around after the show to meet him and make sure he was batting for the right team. Which if you think about it, this put down is really helping their friend score with the ladies. It is an impressive coordinated total team effort.
Satchel played an emotional tribute to Eddie Van Halen in his solo. At the time he was shredding I was upstairs on the balcony of one of the VIP suites and the guys next to me went absolutely crazy when those first few “Eruption’ notes hit. Wrestler/rocker Chris Jericho joined the band on stage as a guest vocalist for a cover of Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher”, which also sported a guest drummer, which apparently a pre-teen was holding a sign in the audience that he wanted to play drums for a song. Afterwards, the band marveled at his skills and told us he was twelve years old. To which I must say that the kid did a spectacular job on the skins. Chris Jericho also came back out to sing the show’s final song “Gloryhole.” It amazes me just how many women are at the show and as fully into the whole naughty theme as the guys are. When the band closed out the main portion of their set, they asked women in the audience of ‘certain qualities’ (which I cannot get into details of here) to join them on stage for “Party All Day (F*ck All Night)” and it was literally a mega strip club stage up there as several seemed to be resuming or living out their stripper fantasy grinding on the guys in the band and each other.
This was my second time seeing Steel Panther and they are a band I wish I had discovered years before I did. One last thing to note that my friends and I discussed between ourselves during and after the show was that for some in the crowd it was hard to tell those whose outfits were ‘just for the show tonight’ and those that really are ‘stuck in the 80s’. If you have never seen Steel Panther live, do yourself a favor, buy a ticket and go enjoy one of the funnest nights of glam rock you can possibly imagine. I know I already am very much looking forward to seeing this band again. Their live shows are the definition of a good time as long as you are not one to be offended by the glamorization of a debaucherous lifestyle. By the faces I saw as we departed the venue, a great time was had by all. \m/
Steel Panther is:
Ralph “Michael Starr” Saenz – lead vocals
Russ “Satchel” Parrish – guitars, backing vocals, acoustic guitar
Darren “Stix Zadinia” Leader – drums, keyboards, piano, backing vocals
Joe “Spyder” Lester – bass, backing vocals
Steel Panther Live Review + Photos by Randy Cook /// @horns_raised
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