LIVE PHOTOS: Steel Panther, Citizen Zero
Review by Greg Maki
It’s nothing short of amazing that Steel Panther, a band originating from–and still based on–a joke, still is going strong today. The ‘80s hair metal parody act just released its fourth studio album, Lower the Bar, and is out on a headlining tour across the United States. It nearly filled Baltimore’s Rams Head Live on a recent Friday night, and for good reason–you won’t find a better rock ‘n’ roll party.
Citizen Zero, who we saw last month just down the street, at Baltimore Soundstage, opening for Amaranthe, was the only opening act. Though the Detroit band’s no-frills, working-class hard rock had little in common with Steel Panther’s glam metal, it went over quite well with the crowd. A cover of Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” was particularly spirited, as was the set-closing “Save the Queen,” which saw frontman Josh LeMay get up close and personal with the fans in front.
CITIZEN ZERO SET LIST: “State of Mind,” “Palm Tree,” “Lure and Persuade,” “Bangin’ in the Nails,” “Go (Let Me Save You),” “Stranglehold,” “When the Rain Comes,” “Save the Queen”
The thing you need to know about seeing Steel Panther is it’s as much a comedy show as it is a rock concert. The band members’ banter between songs is so funny and often in such (purposely) bad taste that it doesn’t even matter that they probably could add two or three more tunes to the set if they kept quiet.
You’re forgiven if you think Steel Panther actually is an ‘80s hair band. That’s how accurate its songs and image are. That faithfulness shows an obvious love for that colorful era, as ridiculous as the “metal” bands it spawned are in hindsight. And the members of Steel Panther clearly have talent and a knack for writing catchy hooks and riffs.
One Steel Panther album essentially sounds exactly like the next, so the songs flowed together nicely in the set. The party kicked into high gear when frontman Michael Starr brought a woman from the crowd on stage and serenaded her with “Girl from Oklahoma,” then invited all the women in attendance up for “17 Girls in a Row.”
The rallying cry of “Death to All but Metal,” closed the set until the obligatory encore of “Community Property” (Steel Panther’s strangely honest version of a love song) and the anthem “Party All Day (Fuck All Night).”
Steel Panther is a celebration of a time and style of metal that never was about anything other than having a good time. That’s exactly what the band gave its fans in Baltimore this Friday night.
STEEL PANTHER SET LIST: “Eyes of a Panther,” “Goin’ in the Backdoor,” “Just Like Tiger Woods,” “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows),” “Asian Hooker,” ”Poontan Boomerang,” Guitar solo, “Anything Goes,” “Girl from Oklahoma,” “17 Girls in a Row,” “Gloryhole,” “Death to All but Metal,” (encore) “Community Property,” “Party All Day (Fuck All Night)”