Steel Panther @ Irving Plaza (1/4/2012)

Welcome to 2012 everyone!!! Did anyone get the license plate number of the truck that 2011 ran us down in? Man was that fast. Well, now it’s time to get this 2012 stuff underway and start delivering the Metal madness in proper fashion. The first show I would be attending this year would be the inimitable Steel Panther who were making a return visit after just being around these parts in October of 2011. It’s always a lot of fun to check out their shenanigans and this time they would perform at Irving Plaza. Click on the logo below to be taken to the full concert report and all the photos I snared at the gig. Then keep on scrolling to enjoy some other stuff that was captured at the gig.

Artist: Steel Panther
Venue: Irving Plaza (New York, NY)
Opener: DJ
Date: 1/4/2012
Label: Universal Republic

Hey wait a minute. Wasn’t Steel Panther here about twenty minutes ago? Okay I realize that I am exaggerating here but it was totally strange to find the band returning to NYC after only having been here in October of 2011. You regular concert goers know full well that we seldom get to enjoy our favorite bands so soon after their last adventure to our region but this would apparently not apply when it came to the boys in Steel Panther. That last show was a blast of obnoxious Glam Metal fun for sure and it was to a jam packed Gramercy Theatre. What I liked about it was not only the chance to enjoy the band again but also to appreciate just how wild their fans were becoming. People dressed up for this show and it was a hoot. Tonight’s show was originally scheduled for the Gramercy Theatre as well, but it was wisely moved over to Irving Plaza when it sold out almost immediately after going on sale. I liked that idea better since it gets a few hundred more fans into the venue. Here’s how it went in the event that you missed out.

The band’s latest album is entitled “Balls Out” and it’s been available for a few months now which means all of their fans have been absorbing it very likely know the words. The release starts with an ominous voice for “In The Future” and this serves as their opening segue way. From this point on the band rocked two new numbers and it was clear that while the premise is still largely scatological and sexual in theme, that the band can still play their asses off. If you’ve never seen the band before you should be aware that there is a lot of talking and joking during the set but this time around I was not catching as much of it as I had seen them do before. Yes they were purely offensive to some of the people around them but they also appeared to be focused on delivering as much of the new album as possible in the allotted time. “Fat Girl” always gets the crowd involved for some singing along and it will likely be a little time before the new tunes get that kind of output from their crowd. Mike Starr is the consummate front man for sure and they teased him about his age and the number of plastic surgeries that he had to look as good for the fans. Both he and guitarist Satchel handle most of the banter, but occasionally Lexxi Foxxx chimes in and makes hardly any sense or point. He’s too busy fixing his hair, lipstick and oh yes his hair during the show. For “Asian Hooker” the singer asked if they had any Asian hookers in the audience and suddenly someone pushed their Far East girlfriend up toward the stage. Starr spoke to her briefly and she sat down by the drums when all of a sudden a second was rushed to the stage but she looked a little bit shyer. The girls were good natured during the tune and got hugs from the guys when the song was over. After it ended Starr asked the first girl if she was good at oral and she replied “yes”. Oh my. Talk about getting into the spirit of things.

“Community Property” is the bands power ballad for lack of a better term and the entire venue was singing the song with Starr. It’s a really funny tune at the end of the day and I was also helping out from my vantage point on the side. The guitar solo from Satchel appears to be the same as I’ve seen before but I had to admit he is a killer player and gets the crowd pumped. Looking over the set list there appeared to be around eight new numbers played but that was okay since they only have two recordings out now for public consumption. At one point Starr said goodnight and see you next Wednesday and every Wednesday only to be corrected by Satchel who said that they were not playing here again for awhile. I guess he was thinking back to his bygone club day’s tenure when the band would perform two nightly sets each and every day of the week back in their sunny California home. Tonight’s gig was a little bit of a strange observance for me because I was half taking the band as a comedy act and half taking them as a serious group that mixed in jokes to the performance. Could it be that the group is finally trying to earn the respect and admiration that so often eluded them in the Eighties when they first appeared and disappeared from the scene? Only time will tell.

The set drew to a close with more girls onstage dancing and I recognized a few from the audience so was happy to see them rocking on the boards with the guys. They were not plants and were indeed fans since I saw them right up there at the barricade when I was taking photos. Lord only knows what plans Starr, Satchel, Foxxx and Zadinia had for them after the gig had ended. Sadly this was moving us closer to the end and back out into the cold night. From here we got two more new numbers and I love “17 Girls In A Row” and “Just Like Tiger Woods” because they have an Old School Van Halen vibe to them which is fun to hear being the case. Speaking of Van Halen, there was rumor that David Lee Roth was going to make an appearance at the show and sing a number with the guys but that didn’t end up happening. Van Halen was actually doing a “secret gig” tomorrow night over at Café Wha? in the West Village so this would have been an awesome thing for everyone in the venue. Hell at least the place fits a sizable crowd unlike the Café holds and stranger things have happened. I’ve witnessed Steven Tyler dropping in on Joe Perry’s gig in this very room. Stuff like this gives people something to tweet about when it comes to pass.

The band closed with “Death To All But Metal” and that was it. The crowd was wild but slightly better behaved than that last time at the Gramercy Theatre where I saw a number of folks getting thrown out for their actions. Come on people don’t ruin the experience for others or for yourself for that matter. Not at these ticket prices anyway. Steel Panther will surely be back and someone told me that they heard both April and May of 2012 has dates locked in for their return. Good for them. Having seen the band three times now I can say that if you want the kind of show that takes you away from the drama at work then this is the band to see. Just make sure that you keep an eye on your significant other especially if she is dressed to the nines in something that can easily be removed backstage 

Set List:
1. In The Future (intro tape)
2. Supersonic Sex Machine
3. Tomorrow Night
4. Eyes of a Panther
5. Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
6. Critter
7. Asian Hooker
8. Community Property
9. Guitar Solo
10. It Won’t Suck Itself
11. Turn Out the Lights
12. Weenie Ride
13. Party All Day (Fuck All Night)
14. 17 Girls In A Row
15. Just Like Tiger Woods
16. Death To All But Metal

Irving Plaza has a marquee but you really only see the bands name presented as you are walking into the venue. It’s not really the same as the nearby Gramercy Theatre does it but at least it’s something.

The fans were out in force for the show (it was sold out by the way). I snapped a few of them from the photo trenches for your indulgence. You might be able to see some fans dressed up in these shots and before you ask, the girls did not flash the band. They were prompted to do so, but they did not. I would not have been able to post that for you anyway. Sorry. Some standards over here :p

The band also brought up a couple of Asian girls for the song “Asian Hooker”. My friend thought that they were plants but one girl came up to the stage from all the way in the back and the other from a not too close to stage area so I disagreed. These shows are now very much in tune with audience participation and everyone seems to be having fun, no matter how politically incorrect it might seem. Here are some shots of these ladies.

After the song Michael Starr kept this girl onstage for some additional banter and asked her how her oral skills were. I’m being polite here by the way. Her reply was “good”. Oh my.

The merchandise was pretty much the same as that which I photographed when the band last played so I didn’t bother doing that this time around. I did manage to snare a quick video of the band being joined by the whole audience for their hit number “Community Property”. This song always manages to crack me up. The video is rather amusing as well so do look it up.

Of course it would not be a rousing Metal show if it was not loaded with some familiar faces so here are some of the folks that I met or knew in the venue this evening. First up are Rick, my friend Holly and I.

Rick, Holly & KP

Next up we ran into Bile’s live guitarist Dave Sussman and his lovely missus to be Miss Tiffany. It was nice to see them at the show.

Bile's Dave Sussman & Tiffany

Last but not least, I chanced upon the lovely Miss Tina Fisher of Rock Diva News and we just had to get a shot together for posterity.

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