Steel Panther's Dirty One Night Stand In Nashville with Hillbilly Herald
Band Photo: Steel Panther (?)
The south is known for working hard, playing hard, and eating hearty. Steel Panther is known for getting hard, playing hard, and eating lots and lots of hot, wet, and readily available... food. (Yeah, let's say "food", because the south is real polite-like.) It was only natural that the band would make Tennessee a stop on a tour eventually -- this one was the band's first ever in Nashville. Vocalist Michael Starr commented mid-set that it was also their best show ever in Nashville.
Admitting in public that you take an interest in the music of Steel Panther is similar to announcing to everyone that you think about sex and guitar solos more than the average college freshman, which is usually a risky move. However, if you have protection (others who like Steel Panther with you) and you're not a sexual predator, you'll be fine. Nashville knew this and came out in droves to Marathon Music Works on the night of May 1st to celebrate the indulgent feelings that go along with raising the horns in the air for the band most synonymous with the word "sex" (so much so that porn production company Brazzers sponsored the band's 2012 Australian tour).
In tow on the Steel Panther tour was Hillbilly Herald, a band that could only be more redneck and rock & roll if they came out in NASCAR jackets with joints in hand. Together with his Top Gun cutoff shirt, jean shorts, and the remnants of last week's taped-together PBR can poles as a mic stand, lead vocalist Jimmy Herald looked like he never left the hill country or the late 1980s. As luck would have it, he didn't need to -- The rest of the band took care of that whole "musical legitimacy" thing.
Having opened up for Slash on tour in the past, the guitarists had great chops and the drummer (whose grip was fairly high-up on his sticks for rock) gave his kit hell. The bassist also had a penchant for raising up his instrument just like Steel Panther bassist Lexxi Foxx. The band indulged in a couple of tongue-in-cheek throwback cover songs like AC/DC's "T.N.T." toward the end of their set and started the crowd whooping for Steel Panther. You couldn't have asked for a better opener.
Steel Panther assumed the position on the stage after a fairly long set change and came out to "Supersonic Sex Machine." In-between songs, the number of times the band said "fuck" outnumbered the times the word appears in 'The Big Lebowski,' while the number of times they said "titties" outnumbered the times Chris Rock had said the word in his entire career. Self-described as a "skinny Vince Neil" or as a "chubby David Lee Roth," vocalist Michael Starr called for Nashville boobs to make their appearance (and they did, along with country music star Jake Owen, whom the band said was there at the show.)
The band blasted through "17 Girls In A Row" (pun intended), "Just Like Tiger Woods," "Tomorrow Night," "Party All Day (Fuck All Night)," "Eyes of a Panther," "Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)," and their smash hit, "Death to All But Metal," among others. When he wasn't checking himself out in his stage-side vanity or handheld mirror and poofing his hair up, Lexxi Foxx rocked a slew of poses with puckered lips and his pink bass, adding to the goofball level already established by the walking libido, guitarist Satchel. Satchel also took time in the set for a standalone guitar solo, a medley of riffs from Judas Priest to Black Sabbath, and even included a shred version of The Sound of Music's "Do Re Mi."
To view photos from the show, head to the official photo gallery.
The Steel Panther experience is significantly more powerful on stage than on record, and it left the audience sweaty, frazzled, and wanting more, like clingy paramours after sexy-time. Aside from being incredibly photogenic, the bandmates were consummate professionals at staying in-character and looked like they were deeply enjoying their gimmick. The band will plow through Richmond, Virginia tonight at The National before taking on the M3 Rock Festival in Columbia, Maryland the next day and Concord, North Carolina on May 5th.
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