Steel Panther

support Wayward Sons
author PP date 26/01/20 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

Steel Panther won me over two years ago at Copenhell during a sunny afternoon set that had pretty much the entire crowd rolling over in laughter. An encore after two songs, a song about 'lille pik' in Danish, and other tongue-firmly-in-cheek gimmicks won the crowd over in a heartbeat, and not surprisingly the result is a sold-out Amager Bio tonight. It was such a refreshingly hilarious change from the seriousness of heavy metal that despite being fairly low on the depth of humour scale, the contrasting effect is powerful enough to make them a fairly important presence in the genre. This continues tonight at Amager Bio with an equally raucous show, but first, let's discuss the supporting band, Wayward Sons.

Wayward Sons

Wayward Sons have been on the upcurve since the release of two critically acclaimed albums, but what really makes them good is their great, infectious energy. Even though they play classic rock of the 70s kind that's usually associated with cliché and derivate, it's their delivery and raw passion live that brings out the best in their expression. They're old - probably around 50 years old or more - but they are rocking out like they're in their twenties, what with hairs flowing, guitars being swung around, and plenty of movement on stage. "How many of you have heard of us before?", their vocalist asks early on, "...there's about six of you in the crowd out there... but hey it's a fookin' start!", he continues with a succulent British accent.

Wayward Sons

There's so much good attitude in their presence it oozes of positivity and infectious charge. Whether it's the keyboard player smashing his instrument with a big wide smile, or the bassist headbanging in wild fashion, their energy live makes their easygoing classic rock songs elevate to a whole new level. Much like The Vintage Caravan, this kind of can-do attitude easily lifts them above many peers. The only criticism? For an introductory set, 40 minutes felt a little too long and they did lose the crowd somewhat towards the end. Nonetheless, this is what a fun band looks like.

Steel Panther

Is there a band out there funnier than Steel Panther right now? Sure, their humour is toilet level, ripe with masculinity (they are the self-proclaimed 'Gods of Pussy') and non-political theatrics, but it's very obvious it is but an exaggerated charade, a piece of well-designed theater that's meant to provoke but also to make us laugh. From their ridiculously overdone rock'n'roll costumes to the act where the bassist is depicted as stupid and a borderline transvestite constantly eyeballing his Lexi mirror and applying hairspray in between songs, the band is truly in character when they are on stage.

Steel Panther

Musically, their songs are relatively catchy, but content-wise amount to pretty much nothing. It's all about fucking, partying, pussy, hookers, and drugs, usually all at the same time, interrupted by lengthy periods of on-stage banter that amounts to stand up comedy. For instance, after "Eyes of The Panther" - which draws a momentous sing along straight away just like "Let Me Cum In" - the band spend about fifteen minutes talking about cocaine, warning the front row about the sweat, hairspray and a little sperm that might be sprayed on them, and of course, introducing every single member of the band in a laughably insulting, comedic fashion. For instance, singer Michael Starr is first praised as the living legend of heavy metal for about two minutes straight, only for us to find out it was actually Vince Neil they were talking about. The drummer does a Def Leppard impression - playing with just one arm - and all of a sudden 25 minutes have gone by and we're still not yet at song three of the set.

Steel Panther

All of this, of course, is a part of the Steel Panther experience. They talk a lot of shit: mostly about pussy to be honest, and about themselves how they are the greatest heavy metal band in the world. And the crowd laps it up. For "Asian Hooker", a blonde Asian girl jumps on stage from the crowd to dance for the whole song. Michael Starr parades her around the stage while the rest of the band appears to be chasing her and humping her from behind when she's not noticing. Then we get a 'hair solo' with Lexi - where they bring out air-blowers and allow him to throw his long hair around as the classic heavy metal vocalists do.

Steel Panther

Later, we're told there are two dudes from Århus here who got to sing on the last Steel Panther record. Naturally, Michael picks out their girlfriend - or so we are led to believe - and brings her on stage, only to charm her with ballads and his rock star persona. That is, before spending five minutes talking about her 'massive boobs' and all. She goes all-in and grabs the singer's penis, which is the only moment in the show that seems to catch the band slightly off-guard from their carefully rehearsed on-stage personas.

Steel Panther

"Hands up who of you brought your girlfriends to the Steel Panther show?", they call out, "that's about as stupid as bringing a cheeseburger to a burger restaurant". And on and on we go. It's as hilarious as it is outrageous, as stupid as it is awesome, and honestly, there's no denying that the Steel Panther songs can be catchy as fuck. So catchy in fact, that we have to watch out for the floor because it's now slippery from the 'collective vaginal fluids' of all the girls here who now want to join them backstage. Yeah, you get the point. It's the kind of humour that'll get the PC crowd riled up - while also offering a surprisingly fresh indirect critique on the stage of heavy metal anno 2020. But sure as hell, it is great entertainment, and anyone who doesn't think so is either a prude or devoid of all humour.

Setlist:

  • 1. Eyes of a Panther
  • 2. Let Me Cum In
  • 3. All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)
  • 4. Asian Hooker
  • 5. Hair Solo
  • 6. Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
  • 7. Poontang Boomerang
  • 8. Guitar Solo
  • 9. Fuck Everybody
  • 10. I Ain't Buying What You're Selling
  • 11. Weenie Ride
  • 12. Party All Day (Fuck All Night)
  • 13. 17 Girls in a Row
  • 14. Community Property
  • 15. Death to All but Metal
  • --Encore--
  • 16. Gloryhole

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

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