Steel Panther @ House of Blues Las Vegas
January 2011
by Nando the Commando

The delivery man drove 5-6 hours from LA to Vegas in a big monster Ford pickup just to hit the show. Long ago he was the kind of bloke who would “accidentally” stick his pecker into an acquaintance’s woman, but he had since relinquished himself from the dark side at least a little bit. Apparently the delivery man no longer had a steady girlfriend (he had been forbidden by law in 29 States) but was steadily seeing on a monthly basis a charming Ukrainian girl who studied library science by day and danced on poles at night. Something about a South Pacific vacation coming up occupied his mind outside the concert.

Now the show was merely the staging point. It had been a while since the delivery man and the traveling man met up. The latter never had been to Vegas before and the delivery guy obliged upon request, with a delivery of course. They stayed at the old Debbie Reynolds Hotel that is now a bankrupt Hooters Casino Hotel just west of the airport south of the MGM Grand and east of the Tropicana. The cancer fog that permanently resided in the hotel lobby permeated one’s clothes enough to track a bit of sleazy grunge along for an entire day. Even though it was the middle of winter, the sunny skies and chilly wind didn’t deter traveling man from hitting the hot tub outside on several occasions.

It was a Steel Panther gig at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay on the South side of the strip that drew their attention that night. There would be no Steel Panther without Weird Al Yancovic’s My Bologna, Another One Rides the Bus, I Love Rocky Road and Eat It. Steel Panther would also not exist without the original heavy metal parody band known as Spinal Tap. Rob Reiner’s cinematic classic details the Tap releasing their Smell the Glove album during a tour across Americana. Steel Panther’s Fat Girl (Thar She Blows) is an homage to Spinal Tap’s Big Bottom although with a more fierce, in your face nasty, sarcasm.

Steel Panther hit the stage and immediately dove into their anthem, Eyes of a Panther, then onto their video hit, Death to All but Metal. They immediately gloated about playing two songs in a row as the comedy portion of their show kicked in. They made fun of the electronics show conventioneer nerds who were near the stage. They plucked out hotties from the audience to ridicule their God given assets with their snarky heavy metal rocker teenage mentality. They even allowed chicks to dance on stage as they played other songs. After each tune ended they chatted up the metalhead skanks, the hot cougar mamas and those with obviously enhanced body parts much to the delight of the crowd. They also played a few covers tunes such as Living on a Prayer and with a guest heavy metal rocker girl vocalist, Sweet Child O’ Mine. After 90 minutes only 9 actual songs were played, and only 4 from their first album, Feel the Steel.

Steel Panther is more of a live comedy act than a real talented band, however, their songs are very polished and reminiscent of what heavy metal should have sounded like and sung about in the late 80s long haired corporate glam rock years. They steal from everyone, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Extreme, Poison, Motley Crue. No one is immune to an attack by Steel Panther. They are currently placing the final touches on their second yet untitled album. If you ever come across a Steel Panther gig occuring in your neighborhood, I highly recommend you venture out to witness the wild display of humor combined with metal. Sex, drugs and rock n roll to the hardcore extreme. The way rock was meant to be.

Steel Panther on YouTube
Short clips of the show in Vegas that I captured
Spinal Tap (Wikipedia)
Weird Al Yankovic (Wikipedia)