Steel Panther and Young Guns
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Mill City Nights, Minneapolis, MN
Click any picture to see more photos of Steel Panther (15). These are all captures from my video footage, so their quality isn't the best.
I went to see the provocative Steel Panther mainly out of curiously, not because I’m particularly fond of their second-rate hair metal spoof of The Mentors. I hadn’t seen vocalist Michael Starr (Ralph Saenz) and guitarist Satchel (Russ Parrish) perform in Van Halen tribute band The Atomic Punks (they used to regularly play at Pov’s in Andover), and they’re entertaining to say the least.
Opening the show was England’s Young Guns, and the half of their set that I caught was a snoozer. Playing a non-descript style of hard rock, I was thoroughly bored and spent the time walking around the sold-out venue looking for a good spot to stand.
Steel Panther finally made it on stage, and they played up their over the top glam image to the hilt. Done in jest, all of the posing and pouting, however, eventually becomes tiresome. Opening with the fast rocker “Supersonic Sex Machine”, the band wasted no time in belting out “Tomorrow Night”. They did, however, waste plenty of time in introducing the band and “Fat Girl” – this took nearly nine minutes. The degradation of women continued with “Asian Hooker” and “Gold Digging Whore", with the hilariously titled “Just Like Tiger Woods” thrown in, and it got old quick. Russ then went into a guitar solo, and by this time I’d had enough and left the show since I’ve seen him ape Eddie Van Halen plenty of times before.
The reality is that this is a comedy show, and Steel Panther can’t be taken seriously on artistic merits since there are none. All of the extended banter between songs was annoying, and the canned dialogue and forced jokes just weren’t that funny. Let’s see – of the 40 minutes I saw, the intro tape and talking took up 14 and 1/2 minutes! That’s over 1/3 of show spent screwing around, not playing music. Tonight, Ralph’s hot air made Phil Anselmo sound like the proverbial “soul of wit”. It’s time for Steel Panther to stop publicly embarrassing themselves, and Ralph and Russ would be better off returning to playing Van Halen covers.
One more thing to bitch about is the venue, the idiotically named Mill City Nights (Mississippi Nights is already taken by a concert nightclub in St. Louis). There’s no worse nightclub in the area for a show other than Epic (the former Quest Club). The whole place felt cramped, and the sightlines generally suck, especially upstairs. Stage right is pushed up against one of the walls, adding to the claustrophobic feel of the place. Long, narrow halls are the worst – I’ll take a wide, spacious room with sightlines from the sides any day. Let’s hope First Avenue and Myth step up their bids for metal shows and help put an end to this miserable place.