The scandalous Steel Panther, known for their hilariously raunchy lyrics and killer good looks brought their one of a kind show back to the Theater of The Living Arts in Philadelphia on May 1st.
I’ve had the opportunity to see the boys before, my first being at The Roxy in Los Angeles, CA. In LA, they typically do an incredible set mixed with their clever originals and some iconic eighties covers. The band finally decided to take this show on the road, bringing their current SUNSET STRIP LIVE TOUR around the world, which only made sense with their 80’s-esque look and sound. Upon the announcement of the band coming to back to blow the roof off the TLA in Philly, I of course had to go.
The show opened up with the band RoughHouse, original 80’s glam rockers that formerly went by the name Teeze (until 1988 when they transitioned to RoughHouse due to dilemmas with a band of the same name). If I’m being completely honest here, I wasn’t extremely aware of them prior to the show, but the band was overall extremely tight. They played a range of songs from their albums Teeze and RoughHouse. Their music and high energy definitely fit in with the theme of the night and got the sold-out audience pumped up for sure.
After RoughHouse finished their set, it was finally time for the Panthers to take the stage. This time around I was lucky enough to photograph the band which as to be expected, was so much fun. Frontman, Ralph Saenz, better known to the rock ’n’ roll public as Michael Starr, made my job more than easy. He posed effortlessly, even jumping into my lens with a big smile and switching hats to change up my shots (You rock, Ralph!) Each and every member of the band with their long flowing locks, skin-tight leather pants and vibrant outfit choices, are nothing short of photogenic. The band also had a brand new backdrop this time around; featuring numerous different Los Angeles/Sunset Strip landmarks such as The Roxy, the infamous Rainbow Bar & Grill, The Viper Room, and more.
Their set started out with one of my personal favorites of theirs, ‘Eyes of a Panther’ which went straight into a song off the band’s most recent record, and possibly one of my favorite Steel Panther records, (Lower The Bar; 2017) ‘Goin’ in the Backdoor.’ Of course, a Steel Panther show wouldn’t be complete with the absolute brilliant and clever stage banter between each member between songs. Guitarist Russell Parrish, known to you all as Satchel, proves to be one of the best at this. His priceless comedic lines made the night even better, if that was even possible. They incorporated some of the Sunset Strip’s finest into the set, playing songs like Van Halen’s ‘Dance The Night Away’ (with the amazing Joe Lester, SP’s tour manager/photographer extraordinaire and so much more on bass as he was celebrating a birthday), ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’, and ‘Crazy Train’ (where Michael Starr did an impeccable impression of the Prince of Darkness—claps and all). They also played some Panther classics including, ‘Fat Girl’ (Ouch! Don’t bite!), ‘Poontang Boomerang’, ‘Community Property’, ‘Girl From Oklahoma’, ’Death to All But Metal’, and more.
One of my absolute favorite parts of the night probably had to be getting up on stage with the band during their cover of Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ and their infamous tune ‘Gloryhole.’ Rockin’ out with Steel Panther is one hell of a time, and it’s even better when you get to be on the stage rockin’ out with them!
Overall, Steel Panther’s shows are nothing short of incendiary (if you catch my reference, 100 rock and roll points awarded to you). Anytime seeing the Panthers is guaranteed to be a great time. Also—not to blow the group’s hard rockin’ image—they are some of the nicest people I’ve had the chance to meet; it’s always a blast getting to hang with these dudes!
If you have the opportunity to see this show, DON’T MISS IT! Head over to Steel Panther’s site to check out all of the dates the Panther’s have got lined up for the rest of this year. Also, feel free to stay connected with the band on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
I give this show 🤘🏻🤘🏻🤘🏻🤘🏻🤘🏻!
STEEL PANTHER KICKS ASS!