The smell of hair spray is potent, the spandex are out in force and all clothing that can be sparkly and ripped, is sparkly and ripped. There’s only one possible explanation. Steel Panther are back. After supporting Motley Crüe and Def Leppard at Wembley a mere two years ago, its time for the glam rock gods to take the headline slot as their own.
In true Steel Panther style, the humour kicks off from the outset of the evening. With enough offensive language to send you into next year, the band are introduced in a boxing-ring style before a double curtain reveal showdown. It falls to premiere dwarf lookalikes of the band before the real deal open with ‘Pussywhipped’. Of course, this ends up with the band spending the next 10 minutes stating how much money they cost. Any Panther fan knows by now that when handing over your hard earned cash, you’ll expect a comedy show, not your average concert.
In amongst the banter, and a $2000 upgraded Lexxi Foxx hair solo, the talent and tunes come bursting from left, right and centre. From ‘Fat Girl’ which sees some offensive, yet hilarious images blown-up (for the world to see, not just Wembley), to frontman Michael Starr’s manifesto in the form of ‘If I Was The King’, their presence and glamorous persona is a sight for sore eyes. Not to be associated with lions though, these sequinned panthers may just seem like a bunch of exaggerated personas of the 1980s. That they’re not. Underneath it all, they are true musicians of the highest skill.
Starr’s voice is undeniably one of the greatest in rock today. Hitting notes so high in ‘The Shocker’ and ‘Gloryhole’ to name but a few showcased the real reason why the world can’t get enough of them. Team this will Satchel’s solos, and you’ve got yourself a Hollywood four-piece that are transforming the way modern rock should be done. Tonight even features a glowing appearance by their Kayne West inspired song ‘Kayne’ which gets the entire crowd singing along to the inspired lyrics “your music songs like hamster turds”.
If this wasn’t enough, the latter of the set sees surprises come full circle. If fan favourite ‘Death To All But Metal’ and female nudity wasn’t enough to shock you, then their version of ‘Eyes of The Panther’ was. It featured cover band Surreal Panther, to continue the lookalikes theme of the evening. The likeness was so brilliantly correct that the crowd were in a state of puzzled hilarity.
Overall, what we did we think? From riff to glorious riff, Steel Panther are glam metal heroes that have rightfully earned their place as Wembley headliners. They may not take life so seriously, but they take music seriously. You may wonder how a bunch of guys in spandex can change the face of rock forever. Just take a look and then you’ll see why.