Steel Panther teams up with Wilson again to rock the Motor City for their Sunset Strip Live tour presented by WRIF.
Opening the night was hometown heroes Wilson, launching the night off with “Dumptruck,” the explosive opening track to their newest album Tasty Nasty. Throughout this song, the band gives shoutouts to their family, “the freaks in East Lansing, all the way back before we got fancy,” which was heavily appreciated by the Detroit crowd.
Taking a hard right turn from the heavy hitting sound of their first two albums, Wilson has taken on a much more debauched, groovy, fun feel with Tasty Nasty. In the process of their “personal awakening”, they forged a new path for themselves and their sound by combining their brand of in-your-face rock n roll with the influence of Hip-Hop and all things 90s. The band hasn’t lost their edge, clearly showcased in “Wrong Side of History,” and treated the crowd to some old favorites like “The Flood,” “Give ‘Em Hell,” and the all out banger “Windows Down.” But we definitely get a good feel of their ‘no fucks given’ fun attitude in new material like “College Gangbang,” “My Hustle,” and “Act My Age,” where you can really hear the band’s new hip-hop influences. Their unforgettable cover of Chumbawamba “Tubthumping” was a perfect addition to the middle of the set.
Vocalist Chad Nicefield, clad in a yellow plaid suit, brings back his booming, gravely vocals to the new material. His enthusiasm immediately pulls you in as he charges around the stage, and pulls out the giant drum to play and stand on throughout the night. He showed a lot of love to his hometown throughout the night, thanking Detroit and the crowd multiple times.
Guitarists Jason Spencer and Kyle Landry scorching, crunchy guitars give the hard edge that fans have come to love. James Lascu’s bass provides the funky groove while Matt Puhy’s vigorous drums hit you hard in the classic Wilson fashion. Joining the band was a stranger in a white lab coat and a green ski mask who, throughout the set, amped the crowd up behind the band’s neon green middle-finger logo.
Wilson closed the night on an all-time high with their newest fan favorite “Like a Baller” and “House of Fuckery,” both songs seem to have become the new anthems of Wilson’s newest outlook on their music; boisterous, high energy shenanigans. This band has always had a party feel to them, now that feel is just a little more ridiculous, but in the best way possible.
With Van Halen’s “Everybody Wants Some!!” being drowned out by the screaming crowd, Steel Panther took the stage and jumped into “Eyes of a Panther.” This comedic glam metal band has been rocking since 2000, and never fails to entertain their fans at every tour.
Steel Panther blended their setlist with their own songs, filled with all the raunchy humour that fans love, and added in a medley of 80s metal classics to honor the Sunset Strip. After “Panther,” they slid into “Goin’ in the Backdoor” which was followed immediately by a cover of The Kinks “You Really Got Me.”
Michael Starr’s soaring voice is powerful as ever, hitting high notes you haven’t heard since the 80s. Grinning ear to ear the entire night, he is as captivating to watch as always. Satchel continues to be one of the most talented, underrated guitarists around, making dizzying guitar riffs and solos look effortless. His now famous guitar solo during the middle of the show is always impressive, the crowd loses it when he plays the drums as he shreds. The constant stream of jokes between Starr and Satchel in between songs guaranteed that there was never a dull moment.
Stix Zadinia was the powerhouse behind his drums pummeling out beats as he hammed it up for the camera.
Satchel was pretty quick to address the elephant in the room; the absence of bassist Lexxi Foxx. The official story is that Foxx is currently in sex rehab; the band elaborated on his situation with a colorful story about some gerbils and reassured the fans that Foxx would return soon. Filling in for Foxx is the band’s long-time friend, Spyder. Looking like he stepped out of a Motley Crue tribute band, the band described Spyder as a “fat Nikki Sixx.”
Spyder is definitely a talented bassist, his thumping tunes meshing perfectly with the rest of the band. He kept quiet, letting the rest of the band do the bantering, but he left his mark on the crowd in a perfectly brutal way.
“Just Like Tiger Woods” was followed by Motley Crue’s “Shout at the Devil”. As Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” began, Starr returned to the stage with his hair plastered down the middle and eyes glazed over; he shuffled and hopped around the stage in a perfect Ozzy imitation, complete with his on point vocal impression.
Satchel took his acoustic guitar as Stix and Spyder took to the kazoos for the band’s holiday tune “The Stocking Song,” before pulling a girl named Ashley from the crowd. She was serenaded by each member of the band before Starr sang “Girl From Oklahoma” in her lap. After, the band pulled as many girls as they could find onstage for Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” The gaggle of girls danced on the bandmates and each other and, of course, tops came off. The girls stayed on stage through Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and were ushered off as a giant disco ball descended for the ballad “Community Property.” The band closed out the night with Van Halen’s “Unchained” and their now classic, “Gloryhole.” Then, of course, they returned to the stage for an encore of “Death to All but Metal” to truly melt whatever was left of the crowd’s faces.
This has been my seventh time seeing this band, and every time, they blow me away. This band has a huge following that seems to grow every year. Their raunchy comedy and over the top shows are nothing compared to the raw talent these musicians dish out every night. Satchel recently confirmed to the WRIF’s own Meltdown that a new album was in the works. At this point, I’m pretty sure everyone in the crowd is already waiting on pins and needles for Steel Panther’s next time in Detroit.
Event Date: 02-DEC-2018