Steel Panther bring some glam to Cardiff
When I heard Steel Panther were returning to the UK, I was a little disappointed to see the closest date was at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. When the support was confirmed as Bowling For Soup and Buckcherry, it made the long trip more worthwhile.
After numerous hold-ups for traffic lights and roadworks, I eventually arrived at the venue just in time for the somewhat early seven o’clock start. The day then took a turn for the worse as I collected my pass and was told to wait for security to escort me to the photography pit. Whilst waiting, Buckcherry took to the stage and the show started.
The first song finished, then the second song and, with the three-song limit in place, I was eventually escorted through the venue to the photo pit where I was refused entrance as the third song had now finished. I was then escorted back to the box office and missed the remainder of Buckcherry’s set. I had been looking forward to seeing Buckcherry as much, if not more, than Steel Panther, so I was left rather angry at the mix up after traveling for over five hours to get there.
After a long conversation with security and box office staff I was given permission to return to the photography pit to photograph Bowling For Soup only this time security got us there in time and to avoid further problems. I remained in this vicinity for the remainder of the show.
As Bowling For Soup took to the stage, it was instantly clear these guys are still held in high esteem amongst UK music fans and it was good to see them live again, especially after their farewell UK shows just a year or so ago suggested that we wouldn’t see them on these shores again. Their set was pretty standard this time, but had the crowd singing along to hits like “High School Never Ends” and the Phineas and Ferb hit, “Today Is Gonna Be A Good Day.”
However, it was the band’s banter between songs that once again caught my attention. Their comments regarding the Fountains Of Wayne hit, “Stacy’s Mom” made me laugh and suggested that everyone thought the track was them so they had now claimed it as their own. This was yet another big sing along and things got even better as they left us with their classic hit, “Girl All the Bad Guys Want” but had many wanting more.
Their departure, however, signaled a rise in the level of anticipation amongst those stood in the crowd, most of whom were dressed in spandex leggings and big wigs. There also seemed to be a lot of flesh and make up on show and this didn’t stop at just the females in attendance. A group of blow up dolls popped up on the balcony and several inflatable penises were held aloft by proud crowd members.
As soon as Steel Panther took to the stage one of the aforementioned articles was thrown onto the stage and Panther frontman, Michael Starr soon spotted this and used it as a prop during the band’s opening track. These guys have brought back the 80s scene for many a glam rock fan and the infectious energy is something to be admired.
They could be described as a little tongue-in-cheek or the new Spinal Tap but they don’t beat about the bush when it comes to their song lyrics. They say it as it is and as much as anything their somewhat fun attitude gains them what could be described as a cult following. Let’s face it, it’s not often that such a large majority of the crowd are dressed like the band and it’s a sight that will stay with me for some time. As the band plowed through an impressive set list, their fun side shone through.
Risky lyrics aside these guys put on a great show and I felt myself being sucked in as I enjoyed the ride. As the lively, beer-fueled fans got more raucous their inhibitions dropped, signaling the start of the flashing from numerous ladies atop their partner’s shoulders.
The band not only enjoyed the view but encouraged fans to bear all and I was surprised at the number of participants. As the songs came thick and fast, the band then asked female members of the crowd to join them on stage and the surge was unbelievable. As the ladies were helped onto the stage by security, the band pointed out members of the crowd who also joined them to pack the rather large stage.
After a lot of chatting with the crowd, fans on stage danced to the remaining songs in varying states of undress whilst others took the opportunity to get selfies with the band members. This in itself made for entertaining viewing as these guys love all the female attention, and posed and pulled faces as they played on. The blast of the confetti canon signaled the end of a very entertaining show.
Although Steel Panther may be a joke to many, I came away impressed with their musicianship and fun attitude. They don’t take themselves too seriously and they seem to be making the best of the fame they’ve found doing something a little different. I, for one, enjoyed the night’s entertainment and wouldn’t hesitate to see them live again. Perhaps next time I’ll actually get to see Buckcherry as well.
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