Words by Lucas P. Jones | Photos by Al Mannarino
Steel Panther Brings Perfect Mix of Metal and Spandex to Starland Ballroom
The date: Saturday, April 8th.
The place: Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ.
The band: Steel Panther.
The band sent here by Heavy Metal Jesus (their words) to bring back heavy metal to a world that needs it now more than ever. If you are a fan of 80’s heavy metal, and you haven’t seen Steel Panther, then you are missing out. Steel Panther brought the house down, and The Pop Break was there to witness it.
One of the great things about a Steel Panther show is that they always bring killer opening acts. The first such act was Rahway, a Jersey band who pulled no punches, bringing heavy, modern metal and an intense stage presence to match. Citizen Zero began their set shortly after, and I was blown away by how polished their sound and stage set-up was. They’ve been on tour with Panther for a few shows, and it’s easy to see why. Hailing from Detroit, these guys manage to blend the best parts of heavy metal and catchy pop hooks, fronted by the high powered pipes of Josh LeMay. But my favorite part of this band was the calm cool shredding of guitarist Sammy Boller. Playing mind bending solos with the greatest of ease, as a fellow guitar player, I had a hard time taking my eyes off of his side of the stage. Both bands are definitely worth checking out.
The main event started at 10:15, and Steel Panther mad sure to kick the show off with a bang. “Eyes of a Panther,” “Goin’ in the Backdoor,” and “Just like Tiger Woods” were the perfect songs to start the show, and really set the tempo for the rest of the set. Comprised of a mix of old and new songs, Steel Panther kept energy levels high all night. “Poontang Boomerang” sounded amazing live, which was followed by an updated solo from Satchel. Switching between shredding, staccato-delay riffage, and a one man guitar and drum portion, Satchel is without a doubt one of the best guitarists alive today.
On a personal high note, I finally got to hear “Girl from Oklahoma,” which had been absent from my last few shows. Wrapping up their main set with “Gloryhole” and “Death to all but Metal” was a great capstone to an amazing night. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. Panther came back out for two more songs, the first of which was a half crowd-sung version of “Community Property.” The sold out Starland crowd knew every word, even without any help from the band. The show closed out with “Party all Day”, which was the perfect way to end the show. Do yourself a favor; get out and see this band. The music and atmosphere creates one of the best rock and roll experiences available.
Steel Panther Setlist:
Eyes of a Panther
Goin’ in the Backdoor
Just Like Tiger Woods
Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)
That’s When You Came In
Girl From Oklahoma
17 Girls in a Row
Death to All but Metal
Party All Day (Fuck All Night)