Thursday, December 12, 2013


Sidney Myer Music Bowl, 08/12/2013

While it's unlikely Sidney Myer would expect his bowl to host such a torrid display of oversexed metal, he'd be chuffed to see just how at home tonight's players made themselves. And they are exactly that; players.

Exploding onto the stage and into our bloodstream like the contents of the Sunset Strip gutter crammed into a syringe and injected into our collective arse (or, ass), Buckcherry take the balmy dusk and make it pitch black. The hard workin’, hard lovin’ and harder playin’ five-piece boast more tatts and leather than a series of LA Ink, and their inherently empty odes to partying and misogyny are made for times like these.

Opening with Lit Up, the agenda is set and the relentless fury and love comes hard and fast from both sides; the crowd bursting to life between songs, the band never taking their foot off the accelerator. The title track from their 2010 album All Night Long follows and singer Josh Todd's Axl-esque voice impales the band's bright hard rock deep into our ears. Epic metal ballad Sorry goes out "to all the sugar bitches", before they rip up the place up with Crazy Bitch and an expletive-laden cover of Icona Pop’s I Don't Care. As a vehicle for showmanship, this show is a triumph, musically it's totally forgettable.

Steel Panther arrive following a live video feed from backstage showing the band playing Strip Battleship with some busty friends, to a 6000-strong crowd ready to party and a batch of staggeringly offensive metal songs to smack us with. Drummer Stix Zadinia, bassist Lexxi Foxx, guitarist Satchel and singer Michael Starr ("it’s as if Meat Loaf and Bret Michaels had a kid" says Satchel) enter to a rapturous reception before letting us know exactly what’s on their minds and why they're here.

On a multilevel stage, beneath a giant screen and between extended breaks of totally hilarious banter, the band never give less than 100%. Full-throttle party metal songs about masturbation (Tomorrow Night), sex with hot girls (Eyes of a Panther), sex with ugly girls (Turn Out the Lights), sex with anyone (Glory Hole), interracial sex (Asian Hooker), fellatio (It Won’t Suck Itself) an improvised song about Satchel’s love of cunnilingus, and heartfelt ballads about anal sex (Weenie Ride), and non-exclusive relationships (Community Property) tell you all you need to know about Steel Panther.

While Foxx is staring into his on-stage dressing mirror and arranging his hair (which he often does), Satchel declares Melbourne "the greatest fucking city on earth. Why? Because the age of consent here is fucking 15! Whose fucking idea was that!?" Getting an even bigger cheer is the first use of their ‘Mötley Crüe Tittycam™’ that gets a workout documenting some of the many instances of boob-flashing and more intimate antics engaged in by the several dozen women who take to the stage during the encore.

A whole thesis could be written about what Steel Panther represent and whether their ironic hedonism goes too far, and it would be a seriously excellent read, but that would be missing the point. Closing with the self-explanatory anthems Party All Night, 17 Girls in a Row and Death to All But Metal amidst a fug of pot smoke, their brand of panto-metal is technically impressive, hilarious and undeniably awesome. As Starr shouts, metal salute aloft, whenever presented with a pair of bouncing breasts in his mock-astonished face: “heavy metal rules!” Tonight, it totally fucking does.

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