Last night, Steel Panther and a few hundred of its closest friends in Denver, hopped in the Delorean with Doc and took the Bluebird Theater back to the future when spandex, hairspray and Van Halen riffs ruled the airwaves. Welcome back to the fucking '80s, man.
As some stragglers were still filing in at 9:30 p.m. -- clad in their best leathers, cut-offs and spandex, Drug Under opened the night with high hopes and thorns up. Drug Under licked its way (literally -- bassist Aaron Greenwall was licking the neck of his cherry red axe) through some tasty tunes and bass lines. Romero, the band's longtime frontman, dedicated a song to his daughter, who was out in the crowd. He picked up an acoustic guitar for the final song, a cover of Alice In Chains "Nutshell." Drug Under's presence was heard, if not enthusiastically felt. Bandanna'd heads nodded along, but the air was thick with anticipation for Steel Panther. And Aquanet.
Steel Panther came out a little bit after 10 p.m. and ripped into "Turn Out The Lights," a song about ... wait for it ... partying. This was theme the entire night from the band, which you'd swear is comprised of horny sixteen-year-olds stuck in the bodies of heavy metal geezers.
See Steel Panther at the Bluebird slideshow During "Fat Girls," lead singer Michael Starr brought up four girls to dance. Between the guitarist pelvis thrusting each girl and the lead singer begging for some girl-on-girl action, the small stage got cramped, as the dudes rolled through "Community Property," a power ballad of the highest order, boasting the lines "my heart belongs to you, but my dong is community property." The girls, meanwhile, made out with each other, flashed the whole place and one of the ladies, dubbed "Cinnamon" by lead singer Michael Starr, simulated a blowjob that would have made Monica Lewinsky proud. See Steel Panther at the Bluebird slideshow
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Satchel on lead guitar then went into a gut busting solo of epically '80s proportions, and just when you thought it was over, he stepped behind the drums and kicked the bass pedal into a montage of '80s licks that ended with "Ride The Lightening" seguing into "Sweet Child o' Mine" into "Ironman" into.... Oh fuck it, you name the classic, I guarantee it was kissed by his shredding fingers.
The band joked about rape in poor taste (not like there's a way to joke about that sort of thing that's ever not offensive) that was generally received with laughter and cheers. Crude gestures and more jokes lead into "Party All Day," followed by a two-song encore, which to no one's surprise or dismay, featured two Van Halen covers, "Panama" and "Running' With The Devil."
Critic's Notebook: Personal Bias: Any opportunity I can have to see some serious '80s metal, I'm going to jump all over it. Random Detail: Their was a rather busty broad at stage left who kept pulling a breast out and attempting to seduce any of the band members. By The Way: Lots of jokes about taking Oxycontin.