Aftermath: Steel Panther On The Hair-Metal Prowl At House Of Blues
Photos by Craig Hlavaty
As this morning has progressed, Aftermath is starting to slowly piece together exactly what Steel Panther did to us last night at the House Of Blues. Thank God we brought a camera. For one, we can't hear really well, which is a sign that the music was nice and loud. When we sit down we can feel a welt on our left haunch, which means we either fell down or were whipped. Now we just shifted in our seat and the right side is in pain, so that's not good. We also sadly found out that when we type "panther" in our phone, it auto-corrected it to say "panties," so we wrote our mother last night that we were skipping dinner with the family to see "Steel Panties."
A few weeks ago we said we were swearing off covering metal shows for a while to recharge our hearts for the hard stuff. Things were starting to meld together every night and we couldn't hear birds chirp anymore, let alone our own cell phone ringing. Then Steel Panther comes to Houston and muddies up our plans. That must mean we are metal lifers, or just really stupid. Steel Panther could be called a hair-metal parody band, but most parody bands can't draw a packed and lusty crowd like the one at HOB last night. These folks were stoked like they were about to see Poison in 1988 on the "Open Up And Say Ahh!" tour. At the end of the day, hair-metal is the great equalizer between every brassy chick in her early 20's pulling back vodka and the middle-age man reliving his high school mistakes. Panther really is just a four-man mass of hair, spandex, and glitter-making puns that would make GG Allin snicker, playing songs like the penile proprietary anthem "Community Property" or the equal-opportunity-enforcing "Fat Girl (Thar She Blows)."
The band has chops for miles, as long as the rails of yayo they claim to do backstage. Don't forget this is the band that started as Metal Skool on the Sunset Strip in the late '90s, packing clubs on the famed strip while bringing around cats like Slash and Glenn Danzig to jam with them. Lead singer Michael Starr has a holler that, up close and personal, makes you slink back into the corner because you realize you could never must that yourself if you lived a thousand years. Over a decade belting Crue covers must callous your vocal cords not unlike how a wine ages. It's also important to remark that Aftermath can now claim to have had another man's long strand of blonde hair get in his mouth. It's fruitless to sit and dissect Steel Panther, because hair-metal has proven to be bullet-proof. Grunge didn't kill it; it was a straight-up assassination that we mourn every time we slip our copy of The Decline Of Western Civilization 2: The Metal Years into the DVD player. At least we will have the Steel Panthers of the world to keep the flame burning, long after J. Mascis and his ilk have shuffled off their flannel coil.
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