By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy, Photos by Matt “Rabit” Martinez Red Hare Images
I will admit this; glam metal has not always been one of my favorite types of heavy metal music to listen to. I used to think it was commercialized, like there was no soul in it. However, there have been a few exceptions, where I really dug its simple nature, dedication to rocking out, and seeing the wild wardrobe and outlandish makeup. The glam metal scene was huge in the 1980s, primarily on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, Calif. The 1980s may be gone, but there is one band that has aimed to continue the glory of glam metal, while also hitting a comedic note with it. Of course, I am talking about Steel Panther, the glam metal band with a comedy twist. This band has a loyal following and loves to party, more so since the House of Blues in Anaheim moved from Downtown Disney to the Anaheim Gardenwalk. Disney did not allow Steel Panther perform there because of their raunchy nature, but now that it has relocated, the House of Blues has finally opened its doors to them, along with Step Child and Them Evils.
Step Child is a veteran metal group that features old rock dogs. They exuded tremendous energy and had the audience in their grasp. Their frontman was a real showman; he had this ability to the get the fans involved with their music. Not much is known about them, but it is cool to see them rock out and never slow down, even for a second. Step Child does not miss a beat.
Full Step Child slideshow below:
I have seen Them Evils once before in Costa Mesa at the Wayfarer, so I was excited to them on a bigger stage. This trio is a fast-paced rock band that has the makings of being one of the great ones. Jordan Griffin is a mean shredder and a kick-ass vocalist. He has this sharp, rusty vocal style the emulates down trot rock voices of old, and his riffs have a slick, crunchy, ultrasonic feel to them, especially when they played “She Got Nothin’.” His partners in crime, bassist Jake Massanari and drummer David Delaney II performed at their highest level of excellence. Delaney was unnerving behind kit, while Massanari was a thunder bolt on the bass. Their songs, which include “Bleed,” “Untold,” and “Got Me Rockin’,” were a cocktail of rock ‘n’ roll renaissance. They even did a killer cover of Motörhead’s “Ace of Spade,” and when they played their closing number “Have One on Me,” Massanari stepped down to the fans and played his heart out. The fans circled around him, as if their cheers gave him a power boost. Them Evils are going to be hitting the festival circuits this summer, and I know they are going to blow the fans away.
Full Them Evils slideshow below:
The lights dimmed, the volume of the fans was turned up, and it was time to feel the steel. Steel Panther got the party started with “Eyes of the Panther.” Frontman Michael Starr knows how to plant the seeds, water the soil, and blossom the fans. He has a voice that oozes glam metal, and shows people why he is a rock star in a comedy rock band. I tell you what; Satchel is one hell of a riff master. The way he picks and strums, reminds me a lot of Eddie Van Halen. He riffs like crazy on “Goin’ in the Backdoor.” Whenever Lexxi Foxx was not giving the songs a pounding on the bass, he was busy checking out his beauty. He just admires the way he looks, like he knows God granted him the gift of handsomeness along with righteous rhythm. Stix Zadinia is a diva on the drums, wailing and punching away on an elaborate drum kit. So, being rock divas do pay off for some.
The set list contained a mix of original songs and cover tunes. Some of the songs they covered included Van Halen’s “Jump” and Ratt’s “Round and Round.” The original song that did it for me was “Just Like Tiger Woods” because it was not only raunchy, but very amusing. Steel Panther channeled their inner Ozzy Osbourne, literally, when Starr hunch his back, slick his hair behind his head, and sang “Crazy Train.” Every one of them is crazy funny, throwing out different sexual innuendo puns that everyone seemed to enjoy. With the way the entertainment climate regards to sex, it is refreshing to see people still laugh at it. They even brought up a young woman who was celebrating a birthday, and serenaded her with birthday love, by singing “Happy Birthday to You.” After that, Starr invited tons of girls to the stage, where they danced very sexy like to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer” and Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” When Steel Panther went into “Fat Girl,” Satchel brought up a young boy, who schooled Satchel on the guitar solo. That kid has got talent. It probably will not be long until I see him on this stage. They ended the night with the always popular “Death to All But Metal.”
Full Steel Panther slideshow below:
The night was filled with pure rock passion. I have wanted to check out Steel Panther for quite some time. After finally catching them, I can say that they were worth the wait. With their latest record out, Lower the Bar, it looks like glam metal is looking to make a huge comeback after many years in hibernation. Them Evils were good the first time I saw them, but I thought they were better this time around, because they played in a venue that fits their style. Step Child will continue to do what they do best, keep on rockin’ into the night. God, I love being a metalhead. To Steel Panther, Them Evils, and Step Child, I salute you. Horns up!!!