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Steel Panther must have been lubing themselves with gallons of Rust-Oleum throughout the pandemic, because they showed absolutely no sign of crusty stuff when they hit the Anaheim House of Blues stage on Friday night.

It was billed as An Evening with Steel Panther (which is in layman's terms is code for no opening act).  Steel Panther led with their classic, “Eyes of a Panther”, from Feel the Steel, which is arguably the best metal debut album of all time. They had the packed house, among other things, in their hands. Michael Starr, who is inarguably the finest voice in metal, strutted the stage like he owned it. Or at least rented it for the night.

It’s not a rock cliché to say that women want to be with Starr and men want to be him when it's true.  A scientific survey conducted that evening by yours truly confirmed the later, but also found a few men wanted to be with him too.  No surprise here as he’s the lead singer in Steel Panther.  Dude is a living Adonis. 

And what would Steel Panther be without Satchel, The God of Guitar.  He was everywhere, with fingers flying up and down the fretboard like a school of attacking piranhas. When the rest of the band left the stage for what would have been any other guitarist’s obligatory solo, Satchel climbed the drum riser to hit the skins. That’s right. The guitarist did a drum solo. Why? Because he can. Simply the best in the business if you ask me.

Which brings us to the drummer. The driving force behind Steel Panther, the driving force of metal itself, Stix Zadinia. He has a softer side, showing his keyboard chops when a beautiful young woman was brought on stage for an impromptu ballad the band improvised out of thin air.

The only thing missing from the show was long time bass player Lexxi Foxx, who had recently left  Steel Panther. Rumors have swirled as to the reason, but filling on Friday was Rikki Dazzle. Dazzle was a nice addition, but Lexxi’s talent, (and good looks), were missed.

It was a night of greatest hits, but really, every Steel Panther song is great.

Steel Panther isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Then again, their fans don’t drink tea. And they were raising their beers to every single inappropriate word of every inappropriate single song. Steel Panther plays metal music that feels right for all the wrong reasons. And everyone at the Anaheim House of Blues left with a smile on their face and a song in their heart. Or loins.

Daniel Gray

Photojournalist - Los Angeles

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