Soundwave 2015: Steel Panther

Things get glammy down in Melbourne

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Some bands are just made for festivals. The perfect blend of big tunes, big personalities and even bigger hair set Steel Panther apart from every other band on the bill today. Sure there are rock ‘n’ roll bands here, but how many have had sex with 17 girls in a row like Satchel? Or who incite thousands of rock fans to hold up their ‘gloryholes’? Or can spend five minutes just talking about Australian girls, sleeping with Nicole Kidman, and their frontman’s small genitalia? The answer is zero. Despite paying homage to the legendary ‘80s rock scene, there are no bands like Panther and none that can garner such a vast audience off the back of (let’s admit it) dick jokes.

Opening on Pussywhipped the slick, super rehearsed stage moves are set in motion as Michael Starr gyrates around the stage and imitates jerking off his microphone. And as the sun dips behind a big-ass cloud, the party just gets harder as Satchel reminds us that “We’re not Soundgarden or some shit, we’re Steel fucking Panther!” And suddenly the stage is full of girls who have climbed out of the crowd to dance and at times show off their err… assets to fan-favourites Asian Hooker and Girl From Oklahoma – the special acoustic number played on Satchel’s “vagina killer” as he puts it. Plus there’s a hair solo – something you don’t see enough of in 2015.

Panther are often the subject of derision and ridicule because of their look and schtick, but as Michael Starr says to the haters “We’re playing for 15,000 of our friends so fuck you!” And when the whole of Melbourne sings the opening to Community Property a cappella the elation of Starr’s face says it all. Festivals are about fun and Steel Panther bring it by the truckload, so bring on Sydney!

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.