A little one’s review of Black Stone Cherry and Steel Panther at Festival Hall, Melbourne – June 2016

Firstly, thank you to Festival Hall, which actually provides a concert venue that doesn’t exclude Under 18’s due to the service of alcohol. Sure, the unlicensed section feels like you’re behind bars in an institution, but I’m not complaining. At least I was able to go.

The side view seating was cramped and uncomfortable with no opportunity to stand up and head-bang like a lunatic, which is what I really wanted to do. However, I was fully entertained and a little bit scared by the old dude sitting next to me (actually, pretty much on top of me) who clearly had the flu and a Tinder addiction. As a friend of mine said “He wants to pick up at the Panther show!”. Ewww.

And on that note, even if I wanted to “pick up at the Panther show”, the seating area provides no room to move around, so I had to be satisfied with the occasional flirtatious glance at the two young hotties sitting to my right with their dads, hoping that one of them would at least respond with a smile or a wink or something. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

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My main motivation for wanting to get to this show was to see Black Stone Cherry perform live and seriously, they were amazing! As the support act for Steel Panther, they didn’t play for anywhere near long enough and when they were done, I was devastated. For a crowd who was mainly there to see Steel Panther, it was awesome to see them get behind BSC and they definitely didn’t disappoint.

The two dads of the before-mentioned hotties were impressed and made comments about how much they enjoyed the BSC performance, which was great to hear. I was blown away by how good they were. They played a raw and honest show with amazing energy and I couldn’t take my eyes off them, especially guitarist Ben Wells. This might sound a bit weird but just looking at him reminds me so much of Jani Lane so visually, I was super sucked in and had feelings of love. I would absolutely love to see a full BSC show in a more intimate venue, where I can actually stand up and rock out. And when they get the audience to help out with their Soul Machine lyrics, I’d like to be up the front singing loudly and proudly because that song went off with the audience! The hotties’ dads were right into it!

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So now let’s move along to Steel Panther. I like Steel Panther. And if you don’t like naughty words or dirty things (and I don’t mean muddy footy boots), now is the time to close your browser.

Being a little one, I asked mum to take me to the show. She’s a glam metal fan too, and she loved it all the first time round. But she never really got into Steel Panther. She did know that they pretty much just take the piss out of that whole genre, with an emphasis on the “sex, drugs and rock n roll” culture of the glam metal movement in the 80’s. Like a good little mum, she did a bit of homework beforehand and questioned me about what to expect. I don’t think she was worried about the show itself, but more nervous if she had made the right decision about allowing me to go, especially when she heard that it was pretty standard there would be lots of “tits out”.

Then I think her humiliation and shame kicked in at the fact we were sitting in the little one’s section and here I was singing all the words to Asian Hooker and 17 Girls in a Row. My friend Damo was in the licensed section and sent me a message saying that the look on mum’s face was priceless. Poor mum.

On a serious note though, the show was incredible. Yes, every single song is pure filth, there’s lots of tits out and let’s not forget the blow-up sex doll being passed around the crowd but this isn’t just a rock concert, it’s a theatrical production. There’s props, make up, costumes, role playing, comedy, audience participation, the whole works. And more the point, they are all phenomenal musicians.

Michael Starr (I’m going with stage names) is an amazing vocalist. Compared to other front men from that era, he has definitely been the one to stay fit and fabulous and his voice is crazy awesome. He rocks the spandex pants better than any other human ever and the way he works is pure genius. Guitarist Satchel reminds me of Zoolander, Lexxi reminds me of that weird Boy George-ish character in the Wedding Singer and Stix just reminded me of why I have a sad weakness for glam metal drummers!

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Considering 80’s glam metal is one of my favourite obsessions (*said in Frank N. Furter voice*), it feels incredible to have been able to experience it live, especially as my opportunities to do so in the future will be pretty limited. I had an amazing time, I loved the atmosphere, I enjoyed sharing the experience with mum who genuinely appreciates the genre and it was brilliant to catch up with Damo after far too long! Everything about the show was perfect, including mum’s disgust at the extensive use of the p-word (which can also mean cat), the giant inflatable penis flying around the crowd and the lecture I copped all the way home about being careful what I do in case it ends up on social media or youtube!

My life has changed forever. That is all.

 

 

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