A crowd of men in neon spandex, teased wigs, and women dressed in leather and fishnets piled into Toronto’s newest venue, History, on a mild November Thursday for a wild night of Hair Metal. Steel Panther rolled into Toronto for their first show in the city since December 2019, ready to entertain the crowd in their signature provocative ways.
Steel Panther – Black Stone Cherry
History, Toronto – 10 November 2022
Words and Photography: Taylor Cameron
Black Stone Cherry
Warming up the crowd were southern rockers Black Stone Cherry, who stepped on stage at promptly 8 PM. Kicking off the set with their 2014 single Me And Mary Jane, it took a mere few seconds for the band to have the crowd singing along. Most of the fans clinging to the barricade in the front row were excitedly cheering for the rockers owning the stage.
Guitarist Ben Wells and bassist Steve Jewell energetically paraded the stage, often swapping stage sides to entertain the entire crowd as Chris Robertson’s powerful vocals soared throughout the room. The setlist contained an array of songs, including early classics such as Hell Or High Water, White Trash Millionaire and Like I Roll, as well as some newer favourites including Again, Burnin, and a killer rendition of Electric Light Orchestras Don’t Bring Me Down that had everyone singing along.
Three-quarters of the way through the set, drummer John Fred Young took the spotlight, delivering a drum solo of pure precision and substance with an entertaining flair. Black Stone Cherry delivered a contagiously energetic performance fit for an arena within their hour set time, leaving the crowd roaring for more. They kicked off the night with a bang, setting the bar high.
As 9:30 PM rolled around, Unchained by Van Halen blared through the PA system as the house lights went down, signifying that Steel Panther were about to take the stage. The audience excitedly cheered as the band took the stage, starting the set with Goin’ In The Backdoor, the opening track from their 2017 release Lower The Bar.
The band’s energy was at a high from the moment they stepped onstage, letting the crowd know that they were in for an entertaining show. The antics started almost immediately, vocalist Michael Starr summoning a woman from the crowd to come onstage during the third song of the night, Asian Hooker.
Introducing Just Like Tiger Woods, Satchel (Guitar) steps up to his microphone, telling the crowd why the song is connected to Toronto, stating that Tiger Woods fucks all the bitches in the city. Starr was sporting a flat-cap golf hat to dress for the occasion. Loud cheers filled the room as the Glam Metal rockers kicked into their latest release, Never Too Late (To Get Some P*ssy Tonight), a classic Steel Panther tune with profane lyrics and squealing guitars full of remnants of the ’80s.
Breaking up the set with a few Heavy Metal classics, the band played Living After Midnight by Judas Priest and Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne, doing justice to the fan favourite tracks. Putting on the classic round glasses and a black long sleeve, Starr clumsily struts across the stage in true Ozzy fashion, clapping his hands, knocking over microphone stands and standing dangerously close to the edge of the stage as he mimics Osbourne’s vocals to a tee.
Starr ended the song by biting the head off of a stuffed bat. A roadie ran out to deliver the Heimlich manoeuvre to Starr as he pretended to choke.
The rest of the band stepped off of the stage as Satchel ripped into a solo. Showing off his skills, his fingers danced across the fretboard with ease. Making his way behind the drum kit, he stomps his foot on the bassdrum, playing iconic guitar riffs along to the beat, such as Sweet Child O’ Mine, Master Of Puppets, Rock You Like A Hurricane, and Thunderstruck, to name a few, delivering an impressive performance that left the crowd loudly cheering.
Getting back to their regular scheduled program, the band welcomed another female to the stage. Joking around with her in true Steel Panther fashion, Starr flips the wooden stool upside down, telling her to invite three more of her friends to join and, of course, classically asking to see her boobs before kicking into an ode to her, following with a performance of Weenie Ride.
Stix (drums) tickled the ivories on this one, and Spider (Bass) stuck close to the female’s side, not wanting Starr to have all her attention. As the set started to come to a close, the band invited a plethora of women to join them onstage for 17 Girls In A Row and Death To All But Metal. Some danced provocatively, and others headbanged as the band weaved their way around the females adorning their stage.
The Steel Panther guys were truly in heaven. Closing out the set with their 2014 hit Gloryhole, the crowd raised their horns high in the air, not wanting the show to end.
Although a Steel Panther show may not be for the faint of heart, it is undeniable that these four talented musicians know how to put on an entertaining show. Not one person left the packed venue that night disappointed.
Many laughs and loud roars were heard constantly from the crowd throughout the entire night, as well as singing along loudly to the humorous lyrics.
Steel Panther never gives less than 100% at their shows, providing a show you will certainly not forget.