Steel Panther 07/31/10
Ovation at the Green Valley Ranch – Los Vegas, NV
Words & Photos by God Frank/Concertconfessions.com
Last weekend was my birthday weekend. Being a total loser, I had nothing to do and nobody to do it with so I jumped in my car and went to Vegas. For the most part I spent the weekend getting my ass kicked at the poker tables, but I did take a break from the massacre that was Texas Hold ‘em to see the monsters of metal, Steel Panther.
Just so you know on future Vegas trips you have two options to catch the Panther. You can pay the evil empire known as the House of Blues to see them at the Mandalay Bay on Friday night or you can travel 15 minutes off the strip and see them for free in Ovation at the Green Valley Ranch on Saturday night. I chose the later.
When you walk into Ovation you would never think you are there to see a metal show. It looks more like a sleek 90’s video bar/dance club. Still, they do their best to set the mood prior to the show by playing music videos from back in the day when Def Leppard’s drummer still had a full set of appendages. So as the crowd filed in and I sipped on my vodka and Redbull I got warmed up for the show with some Cinderella and Skid Row.
Then the lights went down, the screen that was covering the stage was raised and Steel Panther took the stage with a spot on perfect cover of Van Halen’s Panama. Then they took a moment to greet and crowd and introduce/insult themselves and each other. They definitely have the art of stage banter down and they do it brilliantly. At a Steel Panther show you are guaranteed to laugh as hard as you rock!
When they aren’t busy insulting each other they turn their attention to the audience. At a Steel Panther show, nobody is safe, they make fun of everybody. Asian women, Mexicans, Asian women, gays, Asian women, blacks, did I mention Asian women? Seriously, if you offend easily this is not the show for you.
But Steel Panther is a band and as awesome as the stage banter is, the music is even better. And they quickly got back into the music with their original song “Turn off the Lights” which was augmented by a video production on the televisions in the bar which featured animation and the song’s lyrics for those not familiar with their original music.
Considering I was seeing a free show I was a little concerned that this would be a scaled down version of their regular show, but that concern was unwarranted. Free or not, Steel Panther gave it their all this night playing a full set that included covers of songs by Motley Crue, Poison, Guns and Roses, Twisted Sister, Bon Jovi and a second Van Halen song in addition to a couple original songs of their own. One of the great things about Steel Panther is they are so accomplished as musicians that they can perform all these great bands’ songs and do them as well if not better than the original.
The highlight of the night had to be their metal cover of the Backstreet Boys song “I Want it That Way.” Not a song I would have expected to hear, but their version was awesome.
Even more awesome was their total destruction of an audience member who was completely offended by the fact that they covered a Backstreet Boys song, but who still knew all the words. They called him out on that when the song was over and laid a smack down on him that had the whole place laughing.
But that’s a Steel Panther show for you. One part rock and one part comedy, it’s as much of a party as it is a concert. I had such a good time that I totally forgot the ass whopping I took at the casino earlier.
After a rousing 90 minute show they announced that they had time for 15 more songs but were only going to play one, closing with Def Leppard’s Photgraph. It was a great way to finish the night and send a very appreciative crowd on their way. With all due respect to the fountains at the Bellagio, this was definitely the best free show in Vegas and a must for any music fan visiting Vegas.
The Green Valley Ranch allows cameras into the venue and I got some great pictures, but my computer isn’t cooperating at the moment. I will try to post more and better pictures tonight if my computer lets me.