From the first note until the lights came on, Steel Panther provided Reno with what could be considered the greatest show they have seen this year.
Hailing from Hollywood, Steel Panther brought their act to The Knitting Factory in downtown Reno for the first time on their “Balls Out 2012” tour.
Best known for their weekly shows in Las Vegas and Hollywood’s House of Blues, Steel Panther has gathered quite the following. Concert goers came decked out in skin-tight animal print pants to long flowing wigs and left with sweat dripping from their bandannas and hoarse voices after the hour and a half show on Friday night.
After an opening set by Sil Shoda, there was no question as to whom the fans came to see. One guy screamed, “Release the Panther”, while another chanted “Panther, Panther, Panther.” These calls and chants, which could be heard loudly throughout the building, blended in with the rest of the crowd once the first note from “Supersonic Sex Machine” was played.
Led by lead singer Ralph Saenz’ on stage persona Michael Starr, Steel Panther can best be described as a satirical 80’s rock band. With lyrics filled with sexual innuendo and heavy drug use and crude jokes, Steel Panther’s show ends up being a perfect blend of both of Rock n’ Roll music and a late night comedy set.
While some people may get offended from hearing one of Panther’s songs or on-stage jokes, Steel Panther has evidently found a niche and fans eat up every piece of it. Steel Panther cracked lines from controversial topics from Penn St. to homosexuality to STD’s and in the process never lost their audience. Instead, the crowd grew louder and louder throughout the show.
After the comedic interlude, Steel Panther broke into the best three songs of the show. They began with “Fat Girl”, followed by the unmistakable sounds of “Asian Hooker”, which produced perhaps the loudest ovation from the crowd, and culminating with “Just Like Tiger Woods.”
While Steel Panther thrives on the crude and comedic aspects to their show, make no mistake about it, they are still very talented musicians. Lead guitarist, Satchel (Russ Parish), broke into an incredible guitar solo rendition of “Smoke on the Water” followed by “Sweet Child o’ Mine” providing a great transition into another round of jokes and crowd interaction before the last set of songs for the night.
While the majority of Steel Panther’s songs are of the hard Rock n’ Roll variety, their set is complemented with several “ballads” that pull the show together nicely. These songs include the popular “Community Property” and “Girl from Oklahoma” which was ended nicely with an encore a cappella rendition of the chorus.
To close out the show, Steel Panther ratcheted things up once again with “Eatin’ ain’t Cheatin’” and “17 Girls in a Row,” leaving the crowd wanting more.
As the lights came back on, the crowd went crazy perhaps giving a loud enough ovation to convince Steel Panther to come back to Reno.