Deerfoot Inn And Casino
July 8th, 2017
Review by JP
Photography by Jeff
I went to a comedy show and a Steel Panther concert broke out! It was one of those nights. It was a hot July night (+26 oC) and a full moon no less, and everyone was on the prowl and dressed to kill. It was the opening weekend of The Calgary Stampede, billed as the Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth. The Stampede is Calgary’s Mardi Gras, Oktoberfest, New Year’s Eve and more all with a Westerntheme. It is quite the alcohol-fuelled 10-day party. Divorce rates go up, and so do birth rates 9 months later! The band of the night was Steel Panther and the setting was perfect. Tickets were very pricey but money is no object for most high-rollers during Stampede and the place was packed with semi-inebriated party people!
The Deerfoot Inn And Casino, home of many great Rock and Metal shows hosted Steel Panther, who love Stampede. This is their third time attending the event. I got the impression they came in for a one night stand with 17 girls in a row because I read they were just on the European festival circuit last week! The place was packed and many of the glam loyalists were dressed up into the greatest glam gear. The lights dropped and the PA launched into ‘I Love It Loud; by Kiss. The band hit the stage and blasted through three tracks without taking a breath opening with ‘Eyes Of A Panther’
These entertaining veterans knew how to work the crowd with a very healthy dose of audience participation and interaction. The dialogue and banter was seemingly endless as the filthy and politically incorrect jokes kept cumin, and the crowd loved it. I appreciated the self-depreciating humour as the band made fun of themselves more often than not, playing the stereotype of dumb 80’s rock to the hilt. At one point singer Michael Starr exclaimed, “I’m not a fat David Lee Roth, I’m a skinny Vince Neil!” Considering that the noize boyz used to be in a popular and long running Van Halen tribute act called (I believe) The Atomic Punks. It was no wonder Starr had Diamond Dave’s banter, stage moves and look down pat.
The band ran through most of their hits including three tracks from the brand new album LOWER THE BAR which according to the band, has now sold 500 copies which now means they get paid $150.00 a week! They didn’t play anything from their rare debut and only a couple of cuts from BALLS OUT, which seemed to be a less popular album among fans, but that is just my casual observation. All the ‘hits’ were there; ‘Fat Girl’, ‘Glory Hole’, ‘Party Like It’s The End Of The World’ and ‘Death To All But Metal’.
The guitar solo was extremely well done and entertaining Satchel played around on the drums and did a cool riff medley of classic Metal tunes, Sabbath/Ozzy/Van Halen/Rush and even Yngwie
! He pulled it off with style while mimicking moves and general fooling around. At one point the band busted out a Kinks/Van Halen cover too, a natural fit considering the aforementioned tribute status.
Part of the whole party-like atmosphere was the stage show and banter. They played 14 or so songs in an hour and 40 minutes they could have easily played another 4-5 songs, but that would eliminated a lot of the fun. I’m a fan, I’m glad I got to see them finally! It was a nice and antidote to the Western atmosphere of Stampede.