GIG REVIEW: Steel Panther & Citizen Zero Live at the Rapids Theatre, New York
On a cold and rather blustery afternoon, I set out for my four-hour drive with only two things on my mind, burgers and debauchery. This is the evening I’ve been waiting for, for quite some time now. My first stop in Niagara Falls was to beat feet to Rock Burger located at 328 Niagara Street,owned/operated by Jay Rock, playing host to some of the most delicious array of specialty burgers and fries at a workingman’s cost. The best in the northeast in my opinion!
Now, on to the debauchery. This is my second time witnessing the insanity of the long running American comic rock band Steel Panther, based in the Los Angeles area. All I can say is that “Just when you think you’ve seen it all, guess again.” Their 2017 Girls In A Row Tour truly sets the bar at new lows!
Before I get ahead of myself, I cannot express enough amazement at some of the quality rock and roll bands, coming from the Detroit, Michigan area. One such band, Citizen Zero fronted by the extremely talented Josh LeMay (in his Van Halen t-shirt) literally nailed it with their short diversified eight song set, wasting no time ripping into” State Of Mind”, with precision riffs of Sammy Boller (who I had an exceptional after-gig chat with regarding his sounds and equipment.) With a near “bare bones” stage, these multi-talented musicians delivered a powerful sound, consisting mainly of Freeman heads/BE-100/CC Delays and T/C Electric Delay Flash, and Marshall amps, with most if not all their guitars being either Les Paul or Gibson customs. Keeping the rhythm tight and off beat at times, was kit master John Dudley and his simplistic but “up for the challenge. Detroit Custom Garage drum set, complete with cymbals. Bassist Sam Collins laid down some rather down to earth string hammering, especially during the band’s rendition of Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold”. I certainly didn’t see that coming as I’m still a dedicated fan of Uncle Ted, and without hesitation I can tell you I stopped taking notes and nearly caught myself playing air guitar to every note perfectly instrumented by Boller. A performance well worth seeing again in the future.
Wait…what? Is that the theme from Rocky I hear? Can it be?? IT IS…let the badass debauchery begin! As Mike Starr entered from stage left, I couldn’t even hear my own thoughts over the nearly sold out crowd of 1,700+ fans, as they cheered on the bad boys of Steel Panther. Following on Starr’s heals, was the ever so flamboyant Lexxi Foxx, sporting purple/gold spandex and hot pink six string. Satchel and Stix Zadinia were next on stage and got right to business as they entertained us with their explicit gestures, insinuations and basically everything that came forth from the stage while deliberately meandering through another memorable 12 song set (plus 2 encores). With six albums under their spandex, as well as four awards, two being Live Act of the Year awards for Best Live Act of 2012/2013 (Loudwire), if you weren’t oozing sexual desires from every drop of sweat of all attending as Steel Panther assaulted us with everything from “Goin’ In the Backdoor”, “Asian Hooker”, and “Glory Hole”…some
Starting with their third hit “Just Like Tiger Woods”, I caught Lexxi Foxx (I was within eight feet from him most of the night) as he sashayed to his small end table directly to his right, complete with a half empty beer cup, hairbrush and mirror (with his image on the back of course), along with his signature AquaNet hairspray, and proceeded to freshen up a bit. This was just one of many “beauty breaks” for a man intense on primping his appearance. During their rendition of “Girl from Oklahoma”, one lucky young lady (16 yrs. old) will forever be in her glory, as Starr invited her ostage (with parental approval) to join him in singing to the audience. I was very impressed with how she maintained her composure, as most would have gone weak in the knees…and fainted.
From “Poontang Boomerang” to their last song “Party All Night (Fuck All Night)” from the ‘Feel the Steel’ album and with “17 Girls In A Row” single (Balls Out disc), it was obvious to me that this venue never really needed any seating (balcony) as everyone was on their feet the whole time with fists and horns held high. If by chance you’re yet to witness the unpredictable zaniness of Steel Panther, and you don’t have a pacemaker or chronic medical condition…there’s absolutely NO excuse why you don’t get up off your backside and get your tickets for this leg of the tour, as each venue to date is selling out fast! You won’t be disappointed and will probably leave with a funny taste in your mouth, as there no ensemble of four men quite like ‘em!