Last night freezing Helsinki became hot L.A. for a few hours and the nightclub The Circus was the place to be if you’re into 80’s glam metal. International comedy metal superstars STEEL PANTHER visited the Finnish capital for the first time in almost four years as part of the European leg of their tour in support of their latest album “Heavy Metal Rules,” released last September. As a Fanther almost since day zero I could not miss the chance to see them live once more, because I’ve always had so much fun at their gigs. Of course, they are a controversial band in a world filled with political correctness, but I love the fact they don’t seem to care about it and have continued to do their thing for over a decade now. Check our photo gallery here.
Opening act WAYWARD SONS managed to conquer the audience with their simple yet effective hard rock sound, infused with plenty of 70’s sounds, featuring loads of THIN LIZZY and AC/DC vibes but also with a punk rock attitude. Although they look nothing but young, they are a relatively new band with two full-length albums (2017’s “Ghosts Of Yet To Come” and 2019’s “The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be”). The band seemed to have a blast onstage and singer/guitarist Toby Jepson kept joking about the fact that no one in the audience knew who they were, which was most likely true. They delivered an energetic and loud forty-five-minute set including highlights such as “Ghost”, “As Black as a Sin”, “Small Talk” and “Joke’s on You”. A great start for an evening which was supposed to be all about the fun.
By the time STEEL PANTHER came to the stage, the floor was packed with people wearing leather, animal prints and wigs, which is strange for the Finnish culture but understandable in the context of this band. Since opener “Eyes of a Panther,” it was clear that everyone was in a great mood, crowning them as the ultimate party band these days. Even if they are criticized for their offensive lyrics you can’t deny how talented they are as musicians, with Michael Starr delivering killer vocals and also showing his skills as a dancer, swinging to the rhythm of “Let Me Cum In”. Lexxi Foxx fixes his hair and lipstick while Michael Starr drops a few camel toe jokes before they deliver “All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight), taken from their latest studio effort.
With “Asian Hooker” they go back to their quintessential debut album, arguably their finest release to date. Silly lyrics combined with catchy tunes and a great live show is all you can ask. After inviting a busty girl to join them on stage we witness one of the funniest moments of the night: Lexxi Foxx delivers a fantastic “Hair Solo” with the help of a couple of blow dryers. “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World” keeps the celebration going with its anthemic melody and contagious beat. “Poontang Boomerang” is their only nod to 2017’s “Lower The Bar” and seems to be very popular among the fans, standing out for its great guitar work by Satchel, who also shows his shredding abilities in a supersonic guitar solo. Jokes aside, these guys know what they’re doing for sure.
The show continues with the cathartic “Fuck Everybody”, featuring a funny choreography and lyrics we can all relate to in this stressful modern world. Going into an unprecedented, more insightful mood, Stix Zadinia leaves his drum kit and takes the keyboards to perform a stripped-down, acoustic version of “I Ain’t Buying What You’re Selling”, which sounds almost too serious for them. Once more they invite a girl onstage and improvise some delicate rhymes before dedicating her a soulful rendition of “Weenie Ride”, one of their finest ballads. As usual, “Party All Day (Fuck All Night)” is one of the highlights of their show and a perfect singalong for the crowd. They are joined by an army of girls onstage who also stay for “17 Girls in a Row”, another classic taken from 2011’s “Balls Out”.
“Community Property”, maybe their best-known song, is chanted by everyone in the room, creating a moment of epic proportions. But the biggest surprise of the evening happens when Jason Hook, Zoltan Bathory and Charlie Engen from FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, (who were in town for their own gig next day), join them on stage to deliver a cover of VAN HALEN’s classic “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”. The musical result is far from perfect but no one cares. “Death to All but Metal” was their original declaration of principles back in the day and couldn’t be left out the setlist. After a short break and one more change of outfit, they come back for that one last sophisticated number entitled “Gloryhole”. The party is over and it’s time to go back home.
Comedy is a very difficult form of art and having seen STEEL PANTHER a couple of times before, some of their jokes sounded repeated and worn out, but they always manage to add a few new twists for those already familiar with their show. Musically speaking, they are in great shape and are able to deliver an awesome set of hit after hit staying very faithful to their recordings. Even though it was a Sunday night and most people probably had to work the next day, the atmosphere at the club wasn’t very different from a Friday or Saturday night, with everyone in a great mood to enjoy some glorious 80’s heavy metal. Haters gonna hate, but I’d rather go see this “comedy band” than some sad acts that should have retired for good.
Article written by David Araneda
Photos by Laureline Tilkin
- Eyes of a Panther
- Let Me Cum In
- All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)
- Asian Hooker
- Hair Solo
- Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
- Poontang Boomerang
- Guitar Solo
- Fuck Everybody
- I Ain’t Buying What You’re Selling
- Weenie Ride
- Party All Day (Fuck All Night)
- 17 Girls in a Row
- Community Property
- Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (Van Halen cover) (with Jason Hook, Zoltan Bathory and Charlie Engen from Five Finger Death Punch)
- Death to All but Metal
Interview with Vola — “At this point, we just felt like writing something heavy again, more streamlined.”