In 2010, local hero Andrea Anderson and I went to the House of Blues in L.A. with a couple of friends. We were told we were seeing a “joke metal band.”
My most vivid memory of that night was being enraged at PBR being $10 per can; second to that was laughing my ass off in between bursts of this “joke” band nailing Van Halen, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest songs like they’d written the songs themselves.
My memory gets fuzzy after that. But I sort of remember two shirtless women fighting each other on stage. Then Andrea ended up drunkenly punching Corey Feldman, or something. Point is, I was not expecting Steel Panther to be such an event, and on a Monday of all days. We still tell the story seven years later.
The band has since put more emphasis on original songs, weaving their off-color humor into some catchy and authentic-sounding hits. Think if David Lee Roth joined Shout at the Devil-era Mötley Crüe and then that band had a baby with a book of dick jokes. Not to pigeonhole them, song styles range from early thrash to stool-perched lighter lifters of the late 80s.
Steel Panther drummer “Stix Zadinia” (a joke I just got, like, right now) briefly emerged from his under-stage fellatio harem to let us know what one could expect of a Steel Panther show. “Magic,” he says. “We’ll cause you to question everything you’ve done up to the point you walked in the door. You’ll say ‘What have I wasted my life doing, other than listening to Steel Panther live’.”
They’re promoting their fourth studio album, “Lower the Bar,” of which Stix says, “If you scientifically dissect the songs it’ll give you the code to ancient civilizations and allow us to communicate with alien life forms.” Which sounds hyperbolic until you hear titles like “Goin’ in the Backdoor”, “Poontang Boomerang” and “Walk of Shame.”
Steel Panther is no joke, despite how many they’ll probably make about giving herpes to your wife, when you see them this Thursday. The band is legitimate both comedically and musically.
Stix played a game with me called Medicine or Metal band.
Kung Fu Jimmy: In this game you have to decide if the name I give belongs to a metal band or a pharmaceutical used in the treatment of STDs. Ready?
Stix Zadinia: Sure.
KFJ: Number one is Acyclovir. That’s A-C-Y --
Stix: That’s herpes medication. C’Mon, dude.
KFJ: Wow, okay. How about Xatran?
Stix: Hm, that one….I’m gonna say metal band.
KFJ: Right. It’s a Panamanian black metal band. How about Eavral?
Stix: That’s a metal band.
KFJ: That’s right. It’s a Finnish black metal band. How about Zovarax?
Stix: That’s Medicine.
KFJ: That’s right. Anti-viral used in the treatment of herpes. You’re really good at this. How about Zaburon?
Stix: I’m gonna say medicine.
KFJ: No, it’s an Italian death metal band.
Stix: Ok, minus one. Go for it.
Stix: I’m gonna say band.
KFJ: Malathion is an insecticide used to treat crabs.
Stix: Jimmy, you’re killing me now. I wanna get more right.
Stix: I’m gonna go band again.
KFJ: Aldara is used in the treatment of genital warts, aka HPV.
Stix: They usually just burn those off.
KFJ: How about Zanthicus?
Stix: That’s a band
KFJ: That’s right. Zanthicus is a Filipino Death Metal band. Nice Job, Stix. 5 out of 8. You win!
Stix: What’d I win?
Stix: Aw. Thanks, bro.
If you have a robust sense of humor and you like heavy metal, you will have a wonderful time. If you’re sensitive to lewd jokes and loud noises, I doubt you read this article in the first place.
IF YOU GO
Stone Sour with Steel Panther and Cherry Bombs
Friday, September 29, doors 6pm, show 7pm
Fargo Civic Center, 207 4th St N, Downtown
$35, all ages, 800-745-3000
by C.S. Hagen
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