Home Gigs Gig Review : Steel Panther – On the Prowl Tour

Gig Review : Steel Panther – On the Prowl Tour

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Review by Richard Henry for MPM

So, a nice drive up to the big city for this one, first time ever seeing either of these bands, for anyone who says the 80’s is dead, they really need to go and see a show like this, this music is very much alive as a packed-out Ulster Hall showed, which is great to see!

Openers on this where slightly different than what mainland U.K got, they had Winger and the Irish dates have Tigertailz opening, new singer in tow and I have to say I was absolutely blown away not only by the singer but the entire band, they were on fire last night!

Tigertailz

Sick Sex – Kicking off with the opening track from 1990s Bezerk album, immediately singer Ashley Edison makes his presence known hitting the high notes and commanding the front of the stage, a real heavy driving track, the guys swapping sides of the stage back and forth looking like they are having an absolute blast up there, great backing vocals, nice shredding solo from Jay, what a song to start the show with!

Star Attraction – 87s Young and Crazy album is being hit next, again vocalist Ashley is hitting the high notes from the off, more of a straight-ahead rocker this one with a nice bluesy riff, bassist Berty just laying it down on that rather lovely Gibson bass, real Check Berry on steroids solo with a bit of EddieVan Halen thrown in there, really working the crowd the whole time!

Livin Without You – Staying with the same album, while keeping the intensity this track is still driving just not as in your face and brings it down a bit after the one two punches of the first two songs, good few people singing the chorus of this one, love the breakdown part in the middle, Jay is really one fire tonight, great solos, running about the stage like a lunatic, I just love the energy!

Love Overload – Back to 90’s Bezerk album, you cannot tell me that isn’t a near power metal riff in the style of Savatage at the start, loved this, drummer Matt getting a workout on this one and smiling all the time not just on this song but the whole set, I mean that’s a proper chorus isn’t it, this one will stick in your head for a long time.

I Can Fight Dirty Too – Berty starting this one off with a really nice bass line and the Jay drops in, proper headbanger this one, from the Bezerk album, the guys haven’t dropped intensity this whole set, again singer Ashley is just commanding the stage, waving, pointing and gesturing at the crowd to get more involved the whole time, bit of bar abuse on this solo as well as some tapping then nice melody and back into that killer riff, that chorus really reminds me of something AC/DC would do, great track!

Call of the Wild – Drummer Matt starting this one, now that could be a Motorhead track without fail, well I mean apart from the vocals, but this is a real headbanger of a track, full of speed and double bass, then we get to an almost Manowar chorus (have a listen, maybe you’ll agree?), Jay peels off another great solo, into that huge chorus again!

Love Bomb Baby – Still from the same album, now you can tell this is the song the crowd knew the best as you could hear everyone singing the chorus before the track proper kicked in, this was a real crowd pleaser, again that’s just a huge hook in the chorus, getting the crowd to sing along in the middle while the band dropped down to hear us.

A hugely energetic and entertaining set from Tigertailz, I was really impressed with them and I will be fair, they gave the headliners a lot of work to do to top that, I know they haven’t played over here an awful lot, Diamond Rock Club a handful of times, I would love to see them come back and play a full set, really outstanding

Steel Panther

The lights dim and the keyboard and spoken word intro begins as the guys walk onto the packed Ulster Hall stage, the crowd volume has certainly ramped up!

Eyes of the Panther – Straight into this one from 09’s Feel the Steel album, that doubled up guitar intro and Michael hitting all the high screams at the start, I mean these guys just deliver the 80s in looks and sound, great track to start with and shows the intention of the night, huge chorus, Satchel hits the solo absolutely spot on, in fact I don’t this he missed a beat all night, new bassist Spyder holding down the low end and assuming rock pose 102, 104, 107, all night!

Let Me Cum In – 2011’s Balls Out album is up next, really bouncy riff to this one, and I mean can you ever have enough cowbell (no is the answer), you don’t always hear a few thousand people singing Let Me Cum In, I think half the fun of these guys is going, what band is this song supposed to be, a paint stripper of a solo on this, with Satchel posing and shredding away, I think drummer Stix doesn’t get the credit he deserves, the guy is holding it down all night and if you watch him so of the fills he is doing are really tasty, solid drummer!

Asian Hooker – Back to the debut, I love this track, its great dragging riff, I think the only thing at times is some of the backing keyboard parts that where on the album like the oriental melody on this one, if they were there you couldn’t hear them and if they weren’t then it did feel like it missed it, especially on this one, the sucky f’’ky part is proper heavy live with the double bass accenting that guitar part, everyone singing along to the chorus on this one, another pin point perfect solo, they are note for note on point!

All I Wanna Do – Up-tempo from the off from 2019’s Heavy Metal Rules album, love that bass line from Spyder, it’s a boogie style track, All I Wanna do is, and then Belfast shouted back the answer to the band, it’s just party central in here tonight and isn’t that what then 80s was all about, great screaming solo from Satchel again on this before it breaks down before it builds back up into that chorus!

Burden – 2014s All You Can Eat album is up next, the guys have done a really good job on the set list, covering all bases and spreading the albums around in the setlist, an almost Yngwie style delay guitar part on the start of this one, this is a real radio song, very Def Leppard in parts, I’m going to say this a lot but huge chorus, everyone singing along to it, more Yngwie is present in that solo for sure, it’s hard being wonderful like me Belfast sings back

Friends With Benefits – Six songs in and this is the first one from 2023’s On the Prowl album, this one from the off reminds me of Dokken with that driving riff and eastern style solo (by the way if you haven’t seen the Dragons Den style video for this track, go watch it), I love the way that riff keeps climbing up on the verse before we hit another huge chorus, the middle section really drives before we hit a solo full of guitar techniques, for anyone who doesn’t take Satchel as a seriously good player then I don’t know, that solo is as good as anything from the 80s, also give Stix drumming a listen in this, really good double bass parts and he’s throwing in fills right the way around the kit on this one!

Guitar Solo – Now I think back to Ozzy Tribute, Dokken Beast in the East etc., Van Halen Right Here Right Now, they all had unaccompanied guitar solos, Satchels turn tonight, you have it all there bluesy playing in the style of George Lynch, you have the tapping sections in the style of Van Halen, you have the delay echo section in the style of Yngwie, but it’s all wrapped up in a package of a player who clearly has studied all these guys and just made it his own, he really is a fantastic guitarist!

Death to All – First track from the debut, really slaps you round the face after the solo, Michael screaming out all the high notes all while flying around the stage David Lee Roth style, winding up the crowd, smiling waving, pointing out the girls in the audience, the consummate front man in all ways, again great drumming, a note perfect solo and everything is just there, plus Satchel and Spyder constantly swapping sides, throwing out pics there is always someone to be keeping an eye on watching these guys!

1987 – Back to the new album and again we are 8 songs in excluding the guitar solo and this is only the second new track, it really is a crowd pleaser set list tonight, we get a glimpse at the lovely 1987 graphic guitar (premier guitar does a run-down of his gear for anyone interested), this song is an ode to the 80s with a load of bands getting mentioned, this is a huge AOR rock song, it’s what I loved about all those bands from that era and this band just nail it, blistering solo from Satchel again before it breaks down into the acoustic verse before we hit that massive chorus again!

Ain’t Dead Yet – So we have another from the new album, Stix playing Keys, Michael doing his Brett Michael’s with an acoustic, Satchel on guitar and slide and Spyder, well I will hang on till the end for what he does on this one! This is the first track really where we have had a more mellow song, and it’s a welcome break in the set which has been pretty full on from the first song, nice harmony vocals on this one as well, nice to hear Michael singing down the register a bit as he has a great lower voice, it is very Every Rose when you think on it, really nice slide solo on this, now there is a big ending to this song….. As the last chord plays up walks undoubtably the star of this one, Spyder walks up to the mic with a wind chime and closes the song with that, I mean that’s just not the same song without that!

Girl From Oklahoma – So staying in the acoustic love song territory, we are back to the debut album for this sentimental one, and one lucky girl onstage is getting this sang to her, now despite the best attempts there was no big reveal during this song, all the guys singing a verse to her at the start before the song started properly, now with one girl already onstage and just before the next song started there was a call for any girls wanting to get up to get up to the front and over the barrier, so you can only imagine how many where trying to get up there……

Party All Day – Another from the first album, this is a Living on a Prayer redone, and it is a real party anthem with the whole place singing the chorus and having a great time with the band, as well as the 30 plus girls on the stage, it’s an ultimate feel-good track, really nice background vocals in the second verse, replicating the Justin Hawkins part of the original, restrained solo on this one, a bit like the Jovi song and then funnily enough a key change after the solo, much like the Jovi song, what a great track to end the set with, just like that you have sang, danced, headbanged your way through an 11 song set, as the band come to the front of the stage to take their bows and applause from the appreciative crowd

Well, we all know that’s never it, the lights go down but the house lights don’t go up, the football chants begin and it’s a few mins when Spyder comes out hitting his bass in time to what the crowd is singing, so we have one song left to complete the set……

Gloryhole – Off to 2014s, All You Can Eat album, again the album not touched tonight was 2016’s Lower the Bar album, apart from that they hit songs off every other album in the catalogue, great riff peppered with a bit of double bass, really heavy swinging feel to this song, I mean what other band can finish the set with the crowd singing they blew their load at the Gloryhole, I mean it’s real poetry if you ask me, beautiful, another great solo on this one, then back into the riff, it’s a great track, and what a way to climax the set (pun very much intended)!

That was a fantastic night of two bands delivering the goods, not a nostalgia trip, but two bands legitimately firing on all cylinders and delivering to an appreciative crowd, fantastic night and I hope we see both bands over here again soon!

Photography by Darren Mcveigh for MPM

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