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Steel Panther and Tailgun
at The House of Blues
Las Vegas, Feb 19 2016

It’s Friday night and the freaks are out in full force at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. Everywhere I turn it looks like a scene out of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, only this time the guys have the big hair and eye liner. They’ve all gathered to see the masters of sleaze rock, Steel Panther. The band that started off playing cover songs by Van Halen and the Scorpions, then headed off their own direction with original songs. Sick, sleazy, and hopped up on glam rock these guys party like its 1987!

Tonight, they had a couple of local acts open the show. First up was TailGun, one of Vegas’ hard working bands that never stops, never quit and never say never. Dru Jaxin heads this group of hard rockers with his powerhouse vocals. Larry Kelly and Rob E.G. shred on guitars, as Cory Kay-Polizzi rocks the crystal sheen bass and Todd Turgeon lays down the crash-boom-bang! They have the party rock sound of Van Halen and L.A. Guns while adding southern flair and grunge like tones. TailGun fired with both barrels and blew the crowd away with hard rocking songs like “Push” and “Gold Digger.” On stage they all had room to run and have crazy fun bouncing like bunnies with Kelly doing Chuck Berry. Turgeon can toss sticks in the air and twirl them in between tom hits without missing a beat. TailGun is entertaining and interactive. Their ending song, “Raise Some Hell” has a catchy chorus that’s easy to sing along to. This band leaves you wanting more of their rock ‘n’ roll show.

Enter Steel Panther; people of all ages (21 and over) showed up in droves to see the sparkly spectacle spread the word of “Butt Rock.” These four foul-mouthed freaky followers of flair fill your ears with the L.A. sound.

“It looks like a scene out of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, only this time the guys have the big hair and eye liner.”

The Lights go down and the curtain is pulled back to reveal a quintet of mid-30’s rockers in spandex, makeup, and hair spray jumping around like teenagers on their first cup of espresso. Michael Starr (Ralph Saenz) belts out the shrieks and highs like a young David Lee Roth, Stix Zadinia (Darren Leader) crushes the drums, Satchel (Russ Parrish) blazes on lead guitar and Lexxi Foxx (Travis Haley) is on bass. Their stage act had a typical 80’s vibe, like Motley Crue or a RATT show, with big lights, loud sound, and flashy outfits that would make Steven Tyler jealous.

They run headlong into a set of originals taking time out to do a medley of tunes that compared every rock ballad that ripped off “Here I Go Again” by Whitesnake. Satchel showed off his ability to play 80’s metal riffs from Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child” intro to Van Halen’s “Eruption,” before he stepped behind the kit and stomped a steady 4/4 as he went into the classic lead to “Crazy Train,” and a few others.

For their finale they picked about a dozen women to come on stage for the last tune, a metal head anthem titled “Death to all but Metal.” The band played, the girls danced, and everyone else chanted along to the mantra.

If you’re into butt metal and profanity, Steel Panther is right up your alley. Special thanks to Dru Jaxin and the Tal Gun crew for everything, Lola Rose for the photo pass and Scott and Cory Mayes from the great state of Tennessee for the Guinness. Happy trails, ya’ll!

Tim Duran, HMS

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