On a rainy evening, I arrived at The Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut. Upon entering, you would think it was a Poison, Winger, Motley Crue, Tesla, or Def Leppard concert in 1987 by the way the fans were dressed that were waiting in line. The doors opened on time and the fans headed in to see a rock show that would bring them back to their youth as well as make them laugh with Steel Panther’s bluntly sexual genre of songs, comedy, and stage antics.
Opening the night was Gunshine, a new rock band from Florida that was started by Austin Ingerman, the guitarist for New Year’s Day. Like all musicians, touring came to a halt during Covid, so he needed something to keep his musical needs going. I first was introduced to Austin Ingerman when I was photographing New Year’s Day a few years ago, so when I saw that he had a new band and was opening up for a band I already wanted to cover, it was a win-win for me.
Gunshine hit the stage around 7 pm with their song “90 Proof” with crunchy guitar riffs, killer drum beat and vocals reminiscent of any 80’s hair metal band. The crowd rose to their feet to get a better view of this up-and-coming rock band. The singer, Jordan Benson, a distant cousin of Elvis Presley, reminded me of a young Kid Rock or young Sebastian Bach. Jordan used the whole stage in his performance and has his rock star moves and poses down. Austin slays it on the guitar and James kicks ass on the drums. These guys definitely have the look and sound to help bring back the likes of 80’s rock music to a new generation of fans. They played a mix of songs off of their self-titled debut album and the recently released ep., Checkmate. You can catch Gunshine out with Buckcherry July 20-25 for the second leg of their Checkmate Tour.
Austin Ingerman – Guitar
James Renshaw – Drums
Jordan Benson – Vocals
5.Wall Said to Call
Steel Panther, America’s favorite 80’s Glam/Sleaze/Hair Metal tribute band is on tour for the release of their sixth studio album entitled On the Prowl. They recently auditioned on this season’s premier episode of NBC’s hit show America’s Got Talent. They performed “Eyes of a Panther” and impressed the crowd and judges enough to move on to the next round. Their performance raised questions on why a band that is established and has six studio albums was allowed to or even needed to audition on this show. But, whatever the reason was, it was a smart move because it definitely brought much more attention to the band.
It was clear from the start, that the crowd was here for an 80’s glam-metal show by the way they were dressed. Clad in zebra and leopard print spandex, leather and lace, fishnet stockings, bandanas, platform boots, wild hair and lots of skin showing. Steel Panther brought their comedic brand of glam metal to Foxwoods, beginning their set with “Eyes of a Panther” and “Let Me Cum In” before rolling into their first comedic skit which mostly relies on sexual stereotypes of things that 80’s rock stars may have encountered during their after-parties. Soon they brought up a female fan to dance around the stage during the song “Asian Hooker”. This middle-aged woman dressed in more business attire rather than what most fans were wearing, seemed slightly awkward on stage.
Next, they invited up a “tall kid” from the audience to play drums. After making fun of his height, he got behind the drums for a cover of Alice in Chains “Man in The Box”. This young drummer did a fantastic job, and even when Michael Starr decided to extend the song, on the fly, he didn’t miss a beat. They also invited the stagehand out to sing lead vocals on this song after making fun of him for his age, saying how he has been working at the casino since it was being built. The set continued with a crowd favorite, “All I Want to Do is F@ck (Myself Tonight)”, and everyone was singing along. Although, I don’t know the story behind it, Spyder played a bass on a few songs that Lita Ford‘s former bassist, Marty O’brien used to own. They played three songs off of On the Prowl, including the most recent single “1987”. Next, they continued on with their profane laced, sexually satiric, routine while bringing up another fan to serenade to the song “Girl from Oklahoma”. Just before playing “Community Property” they invite all ladies up onto the stage to dance and sing along. They ended the night with an encore performance featuring the song, “Glory Hole”.
Steel Panther had the fans on their feet the entire night performing their sexually comedic brand of glam metal. These guys are true musicians but also get the audience laughing, singing, and evoke emotion. You can catch Steel Panther on Tour in US through August 19 then in Canada for the month of September.
Steel Panther is:
Michael Starr – Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Satchel – Guitars, Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Stix Zadinia – Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Piano, Backing Vocals
Spyder – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
1.Eyes of a Panther
2.Let Me Cum In
4.Man in the Box (Alice in Chains cover)(with guest drummer from audience)
5.All I Want to Do is F@ck (Myself Tonight)
6.The Burden of Being Wonderful
7. Friends with Benefits
8.Death to All but Metal
10.Ain’t Dead Yet
11.Impromptu Song for a Girl (Ashley & Sophia)
12.Girl from Oklahoma
14.Party All Day (F@ck All Night)
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Music photography is my passion! Live in the moment, Capture the moment.