‘Fanthers’ gathered for a sold-out show at Mavricks Music Hall in Barrie, ON on Friday, June 14th. The sea of leopard print, spandex, and backcombed hair set the right aesthetic for the night to come, and being Steel Panther’s first show in Barrie since late 2015, we were all ready to “feel the steel”!
Presented by Impact Live and Cabin Media Entertainment Group, Edmonton-based heavy metal outfit Striker – recently nominated for a Juno award – opened up the show. They began what can only be described as a power-metal assault that blended the glory days of 80’s glam with enough modern elements to not feel outdated. Striker was opening as the “underdog”, however confidence, raw talent, and incredible crowd interaction quickly won the hearts of the growing crowd. It wasn’t long before the audience chanted along and was sufficiently pumped up for Steel Panther.
Fans of Skid Row and Mötley Crüe as well as new-age power metal all found something to love with Striker. They seemed confident and able every step of the way, and it wasn’t hard to see why this Canadian metal outfit is quickly gaining international notoriety.
Anticipation for Steel Panther was tangible in the venue as the stage was set for the main event. Fans were told to expect a never-before-heard set packed with all the usual favourites as well as a handful of 80’s cover songs. I had caught them on their last tour through Barrie, and if that was any indication of what was to come, everyone had good reason to be excited.
The lights went down and the crowd erupted into deafening cheers just before the first riff to “Eyes of a Panther” rang out, an appropriate opener from their 2009 debut full-length Feel the Steel. A quick thank you to the fans and a props to Barrie as their “second home” brought them into “Tomorrow Night” from 2011’s Balls Out. The sound and lighting production provided by We Love Sound Entertainment was incredible throughout the night and made the show that much more enjoyable to watch.
Steel Panther continued to entertain with stories of blowjobs, drugs, and depraved memories from previous stops in Barrie. Their set consisted of crowd favourites such as "Asian Hooker" and "Poontang Boomerang", with well-executed covers of "Panama", "Crazy Train", and "You Really Got Me". The set flowed well and kept everyone engaged with the help of their trademark stage antics.
If and when the opportunity arises to see Steel Panther live, be sure not to miss out! Fans of all ages, across all genres, and - well - possessing the same lack of maturity will all enjoy the incredible live show that they consistently put on and have become notorious for. Behind all of the glitter, glam, make-up, and spandex lies a raw talent that is often lost behind their satirical and nostalgic nod to a beloved era of heavy metal. A very special thank-you to Mavricks Music Hall, Impact Live, the fans, bands, and everyone behind the scenes that made this amazing night happen!
Live Photos by Kalei Lynn
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