jakub | May 20, 2023




Tonight we are making our way back to Manchester Academy, the biggest of the four Academy venues in the university area of the city. We are off to take a look and listen to the one and only giants of comedic glam rock “Steel Panther”

One problem we didn’t foresee on our way to Manchester was that Manchester City were also playing at home in the Champions League second-leg semi-final against the mighty Real Madrid. This was to dawn on us as we got to within 3 miles of our venue and traffic was almost stood still. Good job we set off early as it took us a good 30 minutes to cover the last 3 miles! A bit of panic sets in.

Parking up and walking to the venue amongst the many spandex and wig-wearing crowd also making their way along the city streets. we calm down a bit knowing that we will be just in time. Once inside The Academy, we are instantly taken back to the heady days of glam rock. The place is awash with platform boots, spandex and big hair, lots of leopard skin printed tee shirts and pants also a fair share of leather. A very feminine sense of style combined with the hard-hitting sound of metal rock.

Our support for tonight is the American Rock band “Winger” first formed in the 80s this band have two platinum albums in the bank and now consists of Kip Winger – lead vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, and keyboards. Reb Beach – lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals, harmonica, keyboards, piano. Rod Morgenstein – drums, percussion, backing vocals, piano. Paul Taylor – keyboards, rhythm and lead guitar, backing vocals, piano and John Roth – lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals, bass, keyboards.

The band take to the stage looking every bit like an American Rock band and certainly sounds like it. It’s straight into “Can’t Get Enough” for their first song. Great tight musicianship and real rock vocals from Kip Winger who incidentally was bass player for Alice Cooper no less! “Winger” play a great rock-infused tight set just right for the night. Some brilliant guitar work from both  Reb Beach and John Roth with Reb showing us his skills with a brilliant solo which seemed to go on forever during the set. During “Headed For Heartbreak” the band invited Michael Starr (lead man of Steel Panther) on stage and presented him with a Birthday Cake. It was the main man’s Birthday, who knew, Happy Birthday Mr Starr!


Set List

1/ Can’t Get Enuff

2/ Seventeen

3/ Proud Desperado

4/ Junkyard Dog (Tears on Stone)

5/ Miles Away

6/ Down Incognito

7/ Rainbow in the Rose

8/ Pull Me Under

9/ Headed for a Heartbreak

10/ Easy Come Easy Go

11/ Madalaine




Main Act Steel Panther

Ralph “Michael Starr” Saenz – lead vocals, acoustic guitar

Russ “Satchel” Parrish – guitars, backing vocals, acoustic guitar

Darren “Stix Zadinia” Leader – drums, percussion, keyboards, piano, backing vocals

Joe “Spyder”  Lester – bass, backing vocals


The crowd were now ready for the onslaught of comedic Glam Rock at its very best. We are all ready to enter the nostalgic music time machine (probably made from spandex) that is “Steel Panther” The band take to the stage amid cheers hoots and plenty of “Hand Horn” hand gestures held high.  They look great they look incredible! No messing about and it’s straight into “Eyes Of A Panther” and the music is so good it’s tight, together and full of classic glam rock beats and guitar riffs. Personally, at the time glam rock was in its hay day this writer was into other stuff but tonight is bringing back some great memories of town hall discos were the big names of Glam rock at the time, like Motley Crew, Bon Jovi, Guns and Roses and Whitesnake were often played and you eyed up that one girl you were after at the time hoping she would notice you. It’s sheer nostalgia and sounds so good. There’s no pause into the next couple of songs “Let Me Cum In” and “Asian Hooker” and with the whole band posing and strutting around the stage it’s a blur of colourful spandex, leather and trailing silk scarves dotted with sparkling sequins. We also have to mention the brilliant backdrop featuring the stunning artwork for the “On The Prowl” tour looks (as Michael Starr would say) “So Mother Fuckin Good”

After the first three songs, Michael introduces us to the band one by one each having a story to tell. Now in these modern days of everyone supposedly being P.C. this doesn’t apply to a “Steel Panther” gig, Ohh not at all. It’s all very profane and suggestive, no cutting close to the bone for these guys they just slice straight through it. Spyder tells us that before the gig he made some sweets that looked like boobs and laced them with  Cocaine and starts throwing them out to the crowd, at which point Michael reminds him that there might be kids out there to which Spyder shouts “If your near kids make sure they get a sweet” This banter goes on for quite some time and it’s very un P.C and direct but so so funny.



Then it’s back to the songs with a bang “All I Wann Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)” and “The Burden Of Being Wonderful” follow in quick succession. Everyone in the Academy tonight is having a blast us included. It’s funny, wonderful, fast-paced, colourful, very un-PC, and musically just utterly brilliant. Before very long the last song for the set was being played the aptly named “Party All Day (Fuck All Night) and the band left the stage briefly before coming back on for a two-song encore of “Community Property” and “Gloryhole”

What a night, What a party and what a Mother Fuckin good gig that was. “Steel Panther” You are the best Glam Rock Band of all time !! Oh and a very Happy Birthday to Mr Michael Starr.

Footnote, It was a great night in Manchester too if you’re a Blue as City thrashed Real 4-0 to reach the Champions League Final!


Set List

1/ Eyes of a Panther

2/ Let Me Cum In

3/ Asian Hooker

4/ All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)

5/ The Burden of Being Wonderful

6/ Friends With Benefits

7/ Guitar Solo

8/ Death to All but Metal

9/ 1987

10/ Ain’t Dead Yet

11/ Impromptu Song for a Girl

12/ Girl From Oklahoma

13/ Party All Day (Fuck All Night)


14/ Community Property

15/ Gloryhole










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