jakub | May 11, 2024

Steel Panther, with Stitched Up Heart, Got Nasty in Nashville, Tennessee, at Marathon Music Works on Wednesday, May 8, 2024


 

Raunchy rockers Steel Panther commandeered Marathon Music Works in Nashville, Tennessee, on a stormy Wednesday night as they hit the midway point of their April/May “On the Prowl World Tour” dates. Situated in Nashville’s Marathon Village neighborhood and originally constructed as an auto manufacturing plant back in the early 1900s, this 1,800-capacity venue opened its doors in November 2011. Joining Steel Panther on this leg of their tour was Los Angeles-based Stitched Up Heart.

Out on the road in support of their latest album To The Wolves (2023), Stitched Up Heart hit the darkened and smokey stage at 8:00pm to the title track off that release in front of a large early crowd looking to escape the thunderstorms and local tornado warnings. Anchored by charismatic and haunting vocalist Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner, Stitched Up Heart was rounded out by James Decker (drums), Merritt Goodwin (guitar), and the green-haired Randy Mathias (bass).

Having never seen Stitched Up Heart live before, I have to say I was super impressed. The band’s deep, industrial-type metal sound was the perfect compliment to Demner’s delicate to death metal vocal range, which reminded me of Adrienne Cowan from Seven Spires. Newer tunes like “Possess Me” and “Conquer and Divide” really stood out to me, and showcased the band’s maturing songwriting talents. Sadly their set only lasted roughly 30 minutes, but it provided a great sampling of their new work to an audience that was likely unfamiliar with them.

 

Stitched Up Heart:

Alecia ‘Mixi’ Demner – Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
James Decker – Drums, backing vocals
Merritt Goodwin – Lead guitar
Randy Mathias – Bass, backing vocals

 

 

Setlist:

1.) To The Wolves
2.) Lost
3.) Possess Me
4.) My Demon
5.) Finally Free
6.) Conquer and Divide
7.) Immortal

 

With the equipment turned over and the large Steel Panther “On the Prowl” backdrop lit up, drummer Stix Zadinia appeared from behind the curtain and took his kit seat in front of a packed house of adoring fans at approximately 9:00pm. Quickly joined by Michael Starr (vocals), Satchel (guitar) and Spyder (bass), the band immediately launched into “Eyes of the Panther” from their debut studio album, Feel the Steel (2009). This was followed by another banger in “Tomorrow Night,” a track off their 2011 release Balls Out, before the band took a pause to get into their comedic shtick with the audience.

In full transparency, I have seen Steel Panther perform probably a dozen times over the years, and for me, this glorious glam metal celebration never gets old. Sure, some of the sexual jokes and band banter were familiar on Wednesday night, but part of experiencing a Steel Panther concert is to go in expecting the unexpected — and Nashville would not be an exception.

I could argue that the first half of the setlist was nearly perfect, including a collection of fan favorites in “Just Like Tiger Woods,” “Asian Hooker,” and “Friends With Benefits,” all followed by arguably the band’s signature tune, “Death to All But Metal.” However, what came mid-set next was a wonderful surprise.

Acknowledging that Nashville was a town full of both famous and aspiring musicians, Satchel teased Starr that there was going to be a special guest joining them from the audience. After a little jawing back and forth, out popped none other than Kip Winger to the screaming delight of the crowd. Joking that “we aren’t good enough to play Winger songs,” Satchel had Spyder hand over his bass to Winger and the band broke into a cover performance of The Kink’s (well, Van Halen’s?) “You Really Got Me.” Starr then tried to coerce Winger to stay and sing along as Satchel and the band started playing the opening riffs of “Cat Scratch Fever” by Ted Nugent, but Winger waved them off, gave a round of hugs to the band, and waved good night to the crowd after shouting “Steel Fucking Panther” into the mic.

Following back to back songs from On the Prowl in “1987” and the ballad “Ain’t Dead Yet,” the band brought up a women celebrating her birthday named Sierra for a “Weenie Ride” serenade. Apparently it was also Zadinia’s birthday, to which Starr lead the crowd in a “Happy Birthday” sing-along as well. With a handwritten setlist notation that simply read “many girls” in Sharpie, Steel Panther then invited as many ladies as were interested to join them on the stage to dance during their final two main set songs, “17 Girls in a Row” and “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World.”

The house lights then dimmed as the band exited the stage, to which the crowd immediately started chanting “glory … hole! glory … hole!” at the top of their lungs. Upon returning to the stage, the Fanthers got their wish, as the band broke into the arm-swaying, headbanging “Gloryhole” from All You Can Eat (2014) to close out their entertaining evening.

Steel Panther is currently scheduled to wrap up this segment of their world tour on Saturday, May 18th, at the Aztec Theatre in San Antonio, Texas, before taking a small break and heading overseas in early June to participate in the 2024 Sweden Rock Festival in Solvesborg, Sweden.

 

Steel Panther:

Stix Zadinia – Drums
Spyder – Bass
Michael Starr – Vocals
Satchel – Guitars

 

 

Setlist:

1.) Eyes of the Panther
2.) Tomorrow Night
3.) Just Like Tiger Woods
4.) Asian Hooker
5.) Friends With Benefits
6.) Death to All But Metal
7.) You Really Got Me (The Kinks cover with Kip Winger)
8.) 1987
9.) Ain’t Dead Yet
10.) Weenie Ride
11.) 17 Girls in a Row
12.) Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World

Encore
13.) Gloryhole

 

 

 

 

 

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