Heavy Metal Rules as Steel Panther Takes Over House of Blues in Chicago

Lexxi Foxx (bass) and Michael Starr (singer) of Steel Panther perform at the House of Blues in Chicago, IL on 12/08/2019. Photo Credit: © Ian Bardecki 2019

Chicago, IL – In what has become a little bit of a holiday tradition for several of Chicago area’s greatest concert photographers, Steel Panther once again hit the Windy City right before the holidays to an extremely packed House of Blues. Opening up the evening with “Eyes of a Panther” from Feel the Steel, lead singer Michael Starr was flanked by both Lexxi Foxx on bass, who missed the last tour as he was in “sex rehab learning how to have better sex”, and Satchel on guitar, while Stix Zadinia pounded away on the drums. The band is currently touring in support of their September 27th release, Heavy Metal Rules.

While some might look at the 80’s hair metal style band as a kind of novelty, the truth is each and every one of them are quite accomplished musicians in their own right, having spent years playing in other bands before forming what was to become Steel Panther. Satchel is one of the most talented guitarists that I have ever heard, combining power chords with intricate solos. Lexxi and Stix are busy keeping time, at least when Lexxi isn’t applying lip gloss or hair spray. Lead singer Michael Starr also has a dynamic vocal range, hitting several high notes throughout the night.

There’s nothing subtle about Steel Panther. Given the metal band members’ penchant for sexually charged lyrics and commentary at their concerts, while it’s all done tongue in cheek, taking the 80’s metal scene over the top is exactly what this band is about and the audience absolutely eats it up. If you’ve never been to a Steel Panther show, it is quite something else. During the show, audience participation isn’t a request. It’s a requirement. Even more so, when they invite a female audience member up on stage to write on the spot lyrics for or when all of the women in the audience get invited up on stage for the performance of “17 Girls in a Row” and “Community Property.” That’s when it turns into something that you might find on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras.

The band isn’t for the easily offended. They’re not what you’d call very “PC,” and they’re not meant to be. Not with songs on the setlist like “Let Me Cum In”, “Gangbang at the Old Folks Home” and of course, the love you longtime audience favorite, “Asian Hooker”. The band is meant to be a release, a fun time, giving you a platform to laugh at everything, most especially them. Between songs, conversations on stage between members involves bad jokes, ribbing each other and other comments towards the audience, it’s easy to see why longtime fans and newbies alike were laughing so hard, some had tears in their eyes. The band makes no apologies for being who and what they are. It’s all in good fun, nobody gets hurt, and by the end of the show, the band has insulted themselves and each other more times than I could keep track.

Come to think of it, maybe what the world really needs is a little more Steel Panther in it. I mean really, who doesn’t want to “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World”? Indeed, Heavy Metal Rules.

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Steel Panther Setlist
Eyes of a Panther
Let Me Cum In
All I wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)
Asian Hooker
Hair Solo
Fuck Everybody
I Ain’t Buying What You’re Selling
Weenie Ride
Party All Day (Fuck All Night)
17 Girls in a Row
Community Property
Gangbang at the Old Folks Home
Death To All But Metal

Show Date: 12/8/2019

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Born in Scotland, raised in the United States, based in Chicago. Ian Bardecki is a professional photographer, avid motorcyclist, reader, IT geek, gaming and comic book nerd, who was bathed in music at a young age by his mother who constantly played classical piano in their home. While she also introduced him to the Beatles and Elvis, his father forced on him Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, the local paper boy had him listening to Alice Cooper, his uncle then turned him onto KISS and his first 8 track tape, while his friends turned him onto punk music. Today, his music library ranges from Amadeus Mozart to ZZ Ward and everything in between. Hesitantly agreeing to fill in one night to photograph a concert at a local venue in San Francisco for a friend, was where the accidental love and passion for concert photography was born and hasn’t stopped growing since. As a freelance photographer, Ian has had the honor of working with various artists like, John 5, Sick Puppies, Scott Stapp, Drowning Pool, Anti-Flag and Art of Dying, just to name a few. Ian can be found on Instagram and Facebook under Center Stage Pictures.