ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY OUTBACK BOB
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY OUTBACK BOB
The usual assortment of Steel Panther faithful awaited entry, pun intended, but for now entry to the Forum Theatre for another dose of the supremely talented jesters of jubblies, comics of clitoral celebration and supreme masters of pubertal ponderings of poundcake poundage and their filth ridden roadshow. Can’t fucking wait!
Now I must throw hands willingly in air and openly confess my sordid love for this…um…foursome, so please read nay further if seeking a balanced and objective review. Much like their offerings to the world, the wares of Steel Panther are pure fun and filthy frivolity of the first order.
I have witnessed the wonders of the panther more times than I can count with one hand, but I will not be spanking that same batter here with this account, nor gilding the willie in a flustered and furious fashion, for the foursome have brought is something very different tonight. We here assembled bear witness to a stripping of sorts to reveal a new show on offer as Steel Panther revisit their roots, and explore every orifice of their humble beginnings and bring full circle the Steel Panther story.
The lads cum come arrive on stage without a single shred of support band foreplay and make a determined and direct path via our most available orifices, ultimately into each of our hairy, tight and willing canals. Aural canals…jeez.
We are treated to a fantastic opening set of Steel Panther essentials like Eyes Of A Panther, Going In The Back Door, Asian Hooker and Just Like Tiger Woods but with more fantastic moments of hilarity and accompanying banter that could possibly be given justice in a written account, any more than a post coital essay, but needless to say, there was not a dull second throughout the proceedings. The part of me that admires the men behind Satchel , Michael Starr, Lexxi Foxx and Stix Zadinia can’t help but ponder in delighted amazement as the show we all love is so brilliantly transformed and given fresh appeal without altering the recipient for sex cess. These are true master of finding what is fun in this life is and making it pay. I’m supremely confident that such open accounts of sexual misconduct are not everyone cup of creamy, steaming hot custard, but for we here tonight, this is just what the doctor ordered us to gargle and then….well, you understand. From the sordid details of our protagonists upbringings, to allegations of whose face would be…I can’t repeat that…or whose crystal meth would be….I can’t repeat that…in fact, all I can really offer this early is that Stix is a Rick Allen impersonator for obvious reasons, Lexxi is the foxiest bass player in the world and I have seen six pairs of breasts willingly waved at the band by song four. Yup, it’s an Steel Panther show alright. But rightly, so as this show is sold out, steaming hot and with Melbourne doing the band doubly proud. Now with more white pointers than the southern ocean, Michael remarks that ‘you won’t see that at a Nickleback show’ and I must humbly agree in delighted glee. Community Property is sung so loud and proud that the song has obviously become an anthem for many, here tonight, to live their lives by. It’s enough to make you moist (of eye) and the fan favourite Death To All But Metal seals the deal and the band finally withdraw.
With but a slender pause and such short time that most men could not possible muster the fortitude to go again, Steel Panther are back with set two and a genuine amazing, unrelenting series cover song poundings that gives this current show such fresh and fun appeal. Motley Crue’s Kickstart My Heart delivered in fantastic form brings a smile to the dial and an appreciation for whee this band started and how they managed to carve their own unique identity in the world of music. Just jump out of character for a second to appreciate what amazing people these guys really are and what a brilliant idea, fed with determination can achieve…globally.
Van Halen’s Jump, a Randy Rhodes tribute solo along with a hilarious account of Ozzy from Michael during a rendition of Crazy Train all set the scene for Satchels amazing solos with BOTH guitar and drums. This entire show has more laugh out loud moments that I can ever recall before from a Steel Panther show, but having interviewed each and spoken at length, it is of no surprise to me that they have the Midas touch to freshen up their appeal and precisely the right moment. Here tonight, Melbourne is made privy to that most magnificent of celebrations when a band bring their A game with a host of surprises and more belly laughs than can be counted.
In a moment of Aussie borne (yes, intended again) brilliance, none other than our boy from the ‘bool, Joel O’Keefe from Airborne runs onto the stage with his signature VB can in tow and belts out a mind scrambling rendition of AC/DC’s Highway To Hell as only he possibly could. A can finishing guzzle and an impressive drop punt into the crowd and off goes our local heavy rock hero backstage.
Living On A Prayer brings about a panther show chorus line of cuties on stage with many throwing caution to the four winds with joyous abandon and revealing who exactly it was that let the dogs out. Well, the puppies at least. With references to a nearby fisherman’s wharf out of the way Here I Go Again brings about a series of evidentiary Steve Miller, Wheezer twice and a host of others have ripped off Whitesnake in a most irreverent manner indeed.
The night is afforded an encore brought in no small part by the cries for more and more from a thrilled crowd and scarcely any wonder. We at STM love Steel Panther and their music but this is without question, the most fun we have ever had at the paws of the panther. An absolute side splitting hoot from start to finish with every element you expect from an Steel Panther show as erect as ever but with such a fresh party appeal that makes ever second such a phenomenally enjoyable experience.
Thank you Steel Panther for the show of a lifetime with not a second of wasted opportunity. Just amazing. This is one of those truly unmissable shows. If you thought twice because you have seen them before, get out there now and feel the steel because you haven’t seen Steel Panther quite like this. Brilliant.
Review Contributed by Casper
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY LYNDA BUCHANAN
I kind of skirt round the edges of Metal and dip my toe in every now and then. I love Metallica (who doesn’t?), like a bit of Sabbath, Slip Knot and dabble in Nu Metal (Avenged Sevenfold, Tremonti, Sevendust. That kind of stuff). So when asked to review Sepultura, it was going to be a wee bit outside of my comfort zone. I had to borrow a suitable T-shirt from my other half to “blend in”. “That’s going to be a sausage fest” he says. Come to Mama, I say.
So sausages are not the only reason I am here at 170 Russell on a Tuesday night. I love a rock crowd but a metal crowd is better. The passion, the absolute commitment to the music, the good natured violence of the mosh pit. It is (usually) the friendliest place to smack someone you will find and my second favourite place to enjoy the sound of male flesh bashing together (after a seat on the boundary at the MCG. If you were thinking anything else, shame on you). You know you are at a metal gig when they guy in front of you in the queue has his glasses tied onto his head. The age of a lot lining up is a reflection of Sepultura’s long career. Now, inside Billboards (sorry, 170 Russell), it’s so dark I can’t make out features, only dark shapes waiting expectantly and a very long line at the Merch table. Another reason why I love metal fans; they support their bands with their wallets.
Opening tonight are Harlott, a foursome of local Melbourne boys who have been playing the Melbourne metal scene since 2006. They take the stage unceremoniously and with a thumbs up all round, they gather around the drummer and off we go. The music and lyrics come fast and furious and I can feel the bass in the air. Bass player, Tom Richards is a giant. His fingers are an absolute blur on the strings and up and down the fret board and as the set goes on, he is often seen shaking out his hands and I’m not surprised. That’s gotta hurt.
On stage right, the more diminutive Jake Weber has some very impressive lead skills and the fast and furious shredding is interposed with some awesome solos and at times, some Maidenesque duelling guitars between himself, and guitarist and lead singer, Andy Hudson. Hudson’s vocals are reminiscent of Bon Scott (if a 70’s AC/DC played Thrash, that is). They indulge in some dramatic, slower head banging intervals before returning to Carpal Tunnel inducing Speed Metal with Tim Joyce on drums handling the tempo changes with ease. For me, a very solid introduction to live Thrash.
Up next is Death Angel. This band has a really interesting history. After forming in the San Francisco Bay area in the early 80’s and being stalwarts of that iconic Thrash scene, they stopped playing in 1991 after the then drummer was injured in a tour bus accident. They reformed in 2001 with some line up changes and have been playing ever since. With 2 members from the original line up still on board, Rob Cavestany on lead and Mark Osegueda on vocals, I am amazed how good these guys look. 35 years on the road has got to take its’ toll but they are wearing very well and more than that, still playing with admirable passion and enthusiasm. Mark Osegueda has an awesome stage presence (perhaps fueled by the bottle of Jaeger he kept swigging on) and along with Damien Sisson on bass who engaged the crowd better than any guitarist I have seen for a long time (and the most beautiful hair that I would pay money to run my fingers through), they were hugely entertaining. “Are you ready to celebrate music? Are you ready to celebrate metal?” Osegueda taunted the crowd into getting going. “Show me you’re at a metal show. Don’t give the security guys the night off.” And the pit obliged.
As a warm up act, Death Angel could not be beaten and by the end of their set, the crowd were well
and truly warm and I was wondering if they might have just blown Sepultura off the stage with their class act and music which was the perfect blend between Thrash, and more classic metal. I would definitely go and see them again and hopefully, on a headlining show. They certainly deserve that, as do their Aussie fans (hint hint, guys).
I am very curious to see what these giants of Thrash who are known for fusing Brazilian rhythms into their songs have to offer. Musically, Sepultura has got it all happening. The fastest double kick drum I’ve heard laid down by drummer Eloy Casagrande, the new boy in the outfit, joining the long standing line up in 2011. Blistering lead guitar courtesy of Andreas Kisser, a veteran of the band of some 31 years. The kind of bass playing that young metal players aspire to from Paulo Jr; fast, loud and heavy. And then there is Derrick Green’s vocals. A demonic growl that must come from somewhere between his right testicle and small intestine. This is where my comfort zone ends. I am a big fan of the male voice, but I struggle with vocals like this. But I am desperate to be converted so bring it on boys.
As Sepultura take the stage, I am struck by what an imposing figure Derrick Green cuts. Very tall with muscular, tattooed arms in a black cut off T-shirt. The physique seems to match the voice and at times during the show, a wide eyed stare made him look (as well as sound) demonic. There is no doubt that if Lucifer ever needs a voice coach, he would call on Derrick before anyone else. He struts the front of the stage, the mike cord wrapped around his hand, with the confidence of a man who knows he’s good at what he does and as this tour celebrates his 20 year anniversary with the band, he has every right to feel a big part of the history of Sepultura.
They open with I am the Enemy from their new release Machine Messiah. This song takes no prisoners and is fast and furious. It sets the pit off nicely and the horns are in the air all over the venue. With incredibly fast drums and bass before a hypnotic head banging interlude and killer shred opportunity for Andreas Kisser to take center stage. It might not be familiar to the older school fans, but it is received well and sets the tone for the set.
Playing in album order for now, the next track Phantom Self includes some of the Brazilian rhythms that Sepultura skillfully weave into their music. The album version of this song contains some amazing instrumental parts mixed in for a very unique sound.
I am absolutely blown away by Andreas Kisser’s playing. As a big fan of Mark Tremonti, I love a shredder and this guy is amazing (and he does it without the faces). He steps to the front for his solo and absolutely owns that stage for a minute or so. With hair that probably hasn’t been cut since the 70’s and a huge smile on his face, he looks like a man who enjoys his craft and clearly the fans do too as they are lapping it all up.
Paulo Jr on the other hand seems happy to stay more in the background and concentrate on providing what is the core of metal music, the Thunder! As an original member of the band, he’s been around a time or two and in him, I can see what Robert Trujillo might look like in 20 years.
I am mesmerised by the playing of Eloy Casagrande on drums. I am convinced that his drum kit must be screwed to the riser to stop it flying off mid song. He hits harder than I have ever seen. And Thrash has complicated rhythms with unusual and changing time signatures all over the place; a challenge for any drummer. I’m sure that at the end of every show he must feel like he has sprinted a marathon distance. I can see his legs going hell for leather with the double kick bass. My new favourite drummer, me thinks.
They are clearly pushing the new album hard on this tour with 5 tracks in the set. The highlight for me was the appearance of an acoustic guitar on a stand for the instrumental Iceberg Dances. This song showcases the amazing musicianship of these 3 guys. Especially with a middle piece with flamenco guitar played brilliantly by Kisser before reverting back to old school Thrash. Love It.
“Are there any old school Sepultura fans in tonight?” asks Green. Before Andreas teases the fans playing intros to several older songs that get a huge reaction from the crowd, before playing the full version of Arise from their 1991 album of the same name.
Clearly not a band to milk the “one more song” encore thing, they leave the stage very briefly before a 3 song encore. Resistant Parasites, Ratamanata which gives Green a chance to add to the drum sound on a large drum at centre stage and Roots, Bloody Roots to finish the set. The pit seems happy and I’m sure the bouncers in front of the stage are relieved. They are sent off with another full room horns salute.
So, am I a Sepultura convert? I still don’t think I will be buying an album anytime soon, but I am full of admiration for their professionalism and musicianship. It was a great show and the long standing fans like the guy standing next to me who said he last saw them 25 years ago, seemed happy that they had got their money’s worth.
Review Contributed by Wendy Smith
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY SHANE HENDERSON
Multi-platinum selling band SKID ROW will embark on a full Australian tour this October whilst also hitting Auckland New Zealand. It will be the first time Australian fans get to see former Dragonforce singer ZP Theart up front and he will be joined by guitarists Snake Sabo & Scotti Hill, bassist Rachel Bolan and drummer Rob Hammersmith!
Skid Row started in 1986 when a group of New Jersey kids, armed with their punk and metal attitude, and a collection of riff-heavy, high-octane songs, set out to conquer the world, one concert at a time. This determined and focused approach proved to be an unquestionable success, as the group went on to clock up numerous Top Ten singles, Gold and multi-Platinum selling albums and a Number 1 on the Billboard album chart. In other words, the world was theirs.
They might have conquered the world several times over, but guitarist Snake Sabo admits the success hasn’t changed him or the band, and Skid Row are focused on making more earth shattering music. He says: “I will always be that 16-year-old kid in front of the mirror, pretending to be Ace Frehley or Michael Schenker. It’s still about writing a great song with your friends, praying it connects with someone. That has never left me. That willfulness will always exist, and there’s so much left to say!”
Now, SKID ROW is gearing up to record the final instalment of the United World Rebellion trilogy. Recording new songs means capturing the signature SKID ROW energy for drummer Rob Hammersmith. “That sound and energy is what resonates with people and knocks them on their ass! We have a lot of great ideas to work with, so we’re all really excited about this new music.”
As the energy for the new album and tour is reaching fever pitch, enter ZP Theart. “I’ve been a mad fan of this band since I was a teenager, and to now be a member of SKID ROW, is beyond any sense of my imagination!”
The Fever Pitch is sure to be reached as SKID ROW unleash all that energy and hit Australia and NZ this October!
Skid Row Australian and NZ Tour Dates:
Thursday 18th October BRISBANE Eatons Hill Hotel
Friday 19th October MELBOURNE Prince Bandroom
Saturday 20th October SYDNEY Manning Bar
Sunday 21st October PERTH Astor Theatre
Tuesday 23rd October ADELAIDE The Gov
Wednesday 24th October AUCKLAND The Studio
Tickets on sale 9:00am Monday 21st May 2018
It’s been 5 years to the day (maybe one off) since the Filth has graced our shores with their presence and in that time they have released two albums, Hammer of the Witches and Cryptoriana, The Seductiveness of Decay, the latter being the reason for the tour.
Melbourne’s resident intergalactic warriors Hybrid Nightmare open tonight’s theatricals, still on a high from their first international support earlier this week with the mighty Ihsahn, frontman Loki storms the stage adorning his ceremonial outfit and raring to go. They play a tight
set keeping the crowd entertained with songs from their latest album Almagest. Hybrid Nightmare take influence musically from black and death metal, while making their influences on the stage performance obvious with the likes of Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth. Although copping power issues with the bass rig they handled the upset with professionalism and continued warming up the crowd for the show to follow.
Cradle of Filth march out on stage to their intro piece for this evening and kick off into Gilded C#*t and the crowd go into a frenzy once Dani Filth jumps on stage. Tonight’s setlist is adorned with classic tracks like Dusk and her Embrace, Beneath the Howling Stars and Bathory Aria as well as playing the latest singles Heartbreak and Séance and You Will Know the Lion by his Claw. The technical issues seemed to have followed on from Hybrid Nightmares set as the PA cuts in and out a couple of times during the first 20mins of the set, but the charismatic frontman plays it off well with a quick ‘fact’ of Melbourne’s name sake being Mel Gibson. Dani’s sense of humour is part of the Cradle of Filth charm and I can’t imagine a set without it. He cuts off a punter with a quick “Shut the Fuck up!” to which another yells out “You tell him!” to which he replies “Oi! You too!” and the crowd roars with laughter.
The encore for this evening brings out something I haven’t seen in a metal crowd before which is a slow dance. Nymphetamine begins and I see a few couples grab hands, hold each other close and sing the goth ballad whilst looking into each other eyes.
The latest female vocalist/keyboard member of the band, Lindsay Schoolcraft, has her moment to shine during this song and sings her parts well. This line up of Cradle of Filth have played extremely well and have had more crowd interaction than the last time they were in Australia. Richard Shaw, one of the current guitarists, played most of the set using mainly hammer ons and gesturing at the crowd for either a circle pit or singling out crowd members by staring and pointing at them.
Closing off their set with Her Ghost in the Fog and From the Cradle to Enslave they have played songs from most albums of their back catalogue keeping all fans happy. The new line up and the new songs sound as tight live as they do on the album, fitting in with the rest of their soundscape. I’m sure I was not the only one hoping that it’s not another two albums and 5 years in between Australian Tours, that’s just way too long!
Review Contributed by Mitch Charlton
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY SHANE HENDERSON
As the seats filled up, a packed out Frankston Arts Centre eagerly awaited the arrival of one Mr Tex Perkins.
The stage and arena lights dimmed into darkness as The Tennessee Four took to the stage.
A train engine like drum shuffle began proceedings. Then the slapping sound of a double bass joined the groove. Then you hear that particular twang of an electric guitar, and before the lights illuminated the stage, Tex Perkins, ‘The Man In Black’ walks onto the stage, with his acoustic guitar and opens the show with the Johnny Cash classic, Walk the Line.
It is exactly what you would expect, the feel, the vibe and the sound of a town hall or theatre in Southern America circa 1950’s. The crowd bopped and swayed to songs Hey Porter and Get Rhythm, to where Tex was joined on stage by Rachel Tidd, who is the June Carter of the tour. These three opening songs of the night were only the beginning of the Johnny Cash story.
Tidd and Perkins then took a seat on stools toward the sides of the stage and began telling tales of Cash’s life and career. At this moment I realized this was much more than just another tribute show, but an education in Johnny Cash 101. The stories told, were presented with excellent delivery, with a few jokes thrown in here and there. Opening my imagination and at times taking me back to a simpler time in USA where Cash would entertain his audiences.
I was fully captivated and entertained throughout the evening by the band and singers and my mind was blown by the vocal similarities of the duo Tidd and Perkins to that of Carter and Cash. To put it simple, it was an outstanding performance. Swapping between stories and songs throughout the night, rolling off a lot of Cash’s hits in a time line form from the beginning of his career, then sadly to the very end.
Rolling through hits such as It Ain’t Me Babe, How High’s The Water and several others. Then the most famous Carter and Cash duet, Jackson (which was sung as ‘Frankston’) and it really got the crowd cheering! Such a great high to end the first half of the performance.
After a brief twenty minute intermission, and a glass of local Shiraz, I returned to my seat eagerly awaiting the second half of the show.
The Tennessee Four returned to the stage after the break and sporting new blazers. Picking up where they left off, it did not take long to get back in to full swing, as Tex appeared on the stage once again, and introduced himself as only one could, ‘Hello, I’m Johnny Cash’. This was the cue for the band to start playing Folsom Prison Blues.
An amazing part of the set, featuring hits delivered in their Live at Folsom Prison - recording form. These were some of Cash’s quote, ‘hanging songs’. Songs about being imprisoned and or sentenced to death. Songs included were 25 Minutes To Go, Long Black Veil and Bad News followed by an upbeat Boy Named Sue.
Through more storytelling and more Cash hits we found ourselves at the last stop of the Tex Perkins– Man In Black show. Finishing up with a magnificent rendition of the classic duet, If I Were A Carpenter, then Cash’s outstanding cover of Nine Inch Nails, Hurt. Tex Perkins hits all these songs out of the ball park for a home run. The Night ended with Tidd on stage singing backing vocals to Ring Of Fire. As the song ended, Tidd and Perkins took a bow and made their exit off stage, hand in hand with one-another
After a lengthy applause, and cheers from the crowd, The Tennessee Four, Rachel Tidd and The Man in Black, Tex Perkins returned to the stage for a final encore. A medley of Johnny Cash’s greatest hits flowed in an up-tempo beat and oh so smoothly.
Tex Perkins-Man In Black is a show that is not to be missed. Do not mistake it for just another tribute show. It is a history lesson, and journey through the life and times of Johnny Cash via song and storytelling in its finest form. This was the first show of the national tour, so if this review sways your decision to grab a ticket, I strongly urge you to do so, as a show as great as this is not to be missed.
Review Contributed by Dillon Hughes
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY SHANE HENDERSON