Stonebreed / Steel Panther – HOB Hollywood
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
I’ve seen Steel Panther (previously Metal Skool) here and there throughout the years, but had not seen them since they made their latest venue switch from the Key Club to the House of Blues. When I found out that Stonebreed was opening the show 04/12/10, I couldn’t miss this opportunity to see them perform live for the first time. I “found” Stonebreed online a while back and instantly fell in love with them. They are hard rock with a southern edge, and sing about really important topics like whiskey and women.
The band had an unlimited guest list for this show, and they definitely did their dirty work to get fans there. When I got to HOB, there was a long line of fans waiting to get their free tickets, and all around me I heard people talking about how great Stonebreed is. Once I was inside, it seemed pretty full for an “opening band.” People usually don’t get to a Steel Panther show until much later.
This was no opening band though. This was STONEBREED! Listening to them on my little computer speakers didn’t come close to the raw energy and power of a live show!
They hit the stage hard with an original song called “Rattlesnake” and the whole crowd was rockin’. They kept the momentum going strong with cover song “Train, Train,” (Blackfoot) which everyone knew and sang along with. I recognized the next song, “Miss Me,” from their website, and it was great to see them perform this heartfelt ballad live. “I’m Gone” was the perfect follow-up song. It started out slow, with soothing vocals, and then exploded into blistering leads and a riff heavy chorus.
Just when things started to slow down, they picked it right back up again with another well-known cover song, Pat Traver’s “Snortin’ Whiskey.” They shared a couple more originals, “Back Home” and the ballsy “Whiskey Well,” and then ended with a cover song that really surprised me… Def Leppard’s “Let it Go!” Aside from Def Leppard tribute bands, and of course Def Leppard, I’ve never heard anyone else perform this song live. It definitely “rocked” and “rolled.” The only disappointment I had was that Stonebreed’s set ended so soon. I was pumped up and ready to rock, and then it was over…
Originally Mandy Lion was supposed to perform next. I’m not sure why, but someone named Ronnie North was listed to play instead. I got excited when I saw that Ronnie had purple hair and was wearing torn-up Lip Service pants. I was hoping for some glam/punk like The Zeros or The Mistakes. Instead, after two long instrumental pieces, he finally approached the microphone, but not to sing… And he NEVER did. They were good. The music was beautiful and melodic. But, it just didn’t fit in the middle of a rock concert.
The place was pretty packed for Steel Panther. For those of you who don’t know, Steel Panther is an 80’s rock-n-roll tribute, full of spoofs, sex, and fun. I needed to head out early, and saw just a handful of their crazy antics. They were onstage rolling out their usual shtick of big hair, make-up, and spandex, and were playing Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” as six scantily clad female fans danced onstage. Since I live and breathe rock-n-roll daily, I’d rather not make a parody of it with kids in mullet wigs, just to look at half naked chicks on stage. I can see that anywhere. The half naked chicks that is! lol.
The bottom line is: Stonebreed put on a rock-solid show.