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STEEL PANTHER, BLACK STONE CHERRY In Ottawa, Canada

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Monday, November 21, 2022 @ 9:56 AM


Not For Teacher! Sunset Strip Metallers, Southern Rockers Class Up Algonquin College’s Commons Theater On November 11

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Back in March of 2015 when I was a student at this same college,as part of a class project which I was the only male student involved in it, I helped with the promotion of The Honor Diaries, a documentary about women’s rights in the Middle East. It was informative. It was provocative. And its premier screening attracted a grand total of two people from the same class who weren’t involved in the project.

Not to mention that it was the closest claim to fame which I can attest to in having shared a stage with one of the most well-known and well-renowned heavy metal comedy acts in the industry some 7 years later.

The Res-Erection Tour that had been partying its way across North America for the past month or so finally made its first-ever appearance on a cold rainy Friday night on campus, undeterring none of the faithful attendees at the sold-out show, with some even sporting mullet wigs and customized jean jackets with band patches mulling around the campus’ Commons Theater, soaking up the atmosphere of live shows once more when they weren’t getting soaked by the downpour outside. Heavy Metal Parking Lot had arrived at Algonquin College – and the soundtrack was just as decent.

Once “Sabotage” by the BEASTIE BOYS had finished reverberating over the PA (which seems to be their own “Doctor Doctor” moment before a show), openers BLACK STONE CHERRY open their set with “Me And Mary Jane” from their 2014 album Magic Mountain. The band, formed in Edmonton, Kentucky in 2001 by Chris Robertson and John Fred Young (son of the KENTUCKY HEADHUNTERS’ rhythm guitarist Richard Young), may have initially fallen into the post-grunge radio sound heap of THEORY OF A NICKELCREED during the early 2000’s but unlike their initial peers, they’re definitely a more exciting lively-sounding band when onstage. That and their peers also don’t have a full-time touring percussionist who’s actually interesting to watch perform like BSC have in the form of Jeffery Boggs, who was a virtual beast on the bongos – a sentence I thought I’d never ever have to include in a music review. Blonde-haired guitarist John Fred Young has an amazing knack of never missing his solo cues while leaping around the stage; I genuinely thought that he was Satchel subbing for the band. Their rhythm section comprised of black T-shirt clad drummer John Fred Young and newcomer Steve Jewell on bass admittedly look like they’d be more in place in a progressive metal band, but they deliver a powerful groove throughout the hits such as “Me And Mary Jane”, “Again”, “Cheaper To Drink Alone”, a decent cover of ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA’s “Don’t Bring Me Down”, “Blame It On The Boom Boom” and the closing number “Lonely Train” (which my seating neighbor Kyle had been shouting out as a request throughout their set from the balcony). Incidentally, the gradual transformation of frontman Chris Robertson from a young-looking Jack Black since the “White Trash Millionaire” video to the stylish-looking version of Geoff Tate whom he seemed to be channeling in parts during my first live BSC concert experience was something I hadn’t really observed or understood in full up until that night and the next night when I attempted “White Trash Millionaire” for karaoke also for the first time ever – and, yes, I received the Jack Black comparisons during my performance despite missing a bit of my cue on the lyrics. Nevertheless, I saw out the end of BLACK STONE CHERRY’s first-ever Ottawa visit convinced of their ability to deliver an exciting performance. That’ll be hard for the following band to truly and proverbially pop that CHERRY, am I right?

http://www.blackstonecherry.com/
https://www.instagram.com/blackstonecherryofficial/
https://www.facebook.com/blackstonecherry/

Setlist:

  • “Me And Mary Jane”
  • “Burnin’”
  • “Again”
  • “Like I Roll”
  • “Cheaper To Drink Alone”
  • “Don’t Bring Me Down” (ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA cover)
  • “White Trash Millionaire”
  • “Blame It On The Boom Boom”
  • “Lonely Train”
….did I just say “hard” and “popping that cherry”? They both apply when that aforementioned following band happens to be headliners STEEL PANTHER and their celebration of their inappropriately brand of goofball comedy and 80’s hair metalare about to rule the stage for the next 90 minutes starting with the opening track “Goin’ In The Backdoor”. The band – comprised of Michael Starr (vocals), Satchel (guitarist), Stix Zadinya (drums) and newcomer Spyder (bass, who’d replaced original four-stringer Lexxi Foxx) – deliver as many obscenely hilarious gags and references to the 80’s Sunset Strip era as they do riffs that it’s damn near impossible to keep up, but it’s still fun to try nevertheless. A few examples:

Satchel: “Ottawa is my favorite city ever!”
Michael Starr: “Dude, that’s what you said about Regina!”
Satchel: “I said that VA-gina was my favorite THING ever!”

And there was this:

Satchel: “What are they saying about Rick Allen from DEF LEPPARD these days?”
Michael Starr: “That he’s always left out. But do you know what else they’re saying about Rick Allen from DEF LEPPARD these days?”
Satchel: “What?”
Michael Starr: “That’s he’s all right!”

Hilarity from the entire theater ensues. And it was just 15 minutes into their performance. This was why a screening about a documentary about women’s rights in the Middle East only attracted two people in the same theater in 2015. In fact, even with some of the comedy performances occasionally drawing out a bit longer than they needed to when they could’ve easily played another song, STEEL PANTHER budgeted their time efficiently. The crowd pleasers such as “Asian Hooker”, “Just Like Tiger Woods”, “Weenie Ride”, “17 Girls In A Row” and “Death To All But Metal” were all included and the band still found room to include a couple of OZZY and JUDAS PRIEST covers (the traditional ones, somewhat amended), literally invite 16 other girls up on stage after bassist Spyder tried to write his first song for a lucky local woman named Kesha, let Satchel indulge in both a guitar and drum solo at the same time (a bit like REIGNWOLF before he hired a rhythm section) and debut a new song titled “Never Too Late (To Get Some Pussy Tonight)” from the band’s forthcoming sixth studio album On The Prowl. Satchel and Sypder even managed to break up a small fight in between numbers at one point by calling it to security’s attention and getting the perpetrators publicly shamed and ejected from the premises.

All in all, a sold-out show which was worth the trip through the actual November rain and memorable for all of the right reasons – perfect for STEEL-ing away the evening.

https://steelpantherrocks.com/
https://www.facebook.com/steelpanther
https://www.instagram.com/steelpanther/
https://twitter.com/Steel_Panther

Setlist:

  • “Goin’ In The Backdoor”
  • “Tomorrow Night”
  • “Asian Hooker”
  • “All I Wanna Do Is Fuck Myself Tonight”
  • “Just Like Tiger Woods”
  • “Never Too Late (To Get Some Pussy Tonight)”
  • “Living After Midnight” (JUDAS PRIEST cover)
  • “Crazy Train” (OZZY OSBOURNE cover)
  • Guitar/drum solo
  • “Weenie Ride”
  • “17 Girls In A Row”
  • “Death To All But Metal”
Encore:
  • “Community Property”
  • “Gloryhole”


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