Steel Panther, Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard review from MEN Arena

Three band bill at the Manchester Evening News Arena (MEN Arena). Those names are GIANTS when it comes to live-performances, definitely among the best in the business. Without a doubt always worth a trip to anywhere!

STEEL PANTHER

When we were standing outside the arena, waiting for the doors to open, I admitted that I had never listened to Steel Panther. The clown-thing works in a movie but I didn’t think I would like it in a “real band”. So my expectations were down to zero. When you’ve got no expectations whatsoever, it’s usually a good thing. You can’t get disappointed.

I’ve heard about these guys a lot from a good friend who really digs them, and he’s sent me plenty of links to their videos on Youtube, even from back when they were Metal Skool.

As I was watching the arena fill up, it was crystal clear that a LOT of people had come to see Steel Panther. One silly bad wig after another and lots of tiger- and leopard-spandex everywhere.

Lights went out, intro voice started, crowd screaming…and out came Steel Panther – looking just as ridiculously 80’s as I imagined they would. But they were freaking great.

 Even if the whole point of this band is celebrating, or doing a parody of the 80’s glam and sleaze-scene, they are doing it damn well. Not that it’s surprising that the musicianship is top notch – after all it’s a bunch of former session musicians. They know their business and the songs were surprisingly good.

The band had a fantastic energy on stage that was really contageous. Most of all, I was laughing so hard at their silliness, they were too fuckin’ funny! I swear, my FACE was aching from the constant laughing and smiling – so I give Steel Panther a big, fat 10 out of 10 for entertainment value! 

Can’t wait to see them again, and next time not from the seated section, but from the front row!

MÖTLEY CRÛE

I’ve seen Motley Crue many, many times over the years – but I’ve never seen them do such an unexpected entry ever…! First there’s a bunch of roadies preparing the stage for the band, the arena is lit and music is playing, people out there buying merch and beer…. When out of the blue, we’re talking seconds, lights go out and the Crue runs in on stage – BAM!!

There’s Vince Neil! Uhm…. and yeah. That was pretty much the only person you really noticed throughout Motley Crues entire set.
Vince was all over the place. He might not be a Pavarotti and he never was – at times his voice sucked really bad. BUT – I salute him for his showmanship.

He is the only one on the stage, except for Tommy Lee, who genuinely seems to be enjoying himself and gives everything he’s got.

I was always a Nikki Sixx-fan, I guess the whole world is… Or was. But I don’t see him enjoying himself really. If he is, he hides it pretty well. There were times when I had to really look hard to find him on the stage from where I was. Even when I’m reading his posts on Facebook, he sounds more like a management than a musician with a true love for rock’n’roll. It shows on stage too.

Yet he is the star and the icon of the band – probably more because he is cool. And he’s hot. I’ll give him that. :)

The entertainers in Mötley are Vince and Tommy.

The drum-solo was WICKEDDDDDD!! It’s just so over the top insane. It’s what makes Motley Crue a band worth seeing – you can be sure that they will bring something new, something crazy, something wild, something that’s just nuts. If you want a SHOW, this is the band to go see. No expenses are spared. 

Super cool lightshow, good sound, the classic songs that we can all sing along to. I can’t say I was bored, but I didn’t get a huge kick either – except for maybe when they played my favorite songs.

I’m impressed Mick Mars can do what he does, against all odds – that’s just amazing. 

But basically – the stars of the LIVE-band Mötley Crë were Vince and Tommy, for working their asses off on stage. Can’t wait to see them again at Sweden Rock Festival next year!

DEF LEPPARD

Def Leppard did everything right. Yet it didn’t go all the way. I’ve been trying to figure out why, because I can’t point out any particular reason. It was just that “THAT” was lacking. The magic wasn’t there – although everything else was.

Impressive stage production. Flawless sound. And Joe Elliott. He’s always impressed me, cause he’s a one-of-a-kind frontman who always OWNS his stage.

He still had the same presence, very confident, very intense. But it didn’t do anything for me. It felt like watching a Las Vegas-show. Everything picture perfect, yet it was just another day at the office for Def Leppard.

The only time they felt human and close to the crowd, was when they stripped down and performed an acoustic version of “Two Steps Behind“. Suddenly they made Europe’s largest indoor arena, with a 21,000 capacity, feel like an intimate evening at the local pub. That was impressive.

The songs are there and the Leps have done this shit since they were kids. They sure as hell know what they’re doing. It’s just that there always comes a time in every artist’s and every band’s career when they lose their magic – or when it temporarily disappears.

I’d say that this evening should have been reversed – Def Leppard should have opened, followed by Motley Crue and then wrapped up by the high-energy hungry Steel Panther. If performance ruled those things and not record sales, that would have been a lot more interesting. ;P

We left the show before it was over, had a night-bus to catch. When we walked out, it didn’t feel like I was missing out on a whole lot.

BUT – it was still worth the trip, no doubt about it.
Nothing was BAD it just didn’t quite go all the way up to eleven. :-)

Or maybe I’m just getting picky. :-D

Photos on FB: http://www.facebook.com/InTheRearviewMirror 

9 comments

  1. Clint

    I’d guess sitting that far back wasn’t conducive to really getting into it either, I know I feel that way. Steel Panther’s banter alone would be worth going for though :P

  2. Daniela

    You’re right, it’s not the same sitting that far back, but it’s not the first time I see Motley and Def Leppard so there’s still something to compare to. I can’t say they were bad, they just didn’t deliver that “wow!”-feeling. You’re absolutely right about Steel Panther, oh man that was the funniest shit I’ve seen in a long time! :-)))

  3. Phil

    Steel Panther’s guitar player-Satchel also played with Paul Gilbert and was a guitar teacher at the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles.)The boys from Panther have some SERIOUS SKILLS!

  4. Daniela

    Phil – they do and it’s pretty ballsy to use those skills the way they do with Steel Panther. Most “skilled musicians” are dead serious, you don’t exactly see Yngwie Malmsteen goofing around the way they do. The best of two worlds, no doubt.

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