Unplugged? Thanks, Tesla.

Music reviews


Live from Lexxi’s mom’s Garage, Steel Panther, Kobalt, 2016.

And yes, that’s the Cherrie Pie girl adorning the cover, the one and only Bobbie Brown.

When l first heard the news of a Steel Panther live album in early January, I thought,”That’s great, now is the perfect time!”. With three albums of comedy gold and infectious Heavy Metal under their belts, the band’s ever-dedicated fanthers are more than ready for a live album. I’ve personally witnessed the band in concert a few times on different tours and they always deliver the goods live. Then l read the album – then untitled – was to be an acoustic performance l had mixed feelings (and flashbacks of Tesla and Mr. Big). Knowing how talented and fun the guys in Steel Panther are l was sure they would somehow pull it off and that Live from Lexxi’s mom’s garage would be a hit… At my place.

Sure there’s been the British lnvasion DVD (2011), but this counts as the band’s first proper live album. Live from Lexxi’s mom’s garage is a dual CD/DVD package. The DVD also features some video skits with the band’s trademark humour on display in between songs (not so much in the live set). I’m not much of a tech guy, but l can tell you the visuals and quality of the DVD are excellent. Likewise, the audio CD sounds great in the car and is not heavily edited from the concert.

Michael Starr is – to me – one of the best frontmen in rock, present or past. The man delivers night after night the way some of his older peers can’t. Ever the highly energetic frontman and ringleader, Starr commands attention with his undeniable charisma. Satchel proves he is one talented guitar player, making the move from electric to acoustic smoothly, playing his butt off and his backing vocals complement Starr’s perfectly. Stixx Zadinia has to hold back a little on the drums in an acoustic setting, but does a great job of laying the foundation hard without overshadowing the rest of the band. Lexxi, plays what needs to be played on bass (I still think he doesn’t enough credit for his playing and backing vocals) and as usual, is the target of many jokes.

Bobbie Brown making an appearance on the album cover and during the show is great and helps cement Steel Panther’s association with Hair-Metal. Having the “Cherry Pie” girl be a part of the show was a nice touch (Tawny Kitaen would have been s suitable choice as well). She delivers on her role as Lexxi’s mom and contributes to comic moments.

From time-proven tunes like “Community Property” and “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows) to new songs like “That’s When You Came In”, the band is giving the packed garage a healthy serving of their best songs and the audience is eating it up. Even though this is an acoustic performance and little more mellow than the usual Steel Panther show the crowd is on fire and it’s a great sight to behold.

A lot of the songs already lend very well to the acoustic setting such as “If You Really, Really Love Me”. Some of the songs have a different flavour acoustically such as “The Burden of Being Wonderful” which came as a great surprise. Even one of their heavier offering, “Death To All But Metal”, has a nice twist to it and ends up sounding unexpectedly unique in an acoustic setting.

Live from Lexxi’s mom’s garage is comprised of 13 songs, a live CD and a DVD in one fun and inexpensive package. For the Steel Panther fan, this is worth a look as it offers interesting twists on beloved songs and all the fun, crude humour you can handle. 4/5stars


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