As a child of the ’70s and ’80s, I have no hesitation in labeling myself a fan of all things metal, with a strong nostalgic love of hair metal in particular. That, among other things, is one of the reasons I found myself watching Steel Panther’s new DVD release British Invasion over and over again, laughing my ass off at the sheer feeling of joy I felt. Call them a parody act if you will, but Steel Panther is a blindingly bright reminder of just how fun, goofy, and great metal could be to party and listen to.
Filmed in March of 2010, the centerpiece of this release is a performance by Steel Panther at London’s Brixton Academy comprised mainly of songs from their debut album Feel the Steel, which makes sense as their follow-up Balls Out wasn’t released until 2011. That’s not to say that a few songs from that second album don’t get a chance to shine on this release, mind you.
That’s what they make “Bonus Features” for.
Back to the main DVD in this two-DVD release, I think the thing that I love the most about watching Steel Panther perform their songs live, as opposed to just popping a pair of headphones on and listening to the actual albums, is the extensive banter and antics the guys in the band make. Satchel, Michael Starr, Lexxi Foxxx, and Stix Zadinia deliver 90-plus minutes of wonderfully cheesy rock, along with choreographed danced moves. Throughout it all they crack plenty of jokes at their own expense.
When you get past those jokes and the wink-wink, nudge-nudge giggles of songs such as “Fat Girl,” “Asian Hooker” and “Party All Day,” that’s when you begin to realize you’ve been slightly headbanging as you enjoy a group of musicians that are honestly tons better than many of the bands they are having a go at.
At the end of it all, I think my one and only main complaint about the main concert of this release was that it was filmed so early and doesn’t have any of their newer material on it (as I mentioned above). The “bonus” disc that comes in this package takes a small bit of that sting away.
Along with a 30-minute backstage documentary (mockumentary, really) and 10 minutes of some of the funniest “deleted” scenes you’ll ever see on a rock DVD, you also get a five-song set from Steel Panther’s 2012 Download Festival performance, complete with a cameo from Slipknot’s Corey Taylor to close it out on a rollicking “Death to All but Metal.”
As much as I love the Brixton concert, if I were to be totally honest, I loved this small sample of the Panther in 2012. Hopefully their full set from the festival or any other show on their Balls Out tour finds its way onto a second live concert DVD, as I’ll be one of the first in line to buy it.
Until then, this is damned fine release. If you’re a fan of hair metal and have a solid sense of humor, British Invasion is very, very well worth the purchase.