I remember when I first listened to Steel Panther. I was fifteen at the time, and I believe I was off sick from school. Normally on sick days, I’d either watch cartoons or music channels like Kerrang! and Scuzz. I can’t remember which one it was, but Steel Panther’s music video for “Death to all but metal” came on. I found the video was entertaining, especially at the beginning when the teacher questions the rebellious kid and talks him down about heavy metal and he simply replies with “Death to all but metal” Cue Steel Panther. The song to me was like an anthem, because when I was fifteen, I had the kind of attitude that kid in the video had. I criticized music that wasn’t heavy enough, and talked down other genres, especially pop. Of course I wasn’t metal, because the heaviest band I listened to back then was Slipknot, and even they aren’t considered “real metal” to some people (not that I actually care about that) No, I was a bitter emo kid back then who moped around listening to Marilyn Manson, and like I said before, wanted to spit on happy pop songs.
Anyway, I downloaded the song from the Internet and told my friends about it. Most of them enjoyed it, and me and this one friend in particular started to say “Death to all but metal” practically all the time. I definitely don’t agree with that statement now obviously, but it was pretty amusing at the time.
After a year had passed, I finished school in year eleven and moved on to study a level 3 diploma in college. 2011 was a pretty sweet year, and to top it all off, my boyfriend at the time booked me and him tickets to see Def Leppard at the Wembley Arena in December with Motley Crue and Steel Panther as supports. I was so excited to go, and remember trying to hold my excitement in as I sat in college listening to a guest speaker. I couldn’t hold my focus much though. That’s how excited I was.
The concert was amazing, and despite going with an ex boyfriend, it was definitely one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. Both Motley Crue and Steel Panther were amazing support acts (especially Motley Crue and their stage performances) Steel Panther were funny guys and were great with the audience, and “Just like Tiger Woods” had become one of my favorites from them. The people there were friendly too and a lot of fun to be around. It was a night to remember, and one I so desperately wanted to relive. But unfortunately, all good things come to an end.
Nearly a year later, me and my ex were going to see Steel Panther again. I was seventeen at this point, and still had the same kind of attitude I had when I was fifteen, except now I was crazily obsessed with Motley Crue (that and my ex boyfriend’s attitude unfortunately turned me into a bit of a douche for a while), and criticized modern metal (Ignorantly labelling it “emo shit” constantly) I was excited to go, and remember my mum giving me a note to give to my tutor to tell him that I’d have to leave early due to a doctor’s appointment, when I was actually going to go to travel to London for the show. The excitement was almost like what I felt a year earlier, and I knew the show would be just as awesome as Def Leppard’s, right?
Wrong. I wish I never attended that concert.
I remember the long queue into the Hammersmith Apollo (since we still had to wait for the doors to open) There were a lot of fans with funky 80s glam metal clothes and wigs. One group in particular started to sing “Death to all but metal”, and a few of us sang along (excluding my ex who just stood around like a lemon) The more we sang, the more excited I got.
However, it was the fans who ruined the night for me, and made me out as some idiot. I noticed at first, a few were glaring at me, some were laughing and some just flat-out swore at me for no reason.
But the worst is what happened before the concert. The show was just about to start, and the lights were out and the stage was lit up with flashy looking lights. No one in the seating area were standing up yet, but I had to stand up for a quick moment to let a guy come through to his seat. Immediately, an ignorant fat man with a wig that looked like black pubic hair yelled “Sit down!” at me. He didn’t care that the guy coming through had a crutch. The band hadn’t even come on yet, so I don’t know what he was getting so pissy about. I decided whilst I was still up to take a quick snap of the stage, so just as the man on the crutch passed me, I quickly took my phone out to get a picture of the stage. Again, he yelled “Sit down!” I was embarrassed and angry. I couldn’t say anything back, because he was sitting one row behind me, so it would look like I was snapping at the wrong people. I immediately sat down, blushing red. My ex didn’t even ask if I was okay, but just stared at me with a look of shock in his face. It was more like he was shocked at me than the guy to be honest. Yeah, thanks so much for defending me.
I tried to enjoy the concert as much as I could though, and continued to take pictures (since everyone was standing up now) Pubic hair man didn’t bother me anymore, though I did catch this one guy who was obviously trying too hard, as he starting throw plastic cups towards the stage. Luckily, I was on the other side of the seating area from him, so it didn’t hit me. He was the only one doing this, and I’m surprised security didn’t come out to tell him to stop.
I kept a smiling face on after the concert, but deep down I was hurt a lot. Me and my ex took the train back home, and none of us talked about pubic hair man or the douchebag fans. We just talked about how much we enjoyed the concert, and I showed him the pictures I took.
I was still hurt a lot from how I was treated, and didn’t want to go to Motorhead the day after the next day. Luckily, that concert was a lot better and I’m glad I went.
But after what happened, I started listening to Steel Panther less and less. I still kept their songs on my iPod, but skipped every song from them that came up. My obsession with Motley Crue eventually died too. In the end, when me and my ex broke up a few months later, I realised how selfish and close-minded I must have been when I was 15-17, and I was deeply embarrassed by my attitude. I had guilty pleasure pop songs which I only listened to on Youtube (when my ex wasn’t around. His attitude with music was worse) that I added to my iPod, and I went to see Green Day in the summer. A lot of the Steel Panther fans hated them, and were shouting “Death to Green Day!” during the queue. To me, going to see Green Day was like a big “fuck you” to those assholes in my mind. I felt better about myself, now that I dumped my ignorant boyfriend (the relationship was really dying around the time we saw Steel Panther), stopped my annoying 80s metal obsession and simply decided that I was going to listen to what I wanted. Bite me, Steel Panther fans.
Unfortunately, it was my bad concert experience that put me off the band. I know not all Steel Panther fans are like that (In fact, I know a few fans who are great people) and I don’t completely blame the band, but I just don’t like them anymore. Yeah, they were cool when I was a teenager, but now, they’re just too much for my liking. I stopped listening for a while since the concert, but it took me until just a few months ago to realize that I no longer like them.
I still have one of their CDs and a t-shirt. I’m going to try and sell the CD through CEX. As for the shirt, I’m going to burn it because the print on the front is crappy and probably won’t sell. I’m going to burn it to burn my old attitude and the concert itself. I’m glad I moved on from them (I still like Def Leppard and Motley Crue though), as it’s made me a better and more open-minded person.
Anyway, just for the lolz, here’s a photo of me when I was seventeen compared to how I am now.