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Steel Panther, Bowling For Soup and Buckcherry, Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham - review

Three bands, three different genres of rock - and one hell of a show.

Steel Panther, Bowling For Soup and Buckcherry, Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham - review

Fans were treated to a tremendous triple header last night as Buckcherry, Bowling For Soup and Steel Panther took Birmingham by storm.

Following the announcement of their tour, I found myself a little surprised that heavy rock outfit Buckcherry were joining what are essentially two comedy bands (talented as they are) - but the difference in feeling and tempo of each set made the night one of varied sounds and exhilarating shows.

Orange County rockers Buckcherry opened the show; the five-piece all dressed in black and delivering a hefty, gritty sound throughout.

And the group's infectious electric energy made them the perfect opening act.

Though the sound was not as clean as it could have been to begin with, this was quickly sorted and crowds were treated to a number of favourites including Lit Up and, of course, Crazy B***h.

The band also - rather surprisingly - performed an awesome, heavy rock rendition of Icona Pop's electro mainstream hit I Love It, which went down a storm.

Sizzling frontman Josh Todd looked as gorgeous as ever too, impressing with his Jagger and Axl Rose-like dance moves and strong vocals.

Next up came Texan punk pop group Bowling For Soup, whose lively, humorous set seemed to pull in the last few straggling crowd members - and for good reason too.

Old school hits such as High School Never Ends and Punk Rock 101 had fans reliving their teenage years - and singing and dancing along with all their might.

"Who's excited about our song Stacy's Mom?" laughed frontman Jaret Reddick, as many of the crowd foolishly cheered.

"That's not our song."

But they played the 2003 number all the same - and did a brilliant job in doing so. Needless to say, it went down incredibly well with the audience, who faithfully sang along to each word.

Huge hits 1985 and Girl All The Bad Guys Want were tremendous too, making a great end to an excellent, pitch-perfect set.

Then came the main attraction: Steel Panther.

It was clear just by looking at the crowd who they had come to see; with men dressed in huge glam rock wigs, make-up, sweat bands and skin-tight leggings.

"How come people never dress up when they come to see our shows?" Bowling For Soup's Jaret had said previously.

"We'd be the easiest costume ever - just wear a fat suit and a bald cap."

LA comedy metal band Steel Panther opened their set with Eyes Of A Panther; with frontman Ralph Saenz (AKA Michael Starr) dressed in a silver bandana, with cut-out leggings and a black tank top.

"I've been so stoked for this show," said Michael.

"Birmingham, you're the best."

Rafts of heavy, humourous tracks followed, including Turn Out The Lights and Just Like Tiger Woods, before multi-talented guitarist Russ Parrish (AKA Satchel) impressed with an awesome guitar solo - punctuated by the beat of the drums, which he also played.

The most impressive moment of the night for me, however, was when the band were joined by Bowling For Soup frontman Jaret for an astonishing performance of Skid Row's Youth Gone Wild. Truly, I had no idea Jaret had such an incredible vocal range - with strength that easily challenged stand-out singer Michael.

Another highlight was when the band invited girls from the crowd on to the stage for 17 Girls In A Row. The group got more than they bargained for in doing this, however, as around 30 girls poured onto the stage, swinging their hips and posing for selfies with the band.

Songs such as Community Property, Death To All But Metal and Party All Day followed, before confetti cannons exploded over the crowd signalling the end of the show.

A hilarious, cheeky, exhilarating night out - and a memorable evening I hope to enjoy again soon.

By Kirsten Rawlins

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