All photography and content © John Raptis Photography 2020

Steel Panther Live @ The Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne

The Sidney Myer Music Bowl was the place to be overt the weekend with three of Cock Rock’s finest set to turn Melbourne’s summery humidity into an ooze of kick ass American Hard Rock N Roll!

I was so looking forward to this gig as it would be my first encounter with the greatest band in the world, Steel Panther! And also, the first time I have photographed at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.

Unfamiliar with the venue on arrival I noticed a massive queue of fans waiting to get in that stretched for a kilometre long. Thankfully, I just walked past them all and headed straight for the VIP section of the ticketing booth. (I love doing that!) 😉

The Bowl looked absolutely fantastic and I was left wondering why don’t more Rock bands play here. It is just the perfect music venue – especially on a summer’s day and I was so glad to be able to shoot at this historic and iconic music venue.

First on the bill were wrestler-turned-singer Chris Jericho’s band Fozzy. Can’t say I have ever heard their stuff but they put forth a great set of standard hard rock fare. It was still light out so the photos were pretty easy.

Buckcherry were up next and they delivered a kick ass set of classic Los Angeles rock n roll. They received a tremendous reception from the crowd and again, their music isn’t something I had been too familiar with but after tonight’s showing, I made a mental note to definitely check out some of their stuff!

Just before Steel Panther were to take the stage, security really roughed up one punter as they were removing him from the venue. Don’t know what he did to cause such scrutiny, but it took 4 buffoons to forcibly remove him from the venue. Felt sorry for the kid to be honest and I was left wondering why so much brutal force to get him out(!)

With the Bowl now well and truly packed and the sun having all but set on Melbourne, it was time for Steel Panther.

They took to the stage like seasoned pros and the first thing I noticed on everyone’s face that was in attendance, were grins from ear-to-ear. Everyone was having fun. Everyone was enjoying such an entertaining band full of life, colour, wit and a ton of made-up sarcasm.

It was the glorious hair-metal 80’s with more spandex, make-up, glitter, glam and attitude right there on that stage and geez, they were an absolute joy to photograph!

It was clearly one of the funnest gigs I have ever got to shoot and it could have been even more special when the band’s road-manager invited me to go on-stage to shoot the band. Just as I made it up there, the lead bouncer absolutely refused me entry. The road-manager pleaded his case to let me up for one song, but the goon did not let it happen.

I shook hands with the road-manager and thanked him for trying but it just wasn’t to be.

All in all, probably one of the most fun gigs I have ever had the chance to photograph.

Superb night all round!



Steel Panther

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