This was my wife's idea. I blame her totally for this. I thought that last year was an anomaly. Less than one year after we traveled to San Antonio, TX just to attend a concert, there is now a precedent for doing it. And we found ourselves doing it again last weekend.
For reasons I can not really explain, my wife has really gotten into hair bands. Groups like Poison, Motley Crue, Cinderella, and the like. One band she has gotten into recently is Steel Panther, the hair band parody. She watches tons of video interviews with the band. They are pretty funny, I will admit, but I have never been really a fan of their music other than finding it mildly amusing. "Death to All but Metal" is a pretty funny song, but that was about the extent of my prior knowledge. My wife decided she really wanted to see this band in concert and I told her we could if they got reasonably close. Well, they were not coming terribly close, but they were coming to San Antonio. And so, we went.
First off, the Aztec Theater is amazing. Decorated to look sort of like an Aztec temple, it was a beautiful locale. It was a little more disturbing when we learned later that it used to used to show porno movies, but the design really was incredible. The only real problem I had with the venue was that you practically had to take out a mortgage in order to buy a damn drink. I am not that much of a drinker, but wanted to enjoy a beer that night, since it was my vacation and my damn beer cost almost as much as dinner for the two of us earlier.
The opening band was a local group called Project Terror. They are a traditional metal band with strong roots in 1980's heavy metal and they played a fairly long set. They were pretty decent. The guitarists were pretty impressive, even to the point that the band did a very competent cover of a Yngwie Malmsteen song with Rising Force. Vocalist Ronnie Stixx has been around for a while and had strong pipes. The highlight was probably their song "Raise Your Fist", in which Stixx did a great Halford impression singing a Running Wild song. Project Terror was pretty decent and was probably the highlight of the night for me. I love discovering bands I have not previously heard before.
But the highlight for my wife was undoubtedly Steel Panther. They looked typically ridiculous when they took the stage, like rejects from Poison. Nothing less was expected though since they are what they are. Bassist Lexxi Foxx was wearing brightly colored pants referred to as peacock pants. Their personas were on full display and they spent a lot of time bantering between songs and insulting each other. The bassist was the usual target of jabs and spent a lot of time preening and looking at himself in a bedazzled pink mirror. I will say they are very talented musicians, particularly guitarist Satchel who performed an extended solo in which he stood at the drumset and kept time by playing the bass drum while shredding. There was a fair amount of audience participation as well, usually the band pulling women onto the stage to embarrass them a little bit. The performance was definitely entertaining. I am still not really a fan of the band, but I had a good time, and it made my wife happy, which is nice.
The best part of the trip though was the food. The last time we were down to San Antonio, we discovered a terrific Chinese restaurant in Austin called Ho Ho's Chinese BBQ and we had to stop there on the way there and back. We also ordered Franklin BBQ, apparently a world-famous barbecue place, also in Austin. I would definitely go back for the food alone.
All in all, it was a fun trip. I can not say I would have ever considered going to see Steel Panther before, but I had a good time, and of course my wife loved it. I will be getting back at her with a couple of the concerts we have planned over the next couple of months though...