Mark Wahlberg stars as Chris Cole, the lead singer of a tribute band who becomes lead singer of the real band he idolizes. This movie explores the rabid popularity and backstage excesses of the glam rock bands that dominated 1980's music.
----
!!This film contains examples of:
* APartyAlsoKnownAsAnOrgy: The party that occurs after Chris' first performance with Steel Dragon.
* ArmoredClosetGay: Steel Dragon's original singer. Also, according to WordofGod (on the commentary), Bradley, the rival singer who replaces Chris in Blood Pollution.
* AscendedFanboy: The plot.
* BasedOnATrueStory: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_%22Ripper%22_Owens Tim "Ripper" Owens was in a Judas Priest tribute band before joining Judas Priest itself]].
* BasementDweller: Although he doesn't live in the basement, pre-fame Chris Cole is a grown man who still lives with his parents (a fact that his police officer brother loves pointing out), and his bedroom walls are covered in Steel Dragon posters.
* BigBrotherMentor: Mats.
* BingeMontage: Happens while Steel Dragon is on tour and living the rock and roll lifestyle.
* BookEnds: Chris impresses the lead singer by singing along at a concert; a fan later does the same thing to him.
* BritishRockstar: Most of the other members of Steel Dragon, although Ghode (the other guitarist, played by [[Music/BlackLabelSociety Zakk Wylde]]) is American, as evidenced by his New Jersey accent.
* ControlFreak: Chris' insistence that Blood Pollution play the songs ''exactly'' the same way Steel Dragon does, as well as refusing to let his bandmates play original songs, eventually results in him being kicked out of the band.
* DeadpanSnarker: Emily is one of these.
* DoingItForTheArt: [[invoked]] How Chris feels about his tribute band.
* TheEighties
* EightiesHair
* EndOfAnAge: The hair-metal/glam rock era of the 80's.
* FakeBand
* GroupieBrigade: And how!
* {{Grunge}}: [[spoiler:At the end of the film Chris becomes disillusioned with the rock star lifestyle, so he quits Steel Dragon, moves to Seattle, and starts making grunge music.]]
* IAmTheBand: Kurt Cutty feels this way.
* ImportantHaircut: Chris gets one at the end, going from metal length to [[KurtCobain Cobain]] length.
* InsistentTerminology: Blood Pollution is a ''tribute'' band, ''not'' a cover band (at least according to Chris).
* IntercourseWithYou: The Steel Dragon song "Stand Up And Shout".
* MeaningfulEcho: When Bobby Beers is fired from Steel Dragon, it plays out very similarly to Chris being kicked out of Blood Pollution earlier in the film.
* MetalHead: The members of Steel Dragon, their fans, and their groupies.
* MetalScream: Stand up and SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUT!
* MinimalisticCoverArt: Chris is scoffed at when he recommends this.
* MrFanservice: As the manager explains, this is why the band is popular.
* MsFanservice: Nina and Samantha, the two Steel Dragon fangirls/groupies. Their only roles in the film seem to be looking sexy and saying everything in unison (although they were ultimately responsible for Chris joining Steel Dragon by showing a Blood Pollution video tape to Kurt Cutty).
* NewSoundAlbum: Chris wants to do one of these, but is overruled.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: No bands were harmed; Steel Dragon could easily be a stand-in for Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Judas Priest, Guns N' Roses, Twisted Sister, Poison, Winger, Slaughter, Warrant, etc.
* NobodyLovesTheBassist: Played straight. The singer and lead guitar are the only members written in any detail.
* PosterGalleryBedroom: Chris has one. Covered in (you guessed it) Steel Dragon posters.
* PowerBallad: "We All Die Young".
* RealMenWearPink: "Is that mascara?" "I'm in a band."
* TheRockStar: Chris becomes one.
* RunningGag: Don't call Blood Pollution a cover band.
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll
* TheShowMustGoOn: In the very beginning of the first song in his first concert with [[FakeBand Steel Dragon]], [[AscendedFanboy Chris Cole]] slips and falls down the stairs. Despite a nasty head wound and possible concussion, Chris rallies and finishes the song and the concert.
* SiblingRivalry: Chris thinks his brother, Joe, fight constantly. Joe thinks Chris is a pathetic BasementDweller, while Chris thinks his brother is a pig cop. Their relationship seems to improve after Chris joins Steel Dragon.
* ShownTheirWork: In-universe, Chris knows everything about Steel Dragon. "The stitching should be green... and has anyone ever seen Bobby wear a jacket with blue lapels?"
* StageNames: Izzy.
* StopHavingFunGuys: An in-universe example. The other members of Blood Pollution are playing to have a good time, but Chris is so obsessive about perfectly imitating Steel Dragon that it causes his bandmates to resent him, and ultimately results in him being kicked out of the band.
* UnsettlingGenderReveal : [[spoiler: Tania]], while wearing Chris' pants.
* YokoOhNo: Averted in-universe. Emily is very supportive of Chris.
----