May 9, 2012 Fallen Blue Benefit with A.J. Pero, Baltimore MD 
Monday, May 14, 2012, 11:31 PM
Posted by Administrator
Road Report Coming, folks....

dealing with some health issues at the moment....will have the road report from the A.J. Pero Fallen Blue Benefit shortly....stay tuned, my babies
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On to glory! 
Sunday, March 18, 2012, 06:11 PM
Posted by Administrator
Stay tuned, my babies...

the European edition of the Armadillo Road Report is coming this summer!

UPDATED:
I'll be on the road this summer in Norway, Sweden, Spain, Belgium and the U.S. Look forward to seeing all you SMFs on the road and rest assured I'll be bringing you all of the concert details you want to know (...and plenty ya' don't!)

This will be the best Twisted summer ever--so get out there and see Twisted Sister live--you won't regret it!
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Setlist for Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie New York, March 3, 2012 
Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 12:12 AM
Posted by Administrator
The absolutely fantastically played setlist:

1. What You Don't Know
2. The Kids Are Back
3. Stay Hungry
4. Destroyer
5. You Can't Stop Rock M' Roll"
6. The Fire Still Burns
7. Sin After Sin
8. We're Not Gonna Take It
9. The Price
10. Burn In Hell
Drum colo w/reprise
11. Heroes Are Hard to Find
12. I Wanna Rock
Encores:
13. Come Out and Play
14. Under The Blade
15. S.M.F.
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Detective John Falcone Memorial Concert, Poughkeepsie NY, March 3, 2012 
Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 12:04 AM
Posted by Administrator
I apologize for the lateness of my report, but I had to tend to some serious personal matters upon my return.Please forgive all the typos--I'm not going to be able to proof it carefully so I'm posting the raw report and I'll clean it up tomorrow. But fear not--I would not default on my duties. Settle in, my babies, for the posts now are directly and inversely proportionate to the length of the reunion "tour"...that is to say, show dates are now few and far between and so I must make the most of each and every opportunity to blog. Get yourself a burrito and an extra large root beer, because this one's gonna be a DOOZY! that's right...it's time...

here now..... for your reading enjoyment... the only place where you can get all of the concert details you want to know, and plenty of useless, trivial crap that you don't! Yes, my babies. You know you want it. You need it. You sometimes hate to admit that you read it:
It's the Official Armadillo Road Report for the Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, New York, March 3, 2012
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Let us first not forget the reason why we were all there. This benefit was a fundraiser in celebration of the life of Detective John Falcone, the brave Poughkeepsie Police Officer who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the life of a small child. Proceeds from this concert went to the surviving family and to Fallen Blue, the charity chaired by our own Mr. A.J. Pero. The band members, the road crew, the manager--all donated their time in order to support this important and very personal cause.

My journey began as it always does---an early morning drive at O' dark early hours--this time to the train station where I rode the rails into Penn Station NYC to meet up with slamboard poster "Capatain Howdy", a.k.a. SMF Chris. We barely had a moment to find our way to the gate, and in no time, we were off a train bound for the Poughkeepsie. It was scenic but gray ride--I kept expecting to see the Loch Ness monster rear out of the Hudson fog. Chris and I were so engaged in our lively conversation about how underated Y &T is, that we nearly missed our stop.

With bags in tow, Chris on two legs and me on three (until the MRI, the diagnosis is tendonitis of the hip), we hiked up a quiet Main street, past the Poughkeepsie sculpture park, and found ourselves at the Hudson Civic Center a short time later. The Civic Center was the hub of activity. Young hockey players streamed in and out all day of the adjacent rink, and the box office saw a steady flow of patrons--Chicago is due to play there in the upcoming months...as is the Picadilly Circus. There's a Spinal Tap joke in there somewhere. Chris and I saw at least two uniformed deputies drive up to buy tickets--we need not wonder which show. We saw Animal out and about, and even had the chance to welcome the members of Y & T as they made their way into town.

Poughkeepsie is a funny little place--it has a strong undercurrent of music, art and theatre....there's a world class culinary school and lots of small, cute bistros. Our hotel was chocked full of Dale Chihuly glassworks--extremely exquisite and lovely. Yet Poughkeepsie's Main Street seems to have suffered the challenges of today's economy, with empty storefront after storefront. We clamored to find an eatery open at 5:30 PM on a Saturday night--we found a Pizzaria that proudly advertised dining for 60. I chastised the boss of very cute waitress' for not letting her get off work to go to the show.

As we lined up in the cold outside, we were treated to young hocky players jogging laps who yelled "I Wanna Rock" as they sprinted past us--and we saw a father with his very young daughter who was sporting an adoreable tiny leather jacket and a Twisted Sister original tour shirt from...I'm guessing 1981. Nice to see parents raising their children with good, heavy metal values! The line was chock full of slamboarders--too many to list and I don't want to accidentally leave anyone out. It was great to meet so many of you--thanks for stopping by and saying hello! Traveling can be a lonely business (the cats are very appreciative when I come home but I swear, the moment they figure out the can opener, I'm going to come home and the locks will be changed on me!) and it really means the world to me to meet more of my Twisted family.

Once inside, we raced to the front row. Chris stopped at the merch table where he was able to snag some of the incredibly cool "TS/Y&T/3 Up 3 Down John Falcone memorial shirts." They sold out in minutes--and I can GUARANTEE that any of you that get stopped for a moving violation in the next few weeks--that cop has got a TS shirt on underneath! The Hudson Civic Center is surprisingly small for a civic center, but very large compared to "The Chance," the historic Poughkeepsie rock club down the street. It is a large, open general admission floor, with a very steep seated area about forty or so rows in the back. All bars and concessions are in the foyer, and so with the exception of the Sound Board, the entire place can be packed with fans, front to back.

Although I'm a fan of older, art deco theatres, the Hudson Civic Center proved to be the perfect place for this benefit, providing top notch acoustics and an impressive light board to boot. Certainly no frills--unless you count hte banner fo "Giggles", a local erotic goods boutique, and I would have preferred that the bathroom be placed at the BOTTOM of the enormously treacherous flight of stairs...but other than that, I would definitely return to the Civic Center for a concert. Very polite and attentive staff, although they weren't needed much Saturday night.

Our adjoining hotel was hosting two fire department banquets at the same hour--which means that there was nary a firefighter mor police officer in the Hudson area who wasn't living it up! The NYPD Detective behind me commented that she hoped her car would be safe because every cop she knew was at the show--and based on the number of big arms and buzz cuts, a good percentage of that crowd consisted of our fineest men and women of law enforcement. Local photographer Frank White was in the house-- check out his photos at www.powerlinemag.com He told us that he has been photographing Twisted Sister for thirty plus years! Check out his site--he has a great shot of TS backstage with Poughkeepsie's finest.

The show began promptly at 8 PM on the nose--a Poughkeepsie Police Department Honor Guard, in full dress uniform, presented the colors onstage, accompanied on the floor by the Poughkeepsie Police Department Fife and Drum Corps. (For those of you unfamiliar--it's drums and bagpipes.) It has often been said, that the tradition of having bagpipes playing at police and fire funerals is to allow men to cry, as even the most stoic and bravest will succumb at the sound of the pipes. Personally, I've had to stand at attention at enough police and fire funerals--the opening notes and I'm already welling up with tears. The emotions were shared by all of the friends, co-workers, family members and strangers around me, including heavy metal fans Jennie and Tammy, who less than a year ago, lost her brother, Terry Melsen, a firefighter killed in the line of duty, in Bryan County, Georgia. Following several songs by the corps, we were treated to a wonderful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, sung by a uniformed Poughkeepsie Police Officer. It was one of those Twisted Sister concert moments that SMFs will talk about for years to come.

We were welcomed by the President of the Poughkeepsie Police Officer's Association, joined onstage by Frank Palett, from WPDH--the first station in the country to add Twisted Sister to their playlist--Frank is the owner of "The Chance," a bar well known to SMFs and many heavy metal bands, big and small. Frank also happens to be the lead singer of "3 Up 3 Down," the opening act of the evening.

And that finally brings us to....THE MUSIC!

Oh the glorious music we heard that night! My theme of the evening---I was reminded of that horribly cliche thing they do at bridal showers--"Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue" Oh just, wait...you'll see.... watch how I pull this all together...

3 UP 3 Down took the stage and they did EXACTLY what a warm up act should do--they absolutely rocked out and made sure that the entire place was fired up and having a great time. I've seen a LOT of opening acts for Twisted Sister, some are hits...some misses. 3 UP 3 DOWN was an absolute hit! They are an all-cover band--and even though I did not recognize the first two songs (maybe they were trying an old Twisted trick of playing originals disguised as rare covers) the rest of their set was a true delight. They played some Priest "You Got Another Thing Comin'"...and some Dio "Holy Diver", a VERY tough cover song to do justice...followed by a smoking rendition of "Bad Company".

They were like a heavy metal jukebox-- I noticed our own Mr. Mendoza watching from the wings--and when they closed with "Balls to the Wall", those in attendance gave them the appreciation that all openers should receive. This crowd was ready to get heavy! Kudos 3 UP 3 DOWN-- you opened for two outstanding acts and held your own! Listen to them for yourself at: http://www.myspace.com/6249570
An opening act of cover tunes--we have......"Something Borrowed"

Y & T-- Yesterday and Today--took the stage shortly after. If was the first time I would hear them without Phil Kennemore playing bass. My previous concert experiences with Y & T were always consistently good, and I wasn't sure what to expect out of Brad Lang. To the delight of everyone, Y &T delivered the type of show that fans everywhere know good and well-- passionate vocals, tightly played guitar lines, strong and rich harmonies and a fantastic rhythm section. Brad's bass had some big shoes to fill--and he did a fantastic job. Phil was looking down from the heavy metal heavens and throwing the horns. (I know, I know--a bit of an odd juxtoposition--just go with it, will ya?)

Dave Meniketti is a rock icon--his vocal abilities are just amazing--he sings with such passion, energy and raw emotion. John Nymann on lead guitar poured out some riffs that just made my heart beat faster (and man, that guy really looks like he's having a great time--I swear to you, he smiled the entire set!)--and Mike Vanderhule is a drummer's drummer. Y & T is just one of the most underrated, under appreciated bands and to hear them on vinyl does not do them proper. You've really got to hear them live--they deliver consistently raw, explosive rock and roll--heavy metal at its finest. I regret that I do not know their entire reportoire--but from those I recognized, they played "Open Fire," "Summertime Girls," "Lipstick and Leather," and holy crap--"Mean Streets" was the best I've heard it.

They played a few tracks from their new "Facemelter" album--I haven't listened to it yet, but the songs they played were delightfully complex, heavy and solidly laid down. They dedicated the very moving "I'm Coming Home" to their late bassist, Phil--followed by the slow and transcending "I Believe In You." Meniketti played a tobacco-burst Les Paul that looked like it's been through about fifty hard road tours and a few battles--it was soulfully soundful. I spied Eddie Ojeda rocking in the wings--and when they launched into "Rescue Me," the song took on an entirely new and special meaning. The crowd rocked appreciatively and SMF Chris. SMF Cyndi and I have the heavy metal whiplash to prove it. Y&T are long time tour mates and friends of Twisted Sister--it was an honor to share the experience of celebrating a fallen hero with them.

Once Y & T left the stage, we saw the raising of the Twisted Colors--a cheer sounded as the Ruff Cuts logo backdrop was hoisted high. We caught an early glimpse of something new and something blue--Eddie stand was sporting some new irridescent red picks that matched his red jewled guitar strap--I notice these things, you know. You've heard of a "metrosexual?" Consider me a "Metal-sexual" I just made that up, by the way. I'm not sure it's a good thing but maybe it will catch on. We also took note of a beautiful glittering teal drum set on the risers. (Don't worry....we had more "New and Blue"....) A few special, lucky fans won some autographed guitars in the raffle during intermission--mormally it seems like we have to wait forever, but our own Mr. Danny Stanton kept this show moving quickly and on time, and it wasn't long before "Long Way to the Top" cranked out.

I've posted the setlist under separate cover--it was thrills and chills for the SMFs Saturday night. The boys took the stage with their old standard "What You Don't Know"--it's a fantastic and dramatic opening number. Dee growling "Good Evening!" as the rest of the band stands in the shadows with their backs to the audience--when Dee yells "Hit It!" the lights explode and we get the full sound, head on. Eddie ended WYDK with a little extra florish--think of it like putting a bit of English on a pool ball--gave that bit of extra something on that last note. Brilliant! His solo during "The Kids Are Back" was fantastic--beautifullly played--I love watching his facial expressions when he plays--you can just read his love for guitars as he closes his eyes--his mouth moves with every note, and sometimes it's almost as if that beautiful sound of the strings is coming from his mouth.

Jay Jay was in the spirit of sporting something new as well--he came onstage in some new duds--a stylish black shirt that looked almost southern-rock inspired--he gave us not only a new look, but the powerful guitars and blistering fret dancing that we've come to expect. He played a strikingly beautiful smoke colored (Smoke-burst?) Les Paul on "Destroyer" that looked as good as it sounded. I cannot pretend that I know enough about guitars to explain the different nuances--those talented folks who can...are musicians. Those without talent....become rock critics. (Those who aren't talented enough to become rock critics... become road reporters...)

I digress.

Back to "Destroyer"...there is no way to talk about this song without mentioned Mark "Animal" Mendoza. Have you SEEN what this man does to a bass? Have you HEARD what he can do to a bass? I learned not to stand near his monitor, because I swear to you, that damn bass will throw me into a cardiac arrythmia one day. Just extraordinary.
Jay Jay took a moment to remind us all, once again, the reason why we were there that evening. He paid homage to all of the men and women in uniform, and commented, "Are there any police on the streets tonight? " It certainly seemed like they were all in attendance--Twisted did something a bit out of the ordinary--they allowed the local police in attendance to enjoy the show from the front photographer pit and the wings of the stage.

"You Can't Stop Rock and Roll" was full throttle Twisted Sister at it's finest--Mark sporting one of his custom bases, complete with YCSRNR logo and chrome flames....Jay Jay with his charcoal Les Paul...and Eddie with his custom black Hall edition Gibson--the trio played tightly and cohesively--as many times as I've heard it, it was an ear-shattering delight. At one point, Mark snuck across the stage and grabbed at Eddie's guitar, who somehow always manages to continue to play unphased by it.

Jay Jay took the mic once more, reminding us that it was the tragedy of 9/11 that brought Twisted Sister back together to play for NY Steel, and he dedicate the next song to police officers everywhere, in appreciation for their putting their lives on the line everyday to keep us and our families safe. They launched into "The Fire Still Burns," and I truly felt Jay Jay's passion as he laid down some of those riffs. While "Come Out and Play" was certainly not Twisted's heaviest album, this is a strong, powerful track and seemed an appropriate choice.

And then... "Something Old"... they launched into "Sin After Sin" and it was absolute ear-bleeding, arm pumping, guitar thrashing heavy metal bliss. Screaming guitars from both Eddie and Jay Jay--and that bass line just shakes me to the core. I was so pleased to hear this oldie but goodie on the setlist. The songs of "Under The Bladfe" are always raw and fast, and the only way to fully appreciate them is to hear them live.

Dee had plenty of Dee-isms, including a re-telling of the now famous "handicapped section" story, which is still funny every damn time he tells it. He told it, of course, because he noticed a large section of the crowd that was seated, and wahted to "thank so many" people with disabilities for coming to the show. And then... a Twisted mircale! He healed a few.....as two newly "cured" fans stood up. A surpcised Dee remarked: "What? They're not tthe handicapped section?" I think you can guess the barrage that exploded from Dee after that revelation.

For "We're Not Gonna Take It," Dee invited members of the Fife & Drum Corps onstage to sing with him. I commented to SMF Chris that it was the first time I''ve seen so many men in "skirts" onstage with Twisted that weren't band members! (oh, please. spare me the hate mail. I know, I know. They aren't skirts..they're kilts. sheesh.) Dee commented: "You guys make me feel good about what I wear onstage...." By the way, there is one disadvantage of being in the front row--I now know the answer to the question of what men wear under their kilts. I ain't tellin' either.

"The Price" was dedicated to the memory of the late Detective John Falcone--the song holds a special meaning to so many of us, but those lyrics took on a deeper meaning that night. One of Poughkeepsie's finest paid the price with his own life--I saw many in the pit and around me, his fellow officers were very moved. Eddie's solo was soulful and poetic--there were a few moments where I just closed my eyes and could feel the notes.

Dee reminded the audience that the bands and crew were working for free--and he thanked the members of 3 UP 3 Down, especially Frank, who made the benefit possible--as well asWPDH and of course, old friends, Y&T. Dee voiced what SMF Chris and I had discussed all morning--just how underrated and immensely talented a band Y & T is. Dee claims he even tweeted how amazing Dave Maniketti is...I haven't checked his Twitter account yet to verify that...but he's certainly speaking the truth!

'Burn In Hell" is always a crowd pleaser--we did have a thunderous A.J. solo, but he did opt to cut it short tonight. I'm not sure the reason--whether it was a time constraint, a physical injury (that man plays through the pain like an NFL professional!) or a personal choice--but a good solo nonethe less, and it gave us room for a little something extra later--an additional song on the setlist. A.J. Pero is the spokesperson for Fallen Blue, and this event, I'm sure, was near and dear to his heart. Thank you A.J. for the work that do with this organization!

And then...we had "Something New"..... a song that Twisted has never played live before. Even though he claims they only rehearsed it one day.... "so if it sucks, be kind"--the best Dee-ism of the night--we were treated to the completely appropriate, fan-approved "Heroes Are Hard to Find" OH HELL YEAH. This completely and proverbiallly kicked my scrawny white butt! It was played with such heart and earnestness--and it was PERFECT! I saw Jay Jay looking at me scrawling, and I mouthed to him "It was perfect! Perfect!" He looked quite pleased, too-- really. The band played that song so well, you would have thought it was a setlist regular. I loved every single strong note, including a beautiful duet between Eddie and Jay Jay. Dee's vocals were right on the mark--it was a spectacular highlight of the show for us.

For "I Wanna Rock," Dee invited the cops in the pit, the cops in the wingsand backstage, to join them in singing the anthem we all know and love. We spied one officer wearing a Twisted Christmas shirt under his uniform shirt {insert your own Neidermeyer joke here} Speaking of which, since this was NOT a New York Christmas show, Dee finally felt liberated from the profanity constraints, and polled the audience as he did around the world those past few shows: Do you wanna rock? or fuck? He was pleased to report that it is now unanimous--no intentional reference to Celebrity Apprentice there-- he has polled around the globe, and people want to fuck more than they want to rock! And then promptly apologized to the kids in the front row

As we rocked to the refrain, Dee pointed out that there was a guy in the front with an oxygen tank--and he was rocking out as hard as the other SMFs. So he challenged those still sitting--if a guy with a tank can rock out, "You can do better!" I looked around, and by the last verse, the entire Hudson Civic Center was on it's feet, clapping, stomping and screaming.

We were treated to three encores this time around--our Twisted lighting technician Marty aka
Soulites, treated us to a nice "Come Out and Play" homage and bathed the stage in green light--very nice touch! Dee coaxed Eddie to not be afraid of the dark... C'mon out, Eddie! And we're glad he did--because Eddie and Jay Jay laid down some fierce guitars on that encore. With each pounding of "join our cavalcade" , I felt Animal's bass notes hitting me square in the chest.

Before the next encore, the crowd expressed their appreciation to Dee, prompting Dee to reply "ah, the beauty of a one syllable name!" Dee gave a quick plug for Celebrity Apprentice, and showed us his hand, which still can't close into a fist, so he may be due for more surgery--I know we all wish him a full and speedy recovery. He then, in turn, expressed his appreciation to those who made the benefit possible, tipping his hat to Poughkeepsie's fans, and commented that many years ago they played "the Chance" with Jefferson Starship! Did I hear that right? True? Wow.

Dee introduced the band, manager and road crew--encouraging the audience to applaud because since they weren't getting paid, "all you give us is all we get tonight...especially from our wives....because it's late, you know..." Classic Dee. The band intros--I hope it's on YouTube--they just get funnier and funnier each time. Last night, we had Mark "he's got a gun" Mendoza...and as Dee introduced Jay Jay, Mark and Jay mimicked playing little tiny violins behind Dee's back--just hilarious. I love to see the boys having fun!

Both Jay Jay and Dee thanked all of the members of law enforcement in the audence--Jay Jay remarked, "I hope our dressing room wasn't robbed while we've been playing"--seriously-the place was a wonderful show of the brother and sisterhood in the police community. Dee commented that almost the whole audience was packing heat!
They closed the show with "Under the Blade" and "S.M.F." --I thought the rafters were gonna come down on us. Outstanding!

Saturday's show was nearly flawless--the sound was outstanding--even in the tempermental front row, where we often have to sacrifice grood sound for a great view. In spite of a few ghosts in the machine---the sound was just brillaint. George, our Twisted soundman, is the just best in the biz--I never truly understood or appreciated just how critical a talented and experienced soundman is until I had the privilege of watching him work. Great balance--just the right amount of vocals and bass/drums --clean guitars-- I didn't need my ear plugs to filter out any distortion--we had heavy metal with no distractions.

A tragic event, but it demonstrated the amazing solidarity and support that the people of Poughkeepsie have for one of their fallen heroes. And for those of us who were just visiting Poughkeepsie, we had an evening that many of us will be talking about for a long, long, time.

So just in case I haven't used enough tired cliches....
Something Old.... Sin After Sin, Under The Blade...some classic Y & T
Something New....Heroes Are Hard to Find
Something Borrowed.... 3 Up 3 Down's great covers
Something Blue....A.J.'s drum kit....and for the less literal blue.... an audience full of police...which is probably why we had the most well behaved crowd I've ever seen in New York!

A fantastic tribue and Twisted show, sadly had to come to an end. After some post-show munchies at a local diner (don't ask how, but MetalNY SMF Brian managed to fit all of us in that car of his) we made it back to the hotel room around 3:00 am. The next morning, as we were shaking off a bad case of concert drop and heavy metal hangover, we crossed over "Detective John Falcone Way" to get to the train station. Poughkeepsie is forever changed by the events on that tragic day, and I hope that the concert and the funds raised will help bring some comfort and closure to the family, friends and fellow officers.

I salute you all.
Your faithful road reporter..
EMT/Firefighter Terry "The Armadillo"

Rest in Peace, Detective Falcone. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten by the People of Poughkeepsie...and now S.M.F.s everywhere.
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Pre-show tidbits 
Saturday, March 3, 2012, 02:33 PM
Posted by Administrator
Greetings from beautiful downtown Poughkeepsie!

SMF Chris aka Captain Howdy shared the train ride with the spectacular albeit foggy Hudson scenery whizzing by and we have landed in Poughkeepsie. One Twisted sighting already on the books...and Y&T just strolled into town. We gave the gents a tip of the hat!

The rain has cleared up--the fans are starting to stream into town--you can feel the vibe brewing. I'll check back in after midnight with your Twisted setlist and all the concert details you just gotta have....along with lots you wish you didn't.

see you tonight,babies!
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