Farmingdale (Long Island) NY, Crazy Donkey, 2/28/09 
Saturday, February 28, 2009, 10:10 AM
Posted by Administrator
February 28, 2009
Crazy Donkey, Farmingdale NY (Long Island)
Good morning babies! This show had so much to write about that I'm actually posting this one from the road! (and here I was, so worried that I wouldn't have anything to write differently from the last Bent Brother/Stay Hungry show!) so of course, I must oblige by giving all the facts you want to know…. and plenty you don't!

First things first: Crazy Donkey. Now the real reason is revealed as to why Bent Brother played and not Twisted Sister: If the boys wore their costumes including those boots with heels, they would have had to cut a hole in the ceiling to fit the band! Dee must have hit the duct work at least three times. I believe Dee very succinctly, put it best: "Shithole." The tasty food and scantily clad erotic dancers was barely enough to make up for the equipment malfunctions, leaky roof (in the center of the stage, no less) and a very cranky security guard in the front pit. This club was quite small too--I was a little worried when the place was empty for the first few acts, but by 9:30pm, the line outside had wrapped around the building!

We were all worried when we saw that there were four--oh lord--count 'em--four warmup acts. First on the docket was a band called Savior: I must admit that for the opening act, they were actually good. In fact, when you see folks from the back of the bar coming running up to the front, where it was empty, that says something. Good job!
Constricted came on 2nd—a speed metal band that looked like 3 of them came from the same mother. The lead singer, I swear, was the spitting image of a young Jackie Gleason. (Go ask your parents if you don't know who that is..."To the moon, Alice!") Musically, I was bored silly.
Third up was Wild Streets. Their lead singer was a cross between Anna Nicole Smith and what happens when Pat Benatar goes to Poison's hair stylist: Bent Brother didn't need to wear any makeup tonight because this boy had enough pancake on to count for all five of 'em! Hey, at least there were NO FRO'S on any of the bands tonight. Anyone who went to the Twisted Sister show with Z02 remembers…. Wild Streets was very entertaining--they played tightly, the lead singer sounded a bit like early Joe Elliott if you closed your eyes. Overall, a very good band, excellent stage presence and very talented. And they even had plenty of cowbell. And I could have sworn that was a member of Twisted's road crew as their guitarist--I think his name is Keith--missed the last name. (help me out someone!)

Then we had an interlude with some lovelies wearing next to nothing shaking their money makers. It was, ummm. nice. thank you ladies. Boy, I felt old. And a little dirty.

And then a special treat. It wasn't hype folks: American Beauty! It's what happens when members of Skid Row, Ratt and Alice Cooper merge with Danny Stanton fronting. Folks, this was complete entertainment! They played all covers, but they were amazing--it was like a heavy metal juke box---anything you could throw at 'em, they can play! I am so used to seeing Danny in his subdued, dapper black jacket, cool, calm and collected--this was a whole new Danny. A wild n' crazy Danny, a dare I say it? A sexual Danny! And damn he can sing.... I wish I had written down the whole set list but we heard everything from Cat Scratch Fever to a club shaking rendition of Balls To the Wall. (Eat your heart out Udo, he kicked this one's ass good) I would go see American Beauty again and again. What a total treat.

Next: the Boys. Which, by the way, 10 pm sharp at the Donkey is closer to 10:25pm but who's counting? (we were.) They had some pretty serious sound and equipment issues--and it was LOUD. I think Mark's bass destroyed something--halfway through the show we heard sounds coming out the speakers that resembled a jet landing. My theme for the night: ask and ye shall receive. we asked for a mixed up, better setlist and they delivered. Here ya go: (and I counted this time)

1. Stay Hungry
2. Don't Let Me Down
3. We're Not Gonna Take It
4. Captain Howdy
5. Street Justice
6.The Price
7. Burn In Hell (then drum solo)
8. SMF
9. The Beast
10. I Wanna Rock
11. I am, I'm Me
12. Shoot 'em Down
13. It's Only Rock and Roll
14. Under The Blade
15. You Can't Stop Rock n' roll

Bent Brother introduced the band tonight as let's see, ZZ French, O.K. Pero, Free Snider...you get the picture. During the equipment repairs, Jay Jay did a little impromptu question and answer with the audience, with a history lesson about TS with props to the Old Schoolers. Leading to these quotes of the night:
Jay Jay: "It's not the club, it's the people"
Dee's response: "It's not the club, it's the fucking equipment!"
They again reminded us that the new 25th anniversary release of Stay Hungry will have 17 bonus tracks, including one completely new song.

I think they would have actually played longer last night but the Donkey turns to a Disco after midnight. Say no more. Fortunately, they did keep spinning heavy metal to keep the crowd from running for the exits. Other highlights: we learned why ONLY the drummer should throw the sticks out into the audience. Eddie actually apologized--he beaned some poor guy in the noodle when he tried to throw a stick!

You know, there was so much good stuff last night—“I am I'm Me” just ROCKED the house! Loved hearing Shoot 'em Down, AJ's drum solo was particularly off the charts. During “It's Only Rock N' Roll”, Dee and JJ had a sidebar, trying to remember the first time they played that song...followed by a moment of enlightenment: 25 yrs of singing that cover, and Dee realizes he doesn't LIKE rock and roll, he LOVES it. And that's how we sang it for the rest of the song.
I'd go on and on, but I've got to duck out and buy my Merriweather Post ticket for May, and a 5 hour drive home awaits me.

Armadillo, trotting off to find a Cracker Barrel....

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Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom, 2/6/09 
Friday, February 6, 2009, 11:13 PM
Posted by Administrator
February 6, 2009
Starland Ballroom, Sayreville NJ

Ladies, gentlemen and those that fit into other categories....
it's time, once again, for your long-awaited and long-winded Armadillo Report from the Road chock full of what you want to know and many more details you didn't. This is it--the review of the February 6th Bent Brother show at the Starland Ballroom in beautiful, downtown Sayreville, New Jersey. I'll begin with just this: I hope there's a special circle in Dante's Inferno for the New Jersey road planners. After leaving my hotel and then picking up "Da Mayor", DCT, from her New Brunswick stay, we took a one-hour detour through some parts of New Jersey I'd rather not revisit. You know when someone tells you "you can't get there from here?" they were right. we couldn't. We soon discovered that New Jerseyians were only capable of giving directions when they use "Dunkin Donuts" as a landmark. So after following the trail of donuts, we made it with 20 minutes til doors opened--twenty VERY COLD minutes I might add. They had those little heaters in the line area which didn't get turned on until 5 minutes before doors opened--and we did our best imitation of McFries under a heat lamp.

The Starland doesn't look like much from the outside, but inside I was very impressed. Well laid out....three restroom areas, two bars, and a Twisted Sister first..a hot pizza stand! Will wonders ever cease? Now I know where those $6 in parking fees go to! Acoustically, I was not very happy--I've heard much better sound in clubs of comparable sizes but the easy access to the amenities and a very hospitable, safety conscious staff to boot. Everyone told me that this was unusual for the Starland, so it may have been a fluke. Front row sound is always fickle.


FIRST, the openers....
We had FOUR, count 'em, FOUR opening acts. And I'll apologize in advance--I did not catch the name of the last band. But I'll give 'em props--it's hard being an opening act and the first two were very local. The first opener, "Lyken 21"--well, they were local kids and they played to a crowd of about 20. We couldn't hear the lead vocalist at all (not bad acoustics--just young pipes) but that may have been to our benefit. The second band, "Martyred"--they were a little tighter but again, no vocal strength with their lead singer, which was a shame. And just a word: Heavy Metal is a marathon, not a sprint---playing as a fast as you can does not mean you'll come out a winner in the end. But they were fast. I was fascinated with their bass player, who I swear, looked like he was 12. (He kinda reminded me of a "Dozer" from Fraggle Rock.)

Third up--J-RAD...they had their website on the drum...www.jradrocks.com...of course, they also had an animatronic plushie dog humping the drum stand....both equally as entertaining. All said, I really enjoyed J-RAD--their lead singer was strong (and had great skin art, by the way), riffs were tightly played and the music rocked. (Their drummer was particularly good) and they did a cover of, believe it or not, "Earth Angel", that was well worth sitting through the first two bands. Metal and du-wop. who knew? Lastly--my apologies--but I didn't catch their name--band #4. I had JUST finished saying, "hey...we made it through the opening bands WITHOUT any fros..." and on comes band #4. [those of you who were at NOKIA theatre know what I'm talking about] The lead singer had a big ol' fro. I normally am not a fan of the 'do, but I made an exception here: their lead singer was a hard rocking woman, and her fro was mesmerizing. As the stage lights changed colors, so did the fro. It was like watching a lava lamp. far out. They played very well--quite entertaining--and it was nice to see some women rockin' out. (they had a very talented, very young girl on drums--DCT met her mom--good job, you go girls!)


ON THE SHOW:
Okay, now that you've scrolled down to avoid reading the superfluous crap, the show itself. IF you've never had the Bent Brother experience, it's the raw energy of Twisted Sister, but in a casual, more relaxed setting, sans makeup/costumes with small club ambiance. No wild sets--just hardcore rock n' roll. This show was different from the past ones--in celebration of Stay Hungry's 25th anniversary, they played Stay Hungry front-to-back. Dee admitted that this was a bit ass-backwards--typically, an album puts the "good shit" (his words) in the front of the album, whereas when playing live, you save the crowd favorites for the end. Favorite Dee-ism of the night "It's like you cum, then...foreplay.'

And I must agree (Not about the foreplay part...) that I would have actually preferred it if they had mixed up the tracks. One of the joys of live concerts is that moment of anticipation of "what will they play next?" followed by that little rush when you hear the opening riff. No such excitement when you know EXACTLY what's coming next. So that's just my two cents--play the whole album, but mix up the songs.

Nevertheless, it was a treat! I had never heard two of those tracks live, so I fully enjoyed myself. We had a few of those special twisted treats--Jay Jay played one of his original guitars (the one with the beautiful dragon in-lay--forgive me, Father, for my transgressions, but I do not know the model)...those around me recalled last seeing this black beauty played in 1983. We got a thunderous drum solo in between "Don't Let Me Down" and "The Beast". Speaking of The Beast....Dee apparently enjoys the second verse so much, that he decided to forgo the first verse and just sing the second one twice. That, right after introducing AJ as the "Sounds of Thunder". Apparently Dee couldn't hear the Thunder before the Storm...heehee. all is forgiven, Dee. No worries. Brush up on those lyrics before Feb. 27th and it's all good.

Jay Jay reminded folks that there will be MANY upcoming Twisted Sister projects including never before released tracks that never made it onto the original Stay Hungry, so save your nickels and dimes folks, and he thanked all the fans for coming out during these difficult economic times. The Tour is a'comin'!

The encores were the best part for me--a truly club shaking version of "It's Only Rock n' Roll" plus the cover tracks to COAP, UTB and CSRNR. And another special moment for yours truly--a few of you may recall the discussion I had online about painting the TS logo on my jacket. I was concerned about doing an exact replica of the band jacket, recalling they were for band members and the selected few only. So I didn't paint my jacket until the night before the show--only in lieu of "Twisted Sister", I substituted "OLD SCHOOL" for the top line, and "S.M.F." on the bottom piece. A little personal flair, if you will. I held it up during SMF--Mark gave me the nod of approval, and Dee liked it so much, he motioned for me to give it to him, and he held it up on stage as a tribute to those in the audience who have been Twisted Sister supporters for more than 20+ years. Just like Sally Fields: I guess they liked it. they really, really liked it. (whew.) By the way, if anyone has a photo of Dee with my jacket, PM me! I'd love a copy, and there might be a small little jacket patch in it for you! (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Tip of the hat once again to Danny Stanton and his entire crew for a beautifully run show (and getting me out of the cold!), all of the band members for their, once again, graciousness and hospitality. They didn't take the stage until 11 pm--we were exhausted, so I KNOW they were wiped out! Another treat--the Lady Mendoza joined Donna DCT and I for the last few numbers--always a pleasure! It was really sweet...she kept elbowing me and excitedly pointing to Mark: "that's my husband! that's my husband up there!" Yes, Mrs. Mendoza, we know! we know! your husband-- the extremely huge animal that just turned his microphone stand into a pretzel....would you like some more room? a bottle of water? say the word and your wish is our command! We will do anything necessary to keep the Lady Mendoza and Animal in good spirits. A few slamboarders there: Mitch, MadMetalLady, DCT, Jaysin and all of Donna's front row "boys" and “girls” from back in the day--hope to see y'all again sometime soon.

A good time was had by all....I did get slightly lost on the way home, but no worries...I found my way to a Dunkin Donuts and I was back at the hotel in no time at all.

Hope to make the Long Island show--set list is below for you sticklers! Said it before and I'll say it again: YOU MUST GO SEE TS/BB live! Take advantage of any and every opportunity because once they're gone, they're gone! The DVD's are great, but nothing captures the experience like being there!

And that about does it! Trotting off to catch a nap after 4 hours on the road...

Armadillo

SET LIST:
Stay Hungry
We're Not Gonna Take It
Burn In Hell
Horrorrteria
Captain Howdy followed by Street Justice
I Wanna Rock
The Price
Don't Let Me Down
Drum solo
The Beast
SMF
Encores:
It's Only Rock N' Roll
Come Out and Play
Under The Blade
Can't Stop Rock and Roll

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Nokia Theatre, Times Square NYC Dec 5 & 6, 2008 
Sunday, December 7, 2008, 04:30 PM
Posted by Administrator
December 5 & 6, 2008
Nokia Theatre, Times Square New York City

Yes ladies, gentlemen & those in other categories...

It's time for my traditional everything you wanted to know about the show and plenty of things you didn't! The Armadillo Road Report: The Official UNOfficial Twisted Sister Concert Review.

First things first: just say it: NYC Times Square! There is really nothing like it--well, actually that's not entirely true--it resembles the Vegas strip without the casinos…. and hookers. Wait...there were a few of those too...never mind! It was wonderful being in New York City, the city that never sleeps, and neither did any of the SMFs, what a great time we had! Wonderful city to have a Twisted Sister Christmas Homecoming….and on BROADWAY! I can't wait to come back.

The Nokia Theatre was right off Times Square--very nice venue (albeit a bit confusing inside--very oddly laid out—I needed a compass and a map to find my way around the place) The staff were simply wonderful and polite--professionals through and through. They opened doors promptly both nights at 6:30pm, which was appreciated given the cold temps! We were treated to a little snow while in line... (and snow inside too but more on that later!) My only complaint? It was like a meat locker on the floor--I've NEVER been cold at a concert before. But TS took care of that and heated the place up! Note for the next time: keep jacket ON!

There were two opening bands--on Friday night, we had ZO2 (zee oh two) opening first, then Dirty Pearls. They reversed the order the second night, which was much, much bettert.

Hmmm. This one’s a challenge: ZO2: very talented band, their sound was sort of rock meets funkadelic...they said they play rock with a groove, and there was plenty o' grooviness. The last time I saw a fro on a white boy was back when I had an 8-track player! He was straight outta 1976! Great chops, and a mouth the size of Steve Tyler, holy crap...I think that lead singer must unhinge his lower jaw like a boa constrictor. Overall, not bad--and it got us a little warmed up. They had excellent harmonies, great originals and if I could just stop staring down that guy’s throat every time he opened his mouth….oh. never mind.

And then...we had the Dirty Pearls. Contrary to popular belief, a pearl is not made from a grain of sand. Natural pearls form typically from a parasite that enters into the membrane of a mullosk-- cultured pearls form by a bead inserted into the mullosk's gonads. (see all the fascinating shit I'm providing you with here? You won't get that from Rolling Stone. National Geographic, maybe.) Anyhow, my point is this: This band was perfectly named: they reminded me of a parasite created in an oyster's balls.

They had no idea who they were--the singer couldn't choose between trying to be Elvis, Johnny Rotten, or Billy Idol. He seemed much more into posing for the cameras than playing to the audience, and with the exception of their drummer, who was very good, the rest of the band had such little energy, it was almost like watching the third runner up at a high school battle of the bands. Their songs were uninteresting, not tightly played and it was NOT just me--I saw plenty of yawns and watch checking. It ain't easy opening up for TS...I love local music. Just not these guys.

SMF Cyndi and I were in front until we were subjected to a man emitting toxic fumes throughout the entire show. Look, we ALL want a prime spot up front, but good god man, have some freakin' mercy! I ate Mexican food before the second night for self-defense purposes. I heard someone say "man, this stinks" and I wasn't sure if there were talking about the pearls or the farting, but either way, I had to retreat and Cyndi and I came back later that night.

Alright, alright the stuff you WANT to hear about. Well you have the set list--it's the same for both nights.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
The Kids Are Back
White Christmas
Destroyer
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Can't Stop Rock and Roll
Deck the Halls (with God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Bass solo)
The Price
O' Come O' Ye Faithful
[Dec. 6tH; We sang Happy Birthday to Cody!]
Shoot "em Down
Burn In Hell with Drum Solo
Silver Bells (with another whopping bass solo)
I'll Be Home for Christmas w/Lita Ford
I Wanna Rock
Heavy Metal Christmas
We're Not Gonna Take It with Lita Ford and Mini-KISS

I would be remiss in my duties if I did not describe the SET. Oh my glory the set! Those of you saw the Christmas shows from the past two years know that we were treated to elf roadies, Dee as Santa and speakers garnished with christmas lights. And that was just dandy! But no...the boys had to go all out this year.

The curtain opened--and we saw Santa's workshop....actually, it was Santa's METAL SHOP, complete with a giant 10-foot lathe making a giant candy cane, a huge metal "foundry" with working conveyor belt that spit out those tacky plastic Santas you put on your lawn, and a big "mystery" device similar to a Pink Floyd meat grinder. And we were treated to the elves (which looked suspiciously like roadies and some Twisted Sister family members) working in the shop, including one elf putting various "items" into the grinder—some drum sticks, some studs, a turn of the giant wheel, the huge steel door opens, and out comes AJ Pero! More items into the grinder...and out comes the rest of the band. Then we notice that our plastic Santa's being cranked out have been Sister-ized! Our new Santa's were decked in leather, chains, pink and black animal prints, and a plenty more--let's just say there's a reason why Santa covers up and doesn't wear a thong. It wasn't pretty. And there was a toy soldier marching about, that looked an awful lot like Danny Stanton!

Then as SANTA was illuminated in lights very a la KISS...out comes the members of mini-KISS in full regalia, pulling our SATAN, whoops, SANTA, Dee himself, in Christmas attire, atop a very pimped out chrome and flame job sleigh which looked inspired by Dee's mustang! Our Santa then showered the audience with candy canes and condoms--everyone around me kept giving them to me, for some reason, I'm not sure what that says, but, um...thanks. I think.

You've seen the set list--so you know what they played. The sound was definitely better the second night than the first night when they had some mic issues. Mark Mendoza did his bass solo of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" that was just fantastic--he didn't destroy as many mics as usual, maybe he was in the festive Christmas spirit—the crowd did manage to take out Dee's mic stand once or twice, courtesy of these enormous 4-foot inflatable Christmas ornaments that were being tossed around. (which hurt like hell, by the way, when they beaned ya on the back of the head). We had plenty of "indoor" snow--which was very entertaining to watch some pint size little ones trying to catch them on their tongues, not realizing they were soap suds.

The band dedicated "Destroyer" to the late Sal, which was very touching. I'm sure he was definitely there in spirit because that song just plain brought the house down. In fact, there were mucho sing a longs throughout the night. You can ALWAYS tell the old school SMFs because we know every single word to anything off of Under the Blade, Can't Stop Rock n' Roll etc. but damn if we can remember any of the words to Christmas songs! And yes, just as I posted before the show...my Christmas wish came true! Those devilish elves put some latex and studs into their giant machine, and out pops Lita Ford...oh heavens, check out the photos.

She was just spectacular. A red latex body suit and a full leather/studs harness, even pink highlights in her hair for the TS show! And she sounded every bit as great as she looked. Those morons posting about Lita and looking old? Fools, consider yourself lucky if your wife looks even 1/100th as hot as Lita did (and Lita is getting up there in years too!) Winner of the best overheard but kinda distrubing line of the night: some woman blurted out, upon seeing Lita's latex, "holy shit. I could snort a line of coke off that woman's ass!" ummm. right. moving on....The second night we were treated to "meeting" Lita's son, who was a cute little fella with a mohawk to boot. Oh, I love rock and roll children being raised right. Future metal heads. Warms the heart it does. AJ's whopping drum solo during Burn In Hell is always a crowd fav (just awesome). And of course Shoot 'Em Down, which I absolutely LOVE hearing live. It is one of those cuts that you need to EXPERIENCE with the band--a real ass kicker!

Not as much banter as we usually get from the band--a brief discussion about a few slamboard issues, especially the one about profanity and the lack thereof at the Christmas shows. Which I might add--there was almost NONE of...except for AJ dropping the F-bomb on Saturday night. (whoops!) Then out comes Mick Foley, WWF wrestler who apparently moonlights as the fat jolly one off-season. Mick Santa Foley asked our boys what they wanted for Christmas...which somewhat varied depending on which show you caught. AJ wanted to be a foot taller (I feel your pain brother!) Eddie wanted some "holiday spirits"...(I won't elaborate much more on that, but hey--it's Eddie. you just gotta love the man!), Jay Jay wanted to not have to take Lipitor, plus a Penthouse, and he announced that he was donating his hair to Donald Trump. Such a philanthropist, that Jay. Mark had a very long list for Santa: 1956 Panhead, a full set of Snap-On Tools, a big ass garage and a tank to cut through NYC traffic. (And if I were you Santa, I'd give the man whatever the hell he wants!) And Dee of course....wants what we all want: I WANNA ROCK! And Rock we did. Every time I see all those fists in the air--it just gives me chills.

There are always those who don't seem to understand that you cannot SIT at a TS show--Dee was careful this time around to make sure that they were NOT sitting because they were wheelchair bound (and no, they weren't...) and it didn't take long to get the crowd on their feet. speaking of crowds...I'll digress (again). The first night was packed. The second night? Even at two for one tix, the place had plenty of room, if ya know what I mean. Folks, I know it's a recession...times are rough for me too. We had fans there from Germany, Canada, Italy....I've never heard so many accents before. And I must say, there IS something quite charming about hearing folks chant: "TWEEEESTED SEEEEEEEESTUR" Please....make the shows. call in sick, borrow some money, call in a favor....bring friends. If you want to keep having shows, we gotta fill the places! The place was small...we should PACK these places! We can't cry about the band not playing our town if we don't show up when they do! You won't be disappointed.

AH! a segue. Tours! We received the special news that not only can we expect new, never before heard tracks to be released next year, but we can expect ALL NEW MUSIC! That's right, the band is headed back to the studio for some new tunes, and YUP! A NEW TOUR FOR 2009! So pack you lunches, eat spaghetti more often and Save YOUR MONEY! The boys are gonna tour next year, including a Stay Hungry Tour, complete with pink chainlink fence for you folks that remember...and they will play the ENTIRE Stay Hungry album, straight through! how cool is that???!! Merry F**kin' Christmas to us!

They ended with Heavy Metal Christmas, only the chorus was changed from “Tattoo of Ozzy” to "statue of Ozzy" as they wheeled out an 8-foot giant caricature of the Oz-man. It was a blast! Then joined on stage by the elves, Mick, Danny, mini-KISS, Lita, family members...always fun! The energy was pure Twisted--just raw, fast, loud and full of energy. They just rocked Times Square. You HAD to be there! The meet n' greet was also very nice--band, as always, extremely gracious and kind! Great to see so many of the usual suspects, and meet a few new ones. DCT and Webbie--always a pleasure to see your smiling faces...sorry I missed the group photo op! Next year, eh?

And this concludes another Armadillo road report...see all you in SMF's on the road in 2009!
...trotting off.... to dream of sugar plums and new tours

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NYC, Nokia Theatre December 5 & 6, 2008 
Wednesday, July 23, 2008, 11:59 PM
Posted by Administrator
December 5 & 6, 2008
Nokia Theatre, Times Square New York City

Yes ladies, gentlemen & those in other categories...

It's time for my traditional everything you wanted to know about the show and plenty of things you didn't! The Armadillo Road Report: The Official UNOfficial Twisted Sister Concert Review.

First things first: just say it: NYC Times Square! There is really nothing like it--well, actually that's not entirely true--it resembles the Vegas strip without the casinos…. and hookers. Wait...there were a few of those too...never mind! It was wonderful being in New York City, the city that never sleeps, and neither did any of the SMFs, what a great time we had! Wonderful city to have a Twisted Sister Christmas Homecoming….and on BROADWAY! I can't wait to come back. The Nokia Theatre was right off Times Square--very nice venue (albeit a bit confusing inside--very oddly laid out—I needed a compass and a map to find my way around the place) The staff were simply wonderful and polite--professionals through and through. They opened doors promptly both nights at 6:30pm, which was appreciated given the cold temps! We were treated to a little snow while in line... (and snow inside too but more on that later!) My only complaint? It was like a meat locker on the floor--I've NEVER been cold at a concert before. But TS took care of that and heated the place up! Note for the next time: keep jacket ON!

There were two opening bands--on Friday night, we had ZO2 (zee oh two) opening first, then Dirty Pearls. They reversed the order the second night, which was much, much bettert.

Hmmm. This one’s a challenge: ZO2: very talented band, their sound was sort of rock meets funkadelic...they said they play rock with a groove, and there was plenty o' grooviness. The last time I saw a fro on a white boy was back when I had an 8-track player! He was straight outta 1976! Great chops, and a mouth the size of Steve Tyler, holy crap...I think that lead singer must unhinge his lower jaw like a boa constrictor. Overall, not bad--and it got us a little warmed up. They had excellent harmonies, great originals and if I could just stop staring down that guy’s throat every time he opened his mouth….oh. never mind.

And then...we had the Dirty Pearls. Contrary to popular belief, a pearl is not made from a grain of sand. Natural pearls form typically from a parasite that enters into the membrane of a mullosk-- cultured pearls form by a bead inserted into the mullosk's gonads. (see all the fascinating shit I'm providing you with here? You won't get that from Rolling Stone. National Geographic, maybe.) Anyhow, my point is this: This band was perfectly named: they reminded me of a parasite created in an oyster's balls.

They had no idea who they were--the singer couldn't choose between trying to be Elvis, Johnny Rotten, or Billy Idol. He seemed much more into posing for the cameras than playing to the audience, and with the exception of their drummer, who was very good, the rest of the band had such little energy, it was almost like watching the third runner up at a high school battle of the bands. Their songs were uninteresting, not tightly played and it was NOT just me--I saw plenty of yawns and watch checking. It ain't easy opening up for TS...I love local music. Just not these guys.

SMF Cyndi and I were in front until we were subjected to a man emitting toxic fumes throughout the entire show. Look, we ALL want a prime spot up front, but good god man, have some freakin' mercy! I ate Mexican food before the second night for self-defense purposes. I heard someone say "man, this stinks" and I wasn't sure if there were talking about the pearls or the farting, but either way, I had to retreat and Cyndi and I came back later that night.

Alright, alright the stuff you WANT to hear about. Well you have the set list--it's the same for both nights.

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
The Kids Are Back
White Christmas
Destroyer
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Can't Stop Rock and Roll
Deck the Halls (with God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Bass solo)
The Price
O' Come O' Ye Faithful
[Dec. 6tH; We sang Happy Birthday to Cody!]
Shoot "em Down
Burn In Hell with Drum Solo
Silver Bells (with another whopping bass solo)
I'll Be Home for Christmas w/Lita Ford
I Wanna Rock
Heavy Metal Christmas
We're Not Gonna Take It with Lita Ford and Mini-KISS

I would be remiss in my duties if I did not describe the SET. Oh my glory the set! Those of you saw the Christmas shows from the past two years know that we were treated to elf roadies, Dee as Santa and speakers garnished with christmas lights. And that was just dandy! But no...the boys had to go all out this year.

The curtain opened--and we saw Santa's workshop....actually, it was Santa's METAL SHOP, complete with a giant 10-foot lathe making a giant candy cane, a huge metal "foundry" with working conveyor belt that spit out those tacky plastic Santas you put on your lawn, and a big "mystery" device similar to a Pink Floyd meat grinder. And we were treated to the elves (which looked suspiciously like roadies and some Twisted Sister family members) working in the shop, including one elf putting various "items" into the grinder—some drum sticks, some studs, a turn of the giant wheel, the huge steel door opens, and out comes AJ Pero! More items into the grinder...and out comes the rest of the band. Then we notice that our plastic Santa's being cranked out have been Sister-ized! Our new Santa's were decked in leather, chains, pink and black animal prints, and a plenty more--let's just say there's a reason why Santa covers up and doesn't wear a thong. It wasn't pretty. And there was a toy soldier marching about, that looked an awful lot like Danny Stanton!

Then as SANTA was illuminated in lights very a la KISS...out comes the members of mini-KISS in full regalia, pulling our SATAN, whoops, SANTA, Dee himself, in Christmas attire, atop a very pimped out chrome and flame job sleigh which looked inspired by Dee's mustang! Our Santa then showered the audience with candy canes and condoms--everyone around me kept giving them to me, for some reason, I'm not sure what that says, but, um...thanks. I think.

You've seen the set list--so you know what they played. The sound was definitely better the second night than the first night when they had some mic issues. Mark Mendoza did his bass solo of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" that was just fantastic--he didn't destroy as many mics as usual, maybe he was in the festive Christmas spirit—the crowd did manage to take out Dee's mic stand once or twice, courtesy of these enormous 4-foot inflatable Christmas ornaments that were being tossed around. (which hurt like hell, by the way, when they beaned ya on the back of the head). We had plenty of "indoor" snow--which was very entertaining to watch some pint size little ones trying to catch them on their tongues, not realizing they were soap suds.

The band dedicated "Destroyer" to the late Sal, which was very touching. I'm sure he was definitely there in spirit because that song just plain brought the house down. In fact, there were mucho sing a longs throughout the night. You can ALWAYS tell the old school SMFs because we know every single word to anything off of Under the Blade, Can't Stop Rock n' Roll etc. but damn if we can remember any of the words to Christmas songs! And yes, just as I posted before the show...my Christmas wish came true! Those devilish elves put some latex and studs into their giant machine, and out pops Lita Ford...oh heavens, check out the photos.

She was just spectacular. A red latex body suit and a full leather/studs harness, even pink highlights in her hair for the TS show! And she sounded every bit as great as she looked. Those morons posting about Lita and looking old? Fools, consider yourself lucky if your wife looks even 1/100th as hot as Lita did (and Lita is getting up there in years too!) Winner of the best overheard but kinda distrubing line of the night: some woman blurted out, upon seeing Lita's latex, "holy shit. I could snort a line of coke off that woman's ass!" ummm. right. moving on....The second night we were treated to "meeting" Lita's son, who was a cute little fella with a mohawk to boot. Oh, I love rock and roll children being raised right. Future metal heads. Warms the heart it does. AJ's whopping drum solo during Burn In Hell is always a crowd fav (just awesome). And of course Shoot 'Em Down, which I absolutely LOVE hearing live. It is one of those cuts that you need to EXPERIENCE with the band--a real ass kicker!

Not as much banter as we usually get from the band--a brief discussion about a few slamboard issues, especially the one about profanity and the lack thereof at the Christmas shows. Which I might add--there was almost NONE of...except for AJ dropping the F-bomb on Saturday night. (whoops!) Then out comes Mick Foley, WWF wrestler who apparently moonlights as the fat jolly one off-season. Mick Santa Foley asked our boys what they wanted for Christmas...which somewhat varied depending on which show you caught. AJ wanted to be a foot taller (I feel your pain brother!) Eddie wanted some "holiday spirits"...(I won't elaborate much more on that, but hey--it's Eddie. you just gotta love the man!), Jay Jay wanted to not have to take Lipitor, plus a Penthouse, and he announced that he was donating his hair to Donald Trump. Such a philanthropist, that Jay. Mark had a very long list for Santa: 1956 Panhead, a full set of Snap-On Tools, a big ass garage and a tank to cut through NYC traffic. (And if I were you Santa, I'd give the man whatever the hell he wants!) And Dee of course....wants what we all want: I WANNA ROCK! And Rock we did. Every time I see all those fists in the air--it just gives me chills.

There are always those who don't seem to understand that you cannot SIT at a TS show--Dee was careful this time around to make sure that they were NOT sitting because they were wheelchair bound (and no, they weren't...) and it didn't take long to get the crowd on their feet. speaking of crowds...I'll digress (again). The first night was packed. The second night? Even at two for one tix, the place had plenty of room, if ya know what I mean. Folks, I know it's a recession...times are rough for me too. We had fans there from Germany, Canada, Italy....I've never heard so many accents before. And I must say, there IS something quite charming about hearing folks chant: "TWEEEESTED SEEEEEEEESTUR" Please....make the shows. call in sick, borrow some money, call in a favor....bring friends. If you want to keep having shows, we gotta fill the places! The place was small...we should PACK these places! We can't cry about the band not playing our town if we don't show up when they do! You won't be disappointed.

AH! a segue. Tours! We received the special news that not only can we expect new, never before heard tracks to be released next year, but we can expect ALL NEW MUSIC! That's right, the band is headed back to the studio for some new tunes, and YUP! A NEW TOUR FOR 2009! So pack you lunches, eat spaghetti more often and Save YOUR MONEY! The boys are gonna tour next year, including a Stay Hungry Tour, complete with pink chainlink fence for you folks that remember...and they will play the ENTIRE Stay Hungry album, straight through! how cool is that???!! Merry F**kin' Christmas to us!

They ended with Heavy Metal Christmas, only the chorus was changed from “Tattoo of Ozzy” to "statue of Ozzy" as they wheeled out an 8-foot giant caricature of the Oz-man. It was a blast! Then joined on stage by the elves, Mick, Danny, mini-KISS, Lita, family members...always fun! The energy was pure Twisted--just raw, fast, loud and full of energy. They just rocked Times Square. You HAD to be there! The meet n' greet was also very nice--band, as always, extremely gracious and kind! Great to see so many of the usual suspects, and meet a few new ones. DCT and Webbie--always a pleasure to see your smiling faces...sorry I missed the group photo op! Next year, eh?

And this concludes another Armadillo road report...see all you in SMF's on the road in 2009!
...trotting off.... to dream of sugar plums and new tours






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NYC, The Fillmore/Irving Plaze, 12/21/2007 
Friday, December 21, 2007, 09:56 AM
Posted by Administrator
Howdy Ho Folks!
Or should I say, Ho Ho HO....Folks...
Time once again, for Armadillo's road report of all the details you wanted to know and plenty of details you didn't.



Courtesy of a fellow slamboarder (I won't say who to protect the innocent) I was given a TS pink package for Christmas which allowed me a chance to experience something that I’ve dreamed about for over 25 years--the chance to sit in on the TS sound check. We braved the extreme cold and freezing rain with flurries for that moment to hear what most fans never get to hear from the inside. It was worth every minute of standing in the cold--they played "The Kids Are Back" and "You Can't Stop Rock N' Roll"--an absolute treat and a chance to get an insider's look at this "secret" part of the show. Dee shared how he previously would not permit anyone to wander through the soundcheck—not friends or even other bands, so having a small audience of about 20-30 or so was uncharted waters for the band. One lucky fan was given the chance to play onstage during the sound check—and he sounded like a pro! Well done! I also want to mention here that even though they were on a tight time frame, and they needed to get ready for the show, the band stayed and signed autographs for every single fan there. Now I ask you....What other band would do that for their fans?

I think last year's Christmas Show spoiled me a bit because it was in my home town of Baltimore, at a very nice venue. This year, it was a truly lousy concert site, albeit in the greatest city in the country. But more about that later.
The show definitely made up for the other shortcomings..
Both warm up bands were absolutely great--a real delight. I've posted it here before--Baptised By Fire is the next wave of kick ass rock and rollers. I'm not just saying that as lip service to Jesse Blaze-Snider....the boy CAN rock! I can fully see him in the next generation of hard rocking bad boys of rock n' roll. While he may have a completely singing voice from his father, and his own look and sound, if you close your eyes when he speaks, it's absolutely uncanny how much he sounds like Dee. He really works the crowd--obviously, his father's influence is apparent. He completed his show with Juggernaut (my personal favorite) and the now mandatory Merry Christmas Anyway singalong. Really, if you weren't having fun, then you need to buy tickets to a Celine Dion concert or go somewhere else where the wet blankets go.

Bella Donna (Joey from Anthrax!) played second, and treated us not only to Bella Donna tracks but played some old Anthrax...efilnikcufecin (nice fuckin' life), Indians
and Caught in a Mosh. I hadn't seen Anthrax since 1990, so it was great to hear those tunes live and in such a small venue. Joey was a really nice guy, too--very approachable, kind and spent a lot of time chatting with the fans. A true gentleman.

Once again, the boys proved that even Christmas music can kick ass. I must apologize here--I always write down the set list and this time I was just too excited and forgot to do it. The show opened with Dee arriving as Santa, complete with foil-packaged party favors which later took the form of balloons being tossed amongst the crowd. In addition to the usual anthem crowd favorites ("Can't Stop Rock n' Roll"...."I Wanna Rock"...."We're Not Gonna Take It") we got an unexpected surprise--a cut off of the Love is for Suckers album. Now I know some of you out there are old school purists and didn't like that album, but their live rendition of "Wake Up the Sleeping Giant" absolutely knocked my socks off. And what would the TS christmas show be without snow? Yes, we had a white christmas INSIDE the club once again....complete with Christmas lights on the amps, Candy Cane decked monitors, and a few roadies in elf-ware. SMF Cyndi and I must have been coughing up soap snowflakes for at least an hour afterwards--Oh, it was good clean fun!!

There were acoustic challenges but the boys played beautifully. Mark destroyed his microphone in ways that were almost unnatural. It gives me chills every time he does that—turning that mic stand into a work of modern art! By the way, he had a beautiful new bass with the TS bone logo in chrome. And it sounded as good as it looked—rich, deep bass sound! AJ did another MAMMOTH drum solo following a rousing rendition of "Burn in Hell" (everyone's Christmas favorite)--I'm amazed the Christmas lights managed to stay attached the set.

Jay Jay addressed the crowd as he often does--what stuck with me were his remarks about American Idol. Those kids work for 15 weeks, and poof! They get a record deal and instant fan base. No sweat. No blood. No hundreds (thousands) of gigs in stinky dirty clubs away from their loved ones. No harsh rejection after rejection by record labels executives who won't take a risk because it isn't something mainstream. They win a singing contest, and then thank their "fans" for "sticking by them." Sticking by them? For 15 weeks? How many Clay Aiken fans will be around in 30 years? How many people will remember Taylor Hicks (I had to go on the website to find their names) in 5 years? I've been an SMF for 25 years now...and we've got some old schoolers like DCT, the real Joe Rock and Marty who have been around for even longer. And we'll continue to be SMF's for many years even after TS has ended the tour.

There were fans a plenty...mucho slamboarders and lots of friends and family. I especially love to see the little ones getting educated in the ways of TS. It was a real treat to see the actual "kids" of Twisted Sister who helped hand out treats ahead of the show--although they aren't kids anymore...I should say "young adults". Gawd, I remember when Jesse was only six! And as usual, there just had to be one fool who just didn't know how to show his appreciation to the band. I've seen Dee humiliate unappreciative attendees before, but Friday night was absolutely one of the most brutal and personal offensives yet. It was so rough, I’m not even going to type it here. It would have made a trucker blush. Yes, he deserved it. Folks, if you plan on standing like a bump on a log at a Twisted Sister show, just stay home! That show was sold out, and there were lots of people who would have given their right arm to go.... don't waste a ticket on yourself if you're too cool to rock out. The band gives us 200% of their blood, sweat and energy....we are OBLIGATED to do the same!! I consider every TS show I go to a special privilege--I owe it to the band to give them my fullest energy every single time.

So I must mention again, the lovely Fillmore itself. Dee made his viewpoint pretty clear--the Fillmore is about as conducive to hosting concerts as a cactus is to an armchair. It's small.....with a crappy stage....mediocre at best acoustics....and absolutely FILTHY. (Don't get me started on the bathrooms). The box office told us (the package holders) that the sound check opened at five, and we should be there absolutely no later than five if we wanted to get in. Being the good SMFs we are, we showed up early and proceeded to freeze our asses off for over two hours. There was no special treatment for the package holders, who shelled out hundreds of dollars. I put the blame squarely on the venue--no one minds if the band is running late--but to make us wait outside in the cold after asking us to be there early was just poor. Then, to add insult to injury, they let us in (90 min late) to the sound check, then kicked us BACK out into the cold until doors opened. Why we couldn't wait inside in the downstairs waiting area was beyond me....but it will be a much colder day in hell before I return to the Fillmore. The only positive I can think of was that the staff were very courteous, and they did an excellent job of protecting the crowd.

A wonderful show....a great time had by all....many, many thank you's to Danny Stanton, Dee, Jay Jay, Mark, Eddie, AJ, Joey for your generosity and kindness towards the fans. You really made my Christmas--what a great way to end 2007 and begin 2008.

Peace and many blessings to SMF's worldwide

Trotting off to see what’s left of the fruitcake,
your faithful road reporter…
Armadillo

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