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Merry Twisted Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!
George Lynch sounded really good. I can’t say that Lynch Mob blew me away but I enjoyed them. I’ve seen Dokken a bunch of times back in the 80’s catching them at least once one every one of their tours. (Seemed like they opened up for just about everyone back the!) Lynch was always incredible. I didn’t think that same spark was still there but he was still great. I was a bit surprised with all of the Dokken songs that he could have mixed into the set that he chose “Into The Fire” and “The Hunter” as the only 2. Kind of a head scratcher to me since neither of those songs would even rank in my top 10 Dokken songs. Just my opinion, though
I had actually never seen Kix before and have never been a huge fan but I honestly thought they were great! I would have to totally disagree that the other bands looked old and slow because Kix had loads of energy. Their singer is non-stop. I also was shocked as every guy in the band walked out looking great. Since I am living proof of how we can tend to put on a few pounds as we get older, the first thing that hit me was how healthy the whole band looked. They are all still as thin as they were back in the 80’s. How the hell do they do that? LOL! I don’t know if they are all original members or not since I have never really followed them. (The singer is the only one I recognize from that band.) But I was actually impressed since I thought they were better than I expected them to be. I really enjoyed their show. I thought they were the 2nd best band of the night hands down.
Lita was great. She sounds as good as she ever did. And she still looks pretty good! Her band was excellent as well. I’m not sure what was up with the goofy vodka bottle shaped guitar that she used for the first couple of songs but sanity and integrity was restored once the BC Rich was came out. Lita just doesn’t look right without that BC Rich guitar. The crowd was a bit weak to be honest but Lita kept trying to get them fired up and warned them that Dee wouldn’t accept the lack luster reaction.
Dee came out with high energy and vengeance as always. The 1-2 punch of “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll” and “Kids are Back” was like a kick in the head. The energy of the crowd instantly elevated. Dee was so aggressive that he actually broke his belt buckle during “Highway to Hell”. After the song, he commented on it then walked over to the side of the stage to remove his belt and give it to our good friend Danny Stanton. It was at this point that the first Dee-ism of the night was born. Danny went to grab Dee’s belt while it was still hanging from the belt loops on his pants. At this point, Dee exclaimed “Hang on! I’m not a lawnmower!” He proceeded to demonstrate by yanking his belt as if he was pulling the cord of a lawnmower to start it. LOL! As he returned to center stage, he took a moment to acknowledge his “Stop Taking Selfies” t-shirt and ridicule the selfie craze and point out that nobody cares. Your mom doesn’t even want to see your stupid selfies. He then opted to provide a public service announcement for the crowd. (Dee-ism #2) “If you’re using a selfie stick, I hope someone grabs it and beats the shit out of you with it!” I absolutely concur with Dee’s assessment on that one.
The band then kicked into “Widowmaker” and went right into “We’re Not Gonna Take It”. Afterwards, Dee commented on some of the things here at the fairgrounds such as deep fried Oreos. He then began to question the crowd’s energy and pointed out that Lita had warned him about “you guys”. He pointed out that he was “older than you” and he still had the energy. He then began dancing around the stage which morphed into this strange jig that Dee noted as part of a Riverdance routine. (Dee-ism #3) He then discussed that fact that everyone tends to go to the bathroom every time a bands introduces a new song. He pleaded with the audience to stand their ground while he played his new song “To Hell and Back”. He pointed out that they could go to the bathroom during the drum solo!
After an awesome cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker”, Dee spoke fondly of AJ and commented on his tragic loss before dedicating the next song to him and introducing “The Price”. Next up was “I Wanna Rock” to close out the set. As the band began the leave the stage, Dee stopped them and pointed out that encores were bullshit. He pointed out that bands just go back stage and “crouch down behind the amps where you can’t see them”. They know and you know the band is coming back out so let’s just get on with it.
Before introducing the band, he pointed out the name of the event which was being called Hair At The Fair. Ironically, this was one of the few times where a line of all 80’s metal bands actually still had all of their own hair. Dee, being quick witted as he is, made note of this and commented that he hadn’t seen and “skullets” at all that evening. (Dee-ism #4) He took a moment to describe what a skullet was for the audience motioning with his hand the typical bald spot on the top of many of our heads.
Dee introduced the band at this point: Joe Franco on Drums, Nicolai “Nosferatu” Nifoussi on bass, & Dan McCafferty on guitar. Before introducing the other guitar player, Dee mentioned that their normal guitar player had been unable to make it. So while they were discussing how to proceed, this guy stands up and says “I’ll do it”. That was Twisted’s own roadie and sometimes Christmas elf during the Twisted Christmas shows, Keith Robert. And I must say, Keith did an awesome job stepping in as a last minute fill in!
They then closed the night with a medley that included “I’m A Real Wild One” by Iggy Pop, “The Rocker” by AC/DC, and “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin. As he was working the crowd, he pointed out that the end was near and that he had a few more solo shows this year and that next year was going to be it for Twisted Sister so if they were going to cut it loose, it was now or never. He commented on looking forward to moving on to other things and especially the opportunity to eat since he has to take such good care of himself when he’s performing. He thought he might re-record “I Wanna Rock” and rename it “I Wanna Eat” before he officially calls it quits. In any case, Dee and his band were awesome and they blew away the competition as always.
Next stop for me will be the Twisted Sister show in Hinckley, MN. Time is running out boys and girls. If you’re going to catch Twisted one last time, do it while you can!
The reCAPTCHA thing is a nu-sense but I can cope with it if it keeps the spam out. What I’ve really found frustrating is that every time I go to post something, it won’t post. It doesn’t show up in the thread and then I look the next day and it is usually there so there is clearly a long delay between the time you type/send a post and then having that post show up. With that said, I sent a post to this thread over a week ago and it still has never shown up in the thread. I’ve sent multiple posts that have never shown up. I initially thought I was doing something wrong so I would attempt to re-send only to then find duplicate posts the next day. Something is definitely not right with the way the new site is processing posts.
While I definitely enjoyed Love Is For Suckers when it came out, I honestly don’t feel like it has stood the test of time. At least for me. It sounds very dated when I listen to it now. The only songs I still enjoy listening to on this album are Wake Up the Sleep Giant and the title track. The rest just don’t really do it for me anymore. I can only speak for myself but I just don’t think it holds up compared to any of the other albums. With that being said, if you dig it, then that’s great! Rock out to it and wave the flag man. Any support for TS is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.
Hope you had an awesome birthday!
A little late to the party but hope you had a great birthday!
There’s some great photos there! Thanks for sharing!
Great review! Can’t wait to see the movie!!!
Like our good friend Terry, I have been down front for most shows. Not just Twisted shows either. Growing up in Maine, all of the big concerts at Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland were all general admission back in the 80’s while almost every other city in America did reserved seating. The intensity was unbelievable when you have 5,000 people crammed on a general admission floor the size of a hockey rink. It was shoulder to shoulder at every show. I would lose 5 or 6 pounds at every show just from sweating so much. I was down front center stage on the barricade for virtually every rock show that came to town in those days. I was there so often that the security guys down front knew me. (That paid dividends a few times by the way!) That’s the kind of intensity I envision at the European and South American shows when I watch some of the videos of those shows. The US shows simply don’t have that level of passion and intensity anymore. Maybe we’re just lazy these days in America and can’t be bothered to fight our way up front. I don’t know. Either way, I actually enjoy a little personal space in my older age but I do admit that it still feels weird to be able to actually move around down front after all the shows I remember from my youth.
With all of that said, my take on the Vegas show is more in line with Terry’s. While the crowd may have been more respectful of everyone’s personal space, they definitely were showing their enthusiasm and appreciation for the band. I’ve been to a lot of the US shows over the past 10 years and (other than the NY/NJ area shows) the crowd does seem to take a bit to get warmed up. I find that “You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll” typically lights the spark and then the crowd really ignites when “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is played. Then the energy continues after that. But Saturday night, the crowd responded the minute the lights went down. They even sang along during “Under the Blade”! The whole song! I’ve never heard that from a US crowd. I caught the look of pleasant surprise on Dee’s face during the first chorus of “UTB” when the crowd was so loud. The look on his face clearly said “Holy shit! This is cool!” (I was down front just to the left of center stage.) I won’t say that it’s the most intense crowd I’ve seen in recent years as the Starland crowd probably would take that title. (The crowd in Waukesha, WI at the State Fair show back in 05, I think it was, is a very close second.) But I will say that they were definitely the loudest crowd that I’ve heard in a long time.
As for the sound, Terry is also correct. Down front is the absolute worst sound in the building. Period. It’s a trade off to be with the SMF’s down front and feel that intensity. There’s a reason why the soundboard is further back in the venue. That’s where you’re always going to get the best sound. Now I will say that the sound down front at this show was especially bad. That is mainly because of 2 things. The design of the stage had the main speakers a bit further out. That means that we were actually to the side and behind the main speakers when standing down front. That’s clearly not ideal for the best sound. The other reason is that this was an extremely large stage. On the plus side, it made for a spectacular visual and provided the bands much more space to move around on. On the bad side for those of us down front, this also means that the main speakers are even further away than normal. So take the fact that you were behind the speakers and they were further away than is normal in a club like the Starland, you’ve got pretty much worst case scenario for sound quality. We were basically hearing only the monitors and amps down front. You were standing right in front of Jay Jay’s amps so that’s why he was the only one your heard clearly. I was standing further back for Great White and Skid Row before beginning to work my way forward during Extreme’s set. I can tell you that I was blown away at how good the sound system was. It sounded fantastic once you got 40′ to 50′ out in front of the stage. I dare say that it’s one of the best sounding shows I’ve been to in a long time. Moral of the story, if you want great sound, stand further back. If you want the intensity and true SMF experience, then get down front. Both have their merits but I’m personally going down front every time when I can.
With all of that being said, it was an amazing show! Hearing “I Am, I’m Me” for the first time in years was awesome! I was crushed when I found out “Tear It Loose” was originally on the set list but got dropped at the last minute. I have no complaints about the performance or the actual show, though. The performance was fantastic! The video of AJ’s solo being blended into “Burn In Hell” was AMAZING! It was the perfect tribute! I can’t even imagine how they could have done it better. I do hope they put the entire show on the DVD when it comes out so everyone can see it.
Thanks as always for another awesome road report Terry and once again, thanks for the vest and outstanding artwork! You are the best!April 12, 2015 at 9:58 am in reply to: Thank you to Dee, Jay Jay, Mark, Eddie and AJ for decades of great music #1761
Great story and you should definitely thank that babysitter. Lots of similar stories out there. The boys will be missed but the great memories and the music will never go away.April 10, 2015 at 9:43 pm in reply to: Just bought tickets for the Starland Ballroom show. Who am I gonna see there? #1734
I’m not 100% confirmed yet but I’m hoping to go. I think I can swing it, though.
Definitely sorry to see the end in sight but we all knew it was coming at some point. It’s going to be very strange seeing someone besides AJ sitting behind the drums but I do think Mike Portnoy is pretty formidable choice. My initial thoughts were Joe Franco but the more I thought about it, Portnoy’s name just popping into my head for the past week. With all due respect to Joe, I just don’t feel like he forces the same intensity level that Twisted has during a live show. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a great drummer. But when I saw him playing with Dee’s solo band last year, the power and intensity simply wasn’t at the level that AJ delivered. AJ definitely took Twisted to the next level with his power and style. I honestly can’t think of too many drummers these days than can match the level of skill and power that AJ had. The drummers that are technically amazing rarely have the power behind it and the power drummers don’t usually have the finesse to go with it. Mike Portnoy is one of the few that can potentially pull that off. Plus he’s a self proclaimed life long SMF so he’s got that going for him!
Either way, I’m looking forward to finding out on May 30th and June 13th with everyone else.
Happy Birthday to us both! 🙂
Happy Birthday Cyndi!! Hope you had an awesome one!
Thanks for the post.