Oh my SMF friends….
Here I am, two buffet visits later, ready to bring another installment of the over-indulgent, occasionally delusional and self grandiose but never dull Official Armadillo Road Report, the Official UNOfficial Twisted Sister concert review with more and more details that you want to know (and plenty you don’t)
Now I’ve had lot of coffee this morning just so that I can type even faster than usual. The last report cost me $47 at the hotel business center (Do you see the commitment? the dedication? the love? Oh I do it all for you!) This morning I’m banging the keyboard at an internet cafe I found two miles from the hotel….so I can type twice as much for half the cost.
The record store signing was absolutely a hoot!
We had the boys…we had Hooter girls…we had wings….and it was fantastic, casual and a lot of fun. We ended up getting interviewed on some cable access shows, one called 9th Island TV, another Backstage Pass. As soon as I get the links, I’ll post them here for your enjoyment.
First things first: last night rocked the house! Night #1 was great, but Night #2 was EVEN BETTER! The crowd was much more into it, we had excellent energy, more folks on their feet from the start and the sound was truly excellent. Here’s your setlist–a few differences from the night before:
1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
2. White Christmas
3. Shoot ’em Down
4. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
5. You Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll
6. Deck the Halls
7. The Price
8. Oh Come Oh Ye Faithful
9. Burn In Hell
10. Silver Bells
11. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
12. I Wanna Rock
13. Heavy Metal Christmas
14. We’re Not Gonna Take It
So as you can see, the setlist was three songs shorter than the night before–the hotel wanted a little less rockin’, and a little more money spendin’ out of the fans, and we had a chatty Santa last night, but I’ll get to that in a minute. (or .49 to be more specific) They took the stage again at 8:05pm with no opener, and played a good 90 minutes.
We again were treated to the Sin City Bad Girls pulling the sleigh, and I must confess it was very distracting to have four beautiful, nearly naked, gyrating lovelies right in front me. It was like: LOOK AT DEE! wait…wow…. NO! LOOK AT JAY JAY! wait…oh my god…NO! LOOK AT MARK! …holy crap…. oh you get the picture. I’m starting to see the appeal of Vegas.
Dee retold the story of the Christmas album, especially how he took his youngest to the Radio City Music Hall spectacular, only to have him exclaim: “Daddy…this is making me HATE Christmas!” “Me too, son. Me too.” A brilliant concept by Jay Jay, some plagiarism courtesy of “We’re Not Gonna Take It”….and a Christmas legend was born!
Jay Jay welcomed us all back– “for those in attendance thinking they were seeing the Transiberian Orchestra… it isn’t… instead this is the Transvestite Siberian Orchestra” Plenty of tourists last night–folks who really and truly had no idea what they were in for! Jay Jay and I discussed this briefly that afternoon….the crowd has a true Vegas mentality. They are there to be entertained–like all Vegas shows–they are not expecting or accustomed to being a PART of the show. Audience participation is usually limited to the hypnotists! Stare into the pink spinning guitar….you WILL rock out…You WILL stand up!
The sound was again fantastic–I heard from a good authority that the best sound was in the balcony, where it was also 20 decibels louder. Your slamboard crowd was happily in the front row, stage right, and I’m pleased to report that the hotel (and I’m sure Mr. Stanton had something to do with it as well) found a nice spot for Dave’s wheelchair in the VIP section.
“The Price” was especially good, and we started the now infamous Price sway that proved infectious–soon the whole place was swaying to and fro. Gives me chills to see it sometimes.
“Burn In Hell”: many of you who have seen Dee perform this live–he drops to the floor, crawls forward bathed in evil red lights and delivers his opening lines. He gave his usual dramatic pause–teeth bared with cameras a’ snapping… only this time, he looks right at the one photographer, and whispers into the mic to hurry up and take the picture…. not only did the audience crack up, but Dee completely lost it and had to regain his composure before delivering “YOU’RE GONNA BURN IN HELL!” It’s hard to say that line when you’re giggling hysterically. You know, this is why you need to come to all three shows….look at all the good stuff you’re missing! Twisted Sister shows are like snowflakes…
The drum solo after this number was quite honestly, the best I’ve heard AJ do EVER. Don’t ask me how he did it, but the Sounds of Thunder were twice as fast last night. He always delivers a mammoth solo, but I’ve never heard his solo sound like this. Just incredibly, afterwards, AJ told me that he was feeling the effects–bring on the anti-inflammatory meds!
The solos between Jay Jay and Eddie were fantastic–very tight, very clean and beautifully executed–there is something so magical when you have such brilliant musicians, all on one stage, who have been playing for so long together that it results in pure synchronicity. I would say it was effortless except they put so much of themselves into the music, that it’s the opposite–the effort is herculean.
“Silver Bells”: Mark’s bass solo gets better and better every time I hear it. Most folks are not accustomed to bass solos with the exception of Cliff Burton fans… we get treated to two or three bass solos each night, and they just reverberate down to the core.
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”: again we were treated to a delightful duet as were the night before. The resemblance between the Sin City Bad Girls lead singer and Dee is uncanny, prompting Dee to ask: “Where was your mother in 1985?” And I’ll put in my Christmas thoughts and wishes for all of our armed forces and civilian contractors serving overseas–may we have them all home safe and sound soon.
Well, I asked for a Barry Manilow joke…and Dee didn’t disappoint last night. He reminded us that we were sitting in Barry Manilow’s seats… “so NO farting in the seats! ….otherwise…sit on them so that when you do get up, well, you know what happens…” Okay, okay, a fart joke. you had to be there. it was damn funny. in the world of men, fart = funny.
And then…Satan Claus came back on stage, and this time….he was carrying a big sack of toys…and NO pants. In case you were wondering if Satan wears boxes or briefs…. red boxers it is! He reached down into his sack with a large grunt: and out he pulled a huge pair of drumsticks for AJ….back to the sack UUUNNNNGH…6 months of anger management and a roll of duct tape for MAM (to fix all those broken mic stands, basses, roadies..)….then back to the sack…UUUNNNNNNNNGH (Satan has a hemorrhoid problem we learned) a little toy musical guitar for Eddie and a dreidel bear for Jay Jay…. Dee received —at first, we couldn’t tell what it was: a thermos? a king-size vibrator? No! It was a HUGE pink lipstick! Gotta love it. On the boys’ Christmas lists:
AJ: wants Tiger Wood’s Little Black Book
MAM: he wants the reindeer hotties (a man of taste, indeed)
Eddie: happy with his new guitar and Satan’s ho, ho, hos
Jay Jay: he has a special Christmas wish for KISS: if you’re gonna play, then PLAY. If you’re gonna retire, RETIRE!
Dee, of course, just wants to rock! and rock we did….had the whole place on their feet at last, including Kris Kringle sitting in the audience about twenty rows back. This guy was the spitting image, by the way, I swear. I almost sat on his lap! (In case you were wondering, what’s on Armadillo’s Christmas list: another glorious year of Twisted Sister shows and a new notebook…. and another kiss from AJ. oh it was so special.) Also on my Christmas list: For Santa Satan to do a LOT less talking, so that Twisted can play another song! It was a very, very funny bit–I laughed my ass off, until I realized that his schtick went on for over 10 minutes, so we lost some of the set.
I’d like to add that there were NO giant bouncing ornament balls tonight. That’s right. Break a camera? Smack the Armadillo in the kisser? Knock over small children? NO. Break a stage light! THEN we saw the deep six of the balls. I didn’t miss them. Well, maybe a little.
The meet and greet was again very casual and relaxed–so great to see so many folks, meet a lot of new fans–the hotel staff did another wonderful job as did Danny Stanton, the road crew and all of the Twisted entourage.
Okay: I’ve got seven minutes, forty -five seconds left… enough time for me to print off my boarding pass.
Til tomorrow night my babies…
love from Las Vegas