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
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Can’t Stop Rock and Roll
Deck the Halls (with God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Bass solo)
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