Ladies & Gentlemen,
It’s time once again for the Armadillo Road Report, the Official UNOfficial Twisted Sister concert review containing all the details you wanted to know….and plenty ya don’t!
Well okay folks–
I’ve slept off most of the day and it’s time for the first of what I’m sure will be many unofficial TS Vegas reviews. I will spare you the details of the adventures getting to the show—let’s just say that the next time I go to Vegas, I’m bringing a map, a compass and a GPS. And if I ever have to follow Joe Rock to a show, I’m putting on the hazard lights and tying a tow rope to his back fender. It seems a good portion of our trip consisting of trying to get to the Silverton after losing Joe Rock in rush hour traffic. Not his fault–Vegas traffic is a nightmare.
First things first–It was a true delight to meet many of the slamboarders, including our own Webbie–what a standup guy! He is the spirit of Twisted Sister, photographer extraordinaire, and a really nice fellow to boot. I owe him many more beers since he wouldn’t let me buy him dinner. There were eight of us for the pre-show dinner, and we met up with Donna from Connecticut and her family entourage later–also a treat. What a fun family—Twisted Sister is obviously a family affair—now how cool is that?. We had the opportunity to sit and chat with Jay Jay in the lounge prior to the show. Our topics ranged from news and music to sports—what an incredibly rare moment, to just engage in casual conversation. Jay Jay, once again, is a true gentleman, a wonderful conversationalist and very generous to spend some time with us. Many thanks, Sir–you are the best.
Okay…on to the show. So let me paint you a picture here—the last time we were at the Silverton, 900 or so of us crammed into the Ballroom (which is now the new buffet, incidentally), so when we heard the venue was moved to their outside concert area, I was pleased as punch. I mean, really, it was a casino ballroom—I figured we could only go up from there. That is, until we saw the new location where TS was playing–yep. It was the pool area. Nothing less, nothing more. Ladies and Gentlemen—I give you: The Twisted Sister pool party. In anticipation of your next question, yes, there was more than one SMF in the pool before the evening was over. Aside from the long hair and spikes, you might have mistaken it for a Bar Mitzvah reception. Now let me just say–this is not Twisted’s fault–Something tells me they were as surprised as we were. All we needed was a TS logo ice sculpture and some chicken satay and there would have been Mazel Tov’s all around. We all made the best of it. A few of those little pigs in blankets might have been nice, but at least I didn’t have to deal with any creepy uncles or four foot aunts with beehives.
I digress. The concert.
In true Twisted Sister form, they went onstage exactly at 8:00 pm to a very motivated, fired up crowd. From the opening chord to the last, the sound was excellently balanced.. In fact, they sounded good from the get-go–however, the lighting crew must have been off at the buffet because they played in the dark for quite a few bars—now I’m not complaining, as no one really minded–we thought it was pool ambiance, minus the tiki torches. It was particularly amusing when Dee said: “May I have some scary lighting please?” during Burn in Hell. Dee’s vocals sounded great–and it was especially impressive in light of his recent medical adventures. He did have some trouble with the microphone sporadically, but again, it certainly did not detract.
Now, don’t shoot me folks–but this concert was just not the best one they’ve ever done. I feel very blessed and fortunate to be able to go to so many shows that I can compare one to the other–and let’s face it, TS on an off-day is better than other bands on their best day. It was still an EXCELLENT show, but there were, well, how shall I say this…musical mistakes? They just didn’t play as tight as I’ve heard them. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every single moment, but they just didn’t sound as fantastic as I’ve heard them before—hey, when you play as great as they do, it’s hard to top every performance. I love seeing them live no matter what–it always exhilarates me. I still left exhausted but recharged. Only two U.S. shows left in 2006–one at the raceway, and one to be announced in Wisconsin (I don’t get it either, but I’ll sure try to be there!) so PLEASE beg, borrow and steal if you haven’t had a chance to see them live on the reunion tour. It is worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY. I promise.
We also got a chance to see Mark’s beautiful new bass (See the photos!) and AJ’s drum solo gave us some treats–he mixed some other sounds into the solo–such as a whistle–very interesting effect. Eddie and Jay Jay blew us away as usual, and I’m pleased to report that Mark did not destroy as many mic stands or roadies as he usually does. I really enjoyed the set list–Captain Howdy followed by Street Justice was a gem, and Come Out and Play sounded very clean, very good. Didn’t get my UTB fill, but hey, there’s always the hope for another Bent Brother show.
I’m not too thrilled with the staff of the Silverton–they were not very kind to our own Mayor or Webbie, and refused to honor their backstage passes, even after Danny told them it was okay. Danny, always the diplomat and gentleman, got things sorted out in the end. (many many thanks!) As if the pool obstacle wasn’t enough, there was a lime green fabric strip (think: bank line or disneyland, whichever works for you) that was supposed to act as a barricade. I referred to it as the “Right Guard deodorant power stripe”–not to imply that we were odor–but TS fans once again proved that we are well behaved sick mutha fuckers if nothing else, and we did honor the rope and stayed behind it, until Dee finally invited us to cross it for the last song.
It was a real joy to see a lot of youngsters–there were two kids under 13 in the front row who were just elated–good to see! Lots of old and new fans alike. It made up for the row of unsuspecting comp ticketed senior citizens sitting poolside in the cabanas–fortunately no one had a cardiac event–Dee, in a way only he can, suggested a trip to the buffet instead and reminded them that “their bus was leaving!” Really, what was the casino thinking? There was an assortment of TS merch–the black, tastefully embroidered TS polo shirt was very amusing (but a bit pricey at $50)– the fact that there now IS a TS polo shirt, or the fact that I would gleefully wear one–well, either way it says I’m getting old. I’m holding out for those elusive tour jackets!
Lastly, no night would be complete without the afterglow. Jay Jay, Eddie and AJ signed autographs afterwards and chatted with the fans. We were also very fortunate to visit the Rainbow Room after the show, where most of the band and crew enjoyed a late dinner/drink. The slamboard bunch was thrilled to watch AJ sign the drumhead they have on display–I believe the Rainbow Room website will have photos soon. AJ spilled some news of some possible future projects he’s been thinking about–films. This TS show did not disappoint us–we had a great time filled with many special treats. I hope that I can see many of you again. Props to all the Boys, Danny and all the Slamboarders!
And with that, my sick friends, I’m trotting off to bed. This reunion tour is just the best!!! I will never forget this experience as long as I live!