Sweden Rejmyre Part II: The lost report! 
Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 10:51 PM
Posted by Administrator
Yes, my babies, it took some coaxing but my secret guest reporter decided not to leave us hanging in suspense. I bring you this special edition part II of the Sweden show, courtesy of our mystery writer. --yours--Armadillo--


I’ve been told that it is customary to include details of an actual show in a road report. I reject that analysis (based on previous road reports) but if you insist…

7/27/13-Somewhere in the wilds of Sweden [Yes, it was indeed NORRkopping…picky picky]

Skeetkjet Festival is different from the other festivals TS has played in a couple of significant ways. It is much smaller, having only a few major artists on the bill, with a slew of indigenous bands taking up most of the time. And it is run as a not-for-profit event, for the enjoyment of the community. Apart from the non-Swedish artists, everyone working there is a volunteer; and upon our arrival, we could be excused for thinking that the freebie concept extended to the production suppliers as well.

What do we mean by that? Well, for starters, we suspect that the cause of the muffled stage monitors (more on that below) must have been because the PA company didn’t want to donate actual horns to put into the wedges. What else do we mean?

We mean that the stage was small. Very small. Very very small. How small was it? Well, when Mark got a headache, AJ had to take the aspirin (Bad-dum, bum!) How small was it? It was so small you could have used it to drill a pilot hole for a real stage (Bad-dum, bum!) How small was it? It was so small I saw a hunchback mouse (Bad-dum, bum!) How small was it? It was so small the moths (see part 1) had to get tower clearance just to land (Bad-dum, bum!)

Ok, maybe the last one was a tad overstated, but this stage was small. Like Hole-in-The-Wall small. And walled-in on all sides. Just the sight of it would have sent most bands into a “We’ve already been paid, so lets get this thing over with asap” mentality. Most bands.

But if you’re reading this, you already know…TS ain’t most bands.

In spite of the postage stamp sized stage. In spite of the low light trusses that allowed only the top half of the banner to be visible*. In spite of the horrendous monitors (so bad Dee had to address them during the show, an unheard of occurrence). In spite of all that, or perhaps using all these issues as fuel, and buttressed by the arrival of their instruments (if not the rest of the bags, see Dee’s twitter feed for the full saga on that one) the boys proceeded to turn in a performance to remember.

*-The backdrop brought to Skrewjet was the UTB Album Cover. To understand the rest of this paragraph, take a moment to pull that cover out from your collection, and note the positioning of the five bandmembers. Given the height problem, this meant the backdrop could not be fully raised, and therefore the band worked their evening’s magic at Sploogejet under the watchful eyes of just Eddie, Mark and JJ. AJ could only partially be seen (peeking through a metal TS pyro frame). And Dee’s image spent the night staring at (the real) AJ’s butt.

Here are some (but by no means all) of the highlights from Sturbojet 2013. Keep in mind that unlike your usual reporter, this reporter 1)-Couldn’t take notes live, and B)-Had other stuff to concern me so I surely missed some musical standout stuff (solo’s etc.). In fact the only solo I heard from my location was JJ’s on Shoot ‘Em Down, and it was a beaut. But I’ll leave the remaining fretwork and music reviews out and disqualify myself on that count, other than to add that perhaps due to how close everyone was to each other, on stage at least it sounded ultra-ultra tight.

It was physically ultra ultra tight as well in that little bandbox, and this led to some hysterical stuff.

Sharp-eyed SMFs have long been aware of the physical interplay (abuse really) that goes on in the background during some songs. Well A’s babies, at Swampjet that interplay was taken to a new high/low.

Given the lack of room, JJ, Eddie and Mark started early on to use the necks of their instruments as lances to create a path to cross the stage. Soon the jousting began. Mark speared JJ. JJ speared Eddie. During I Believe in R+R, Mark lined up Eddie in his cross hairs. But Mr. O was waiting for him. Timing his ripost perfectly during the stop section, in one move Eddie downstruck a chord, then grabbed Mark’s shirt with his right hand to hold him in place, then used his left to piledrive the headstock of his guitar deep into The Animal’s unclothed shoulder, then upstroked the next chord without missing a beat. It was poetry in motion; and it was effective. Despite the crew’s best efforts at triage, it took most of the rest of the set for the ensuing blood flow to cease. Bandmates inflicting pain upon each other. Ah…good times. And Mark seemed to appreciate it more than anyone. Although if I were Eddie, I’d be staying on my side of the stage for a while.

And bloodsport wasn’t the only thing engendered by the small stage. Since Shananajet took place in Sweden, in Twisted-world, that means pyro (don’t ask, it’s a complicated explanation). Combine pyro and small stage and what do you get (apart from an intro announcer practically diving out of the way after skittishly performing his duties)? That’s right folks; you get singed hair.

On two occasions during Burn In Hell (or The Fire Still Burns, I forget which), when Dee headbanged (headbung?) forward, several blonde locks were incinerated. The incidents did not go without on-mike comment from Mr. Snider, who was in particularly fine comedic form on this night. More on that shortly.

Dee also had another trick up his (imaginary) sleeve as well. [and so do I. Here comes the Faulkner sentence].

The audience at Semmeffjet required so little prompting during I Wanna Rock (they got all the way to rock+fist+jump in a single bound, in spite of the bizarre topography of the field they stood upon, which seemed configured to make any sudden movement, never mind jumping, end in a lawsuit) that Mr. S became inspired to rearrange his own signature composition for the occasion. As the crew looked on with a mixture of terror and awe, Dee inserted 8 additional Rock’s into the outro, and the band followed the lead as if they had been doing it that way for 30 years. It was a new ending for I Wanna Rock!! And it was great (albeit a tad reggae tinged, according to several sources).

Show me a band that can improvise, live and on the fly, a new ending to one of their biggest hits, after playing it the same way for decades, and I’ll show you…I’ll show you…hmmm, I can’t think of anyone else to show you; just our guys.

I doubt they’ll ever do it again though. This was a one time thing. And you missed it, Terry. [OK, that last bit was mean, but your absence has now cost me a lot more time than I thought it would, so I gotta make you suffer, Ter].

Back to the aforementioned comedy moments. I wish I could remember them all, but at my age, I’m lucky if I remember where I live. So you’ll have to be satisfied with the two bon mots that I managed to retain.

Pre-SMF, those in the crowd who had just waited for the encore and not cheered were sent away with the message “Head on back to your tents, losers; and get an early start on your masturbation”!

And since the TS Random Sampling Rock or Fuck survey was started in Sweden a year ago, SplishsplashIwastakinabathjet was the spot where the worldwide results were announced…Fuck-50, Rock-0. Its official. People would rather fuck than rock. [Personally, I woulda been the one guy voting the other way, unless you count blowjobs. But there I go digressing again].

Before regaling you with a final highlight, let me restate that I don’t wish to minimize the musical aspects of the show. From where I stood, it sounded exceptionally energetic, tight, and inspired. But unfortunately I can't give more details because from said vantage point I only heard fractions of things. There’s a lot going on up there (sonically and otherwise), as you well know.

Anyway, there was one joke that didn’t work on this particular evening. But it led to a moment that bears mention.

It went something like this (forgive me Dee, for butchering your prose):

After JJ pointed out how few bands were still out there with all their original members, Dee picked up the point, stating (and I’m really paraphrasing; it was much better done than this)---

Q-“You know the secret to having all the original members in your band?”

A-“Nobody’s allowed to die!”

It was funnier than that, I swear it was. But that’s not the point. The point was the NO ONE in the audience laughed. These Swedish SMFs, who hitherto had been hooting and howling at every punchline (English is taught as a mandatory second language in all Swedish schools) did not so much as chortle. If there was a any reaction at all to speak of, it was essentially the Swedish version of a collective-

“Tru dat!”


But ouch with results. Soon after that moment came time for band introductions. But before he went into the intros (say THAT three times fast) Dee spoke words to this effect:

“The reaction to that joke about not dying has caused me to reflect”. And then he dropped all hint of sarcasm, turned around to face the rest of the band, and said “Its an honor to share the stage with you guys”.

Well, there you have it. I hope you're happy with yourself, Terry. Don’t ever make me do this to you again. You’re on double secret probation.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

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See You Next Year, my babies! 
Monday, August 12, 2013, 11:01 PM
Posted by Administrator
Thank you!
Long Island, New York
Freehold, New Jersey
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Santiago, Chile
Columbia, MD
Clisson, France
Dessel, Belgium
Austin, Texas
Osh Kosh, Wisconsin
Rejmire, Sweden

If you want Twisted Sister to play your Country, State or city...contact your local concert promoters and tell them to bring Twisted Sister to town! And while you're at it, ask your local radio station to play more Twisted Sister (and play it loud, mutha!)

Remember, I'm just a lowly blogger...I don't book the shows, I just review 'em!
See you on the road, my babies!

Til next year....
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 09:33 PM
Posted by Administrator
FROM ARMADILLO: Alright my babies...I was NOT in Sweden with our boys in pink and black. But the road report must go on, and the following report arrived in the proverbial electronic plain brown envelope for your reading enjoyment. Here you go!


Since the ‘Dillo has, over the years, done so much to help the TS support team out (a lot of it grunt work that he was never asked to perform) it seemed only right that we on the staff return the favor. So here you are Terry (and by extension all his babies), the Not Armadillo official TS blog Road Report for the final TS show of the summer of 2013, Skogsjet* Festival in Sweden.

*-No one, and I mean NO one (more on that later) seems to know how to pronounce the name of this little shindig, so you are hereby warned to look for the variations—and feel free to vote for your favorites.

OK, let’s see…how does he usually do these things? Le Dillo usually throws up the set list first and then let’s everybody hang for a few days for anything resembling usable information. So off the top of my still jet lagged head, here’s what I think the boys played Saturday night (will probably need correcting):

1-You Can’t Stop R+R
2-Shoot ‘em Down
3-Stay Hungry
4-The Beast
5-The Kids Are Back
6-We’re Not Gonna Take It
7-I Believe in R+R
8-The Fire Still Burns
9-The Price
10-We’re Gonna Make It
11-Under The Blade
11-Burn in Hell (Full Drum Solo)
12-I Wanna Rock
Come Out And Play

I may have the order totally wrong, but I think the songs are right.

OK, now what does he usually do next (after making us wait forever, that is)?

Right, he acts out the delusion that he’s the Armadillo Faulkner, and describes the locale like some sort of dirtbag travelogue. And by describe, I mean describe in minute detail; pushing back the fun stuff by paragraphs and often full chapters.

[Note: The original idea here was to show Terry how he SHOULD do these things, as in “cut to the chase." But upon mentioning to some TS peeps that this fill-in was planned, there emerged a consensus that the column should be used to demonstrate to Armadillo just how annoying his ancillary prose can be. Apologies in advance for you, the readers, having to wade through the next section. But know that it’s length and absurdity is purposed to help us ALL in the future. So without further ado, here now the faux road report, in the style to which we have become accustomed, meaning with further ado.]

Friday Morning, 7/27/13. After a 2 ½ hour van ride from Stockholm airport, through the scenic, idyllic, and occasionally Ferrari-strewn Swedish countryside, band and crew arrive safely in Kopping, a heretofore unknown little hollow in the southeast of the nation, which turns out to be a truly lovely and welcoming mini-metropolis; replete with electric trolleys and shopping within walking distance of the hotel. Both hotels, actually. The one we were booked into, and the one we actually stayed in since it had air-conditioning. (Apparently global warming has caught this part of Scandinavia unprepared).

But I digress—deliberately (see above) and not for the last time. See how much fun it is Terry?

Notice while I said ‘the band and crew arrived" I mentioned nothing about any luggage or gear. That’s because DELTA apparently stands for Don’t Expect Luggage To Arrive. Not a single bag, backpack, guitar case or duffel has managed to make it out of the cargo bay to accompany us. My kingdom for a guitar pick!!

Have I digressed recently? No? We’ll then, let me get to it.

Kopping is not just the picturesque hamlet of several paragraphs ago. Based on our on-stage experience of Saturday, it appears to be a favorite summer vacation destination for many of Northern Europe’s moths. They were everywhere; in infinite varieties, colors and sizes, drawn by the lights of the stage and one assumes the moth brothels (mothrels?) doubtless within flitting distance. Now, this is the spot in the Report where I was gonna absolutely punish you all with a three page treatise on Lepidopterism. It was gonna be epic payback. You get it Terry? Epic? But it turns out I have actual work to do and cannot devote the research hours required to getting the dissertation right. And I refuse to mail in satire. So take a deep breath and we shall continue post-commutation. [Are you following all these references and tortured syntax? If so, see a doctor immediately].

Oh, one more thing on the moths…Spoiler alert-one memorable show moment was AJ catching a moth twixt drumsticks, a la Mr. Miagii. But I’m getting ahead of myself (he wrote with full self-awareness, not to mention unfettered contempt for his target audience of one).

I wonder what fettered contempt is.

Yet even more on Kopping. It also serves as the principal city for the region that the Skankjet Fest resides in. And fun fact—said region apparently is the glass blowing capital of all Sweden.

While I would love to just leave that little nugget out there as an Armadillo-esque annoyance, there actually is some entertainment value here. Among the gifts the grateful promoter presented to the band Saturday was a 14” clear glass wine decanter, in the shape of a cock-and-balls. I’m not making this up. Curved, thick, circumcised (I guess they’re not worried about the Nazis coming back any time soon) and millennium-appropriate in its lack of pubic hair, said phallus came with the festival name (Sploogejet) inscribed right on it. Truly a conversation piece; although apparently no band member wished to have that particular conversation take place in their own house.

So the gift was offered to me. And a tempting offer it was; but upon reflection I realized my apartment already houses a substantial collection of phalli, both glass-blown and otherwise, and this addition would be merely overkill.

And there was a further complication, in that this particular object d’art seemed ill suited to withstand the rigors of Delta’s renowned baggage handlers (see above). So a command decision was made. I would just leave the thing in the room next to the maid’s tip. Problem solved.

Or not; for on Sunday morning prior to checkout, the realization hit that perhaps this little bit of largesse might not be received in the spirit in which it was given. It might even get me into hot Swedish water if there existed a particularly unfortunately worded anti-sexual harassment statute in the land of Abba. [Speaking of Abba, Kopping is absolutely swimming in billboards for the Abba Museum, conveniently located in…Stockholm! Go figure.]

Anyhoo, back to our story. So Sunday morning a warning is passed (as euphemistically phrased as possible) to the front desk of the hotel. Oh, Oh. The hotel. Oh. I almost forgot. It turns out the hotel is owned and run by a woman who was an exchange student for a full year in the home of Eddie Ojeda’s first cousin. And they still correspond. Small world, wouldn’t wanna clean it.

Whaddaryoutalkinaboutanyway you A.D.D.-riddled sadist?!?!?!? What does this have to do with the road report???

Oh right, the road report. Sorry. So anyway, back to the glass cock-and-balls.

So we tell the desk vaguely what’s in store for the lucky chambermaid, and their response is…”Can we have it? We’ll put it on display in the lobby! Oh, and could you please have the band autograph it?”

Ummm…okay, I guess.

So Arma’s babies, if you’re ever in Kopping, Sweden, keep your eyes peeled for what is doubtless the most unique TS artifact in the world! No lie.

Okay, so let’s see, got in Friday, no luggage, etc. etc. etc., picturesque, moths, glass johnson autographed before leaving Sunday, Eddie’s cousin yada yada yada…

Yup, that about wraps it up for this edition of the road report. See you down the road.

I now return you to Armadillo. I hope you found reading this diatribe as tiresome as I did writing it.


Well, there you go, my babies! Don't blame me....blame high airline rates! Perhaps our anonymous writer will feel generous enough to tell us if the boys ever got their instruments and how the show actually was! wow. Am I really THAT bad? This is Armadillo, wishing you a safe holiday until we all return on the road once more!
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Sweden Road Report coming soon w/special guest report 
Sunday, July 28, 2013, 09:25 PM
Posted by Administrator
Ah my babies....while I was unfortunately grounded in the U.S. and unable to go to Sweden, a special edition of the road report is coming soon from a guest reporter! Watch this space!
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Rock USA Festival, Osh Kosh WI 07/18/13 
Friday, July 26, 2013, 01:20 AM
Posted by Administrator
No longer will Oshkosh be known as a town that gave us children's overalls! Oshkosh from this point forward will be known as the place where Twisted Sister it tore up and kicked some serious dairyland ass! Twisted Sister’s performance at the Rock USA Festival was, in this road reporter's humble opinion, the best domestic show of the entire 2013 tour season. A packed festival crowd endured insane heat and humidity, an angry sun and more cheese than anyone’s colon should ever handle, and they still had plenty left in the tank to rock out until the very last note.

Well, my babies. Here we are.

There's a Snickers chocolate bar stage left, a snoring maine coon stage right, an unpacked backpack sitting in the corner, taunting me…and I’ve got the worst case of “concert drop” that I’ve ever experienced. So that can only mean one thing...and you know what that one thing is: It is TIME!

Time to share with you the trials and tributes of travel. Time to give you your fill of the thrills, frills and occasional spills of rock n' roll. Here now, for your reading enjoyment, it is bittersweet to bring the late but better than never, final 2013 edition of the Armadillo Road Report, the Official Twisted Sister concert review, with all the details you're dying to know....and plenty ya' don't. That's right, my babies, one can only rack up so many credit cards and the airfares to Sweden were just too darn expensive for an overnighter, and as I sit here, my band of brothers…and brothers in the band….are on their way to the final show of the 2013 tour.

Melancholy aside, I’m now almost 6 days overdue here so let’s get right down to brass tacks. Oshkosh is the place that is often affiliated with Osh Kosh B’Gosh, a line of children’s clothing, and has an airstrip that becomes the busiest airport in the world for one day out of the year when 10,000 small planes descend upon the little airport for a national air festival. It’s even home town to the guitarist of rock band, Tuff. But these all pale in comparison to the 30,000 fans who came to Oshkosh for the Rock USA 2013 festival.

My journey began from BWI where I had an unfortunate interaction with a McDonald’s line supervisor all over a diet coke. It was all worthwhile—I learned that when you call the 1-800 number on the side of the cup/bag, you actually get a live customer service agent who is truly interested in your fine dining experience. After giving the agent enough adjectives to fill a road report, I hopped on my plane and found myself in the enchanting Milwaukee airport where I met some of the friendliest strangers.

The airport has a pingpong table in the waiting area, and so I enjoyed watching a fierce pickup game of table tennis while I waited for the band and crew. (Forest Gump eat your heart out!) I had a delightful conversation with a grandmother sitting at the gate next to me—when trying to explain Twisted Sister to her, I was able to connect, “Are you familiar with Bette White’s ‘Off Their Rockers?’ Yes? Well, the opening theme song (I sang a few bars) is Twisted Sister!.” To which she replied, “Oh, how lovely. That’s very nice. Yah. You betcha.” I LOVE this place! See that? Twisted Sister has something to offer everyone.

Band and crew arrived safely and we piled into our transport vehicles to head up scenic highway 41. We made our way through the beautiful Winnebago County-- picturesque countryside, across Highway Z, with farm houses dotting the rolling hills, lush green corn fields, plenty of horses and cows…and an adult SuperStore. (To be fair, it *was* affiliated with a truck stop, which made it a little less random.) The hotel graciously kept the restaurant open for us, and the band and crew shared a mellow, late dinner together. [Thank you everyone… It was an honor to dine with you!]

In the morning, we headed to the venue for stage and soundcheck with those in my transport graciously willing to wish a happy birthday to my mother, hereby known as “Mamadillo,” giving her a special birthday thrill. We passed the “Welcome to Osh Vegas” sign and blew by an enormous Rock USA campground. As we turned down the dirt road, we noticed several large communications vehicles (portable repeaters and cell boosters) and entered in the now empty festival grounds.

The backstage was remarkably uncluttered—which appealed to my sense of rock festival feng shui—the stage itself was a simple scaffolding construction but mercifully covered (no Wichita flashbacks!). A nicely arranged group of air conditioned trailers provided an ample oasis for band and crew, who periodically ducked into the dressing rooms to get out of the absolutely oppressive heat and humidity. Two extremely large jumbo- tron screen trailers framed the stage and simple scrims with festival endorsements.

The section in front of the stage was an enormous field of thousands upon thousands of white lattice plastic lawn chairs. Absolutely surreal. Kinda looked like country club meets quilting convention turned rock show. A giant covered picnic area for VIPs stage right, and then behind a chain link barricade…..more plastic lawn chairs…another barricade…and then an open field leading back to the festival areas.

The grounds were your traditional mud and straw field with the usual suspects in the distance—vendor trailers of corn dogs, funnel cakes, gyros, beer and Jagermeister. There was a self-described “Bad Ass Custard Stand” that I regret I didn’t get a chance to sample….and a very menacing carnival ride that despite Twisted manager Mr. Stanton’s insistence, I refused to try. Let’s review this one more time—heavy metal math: Corn dog + funnel cake + beer + jag shots + 110 heat index + carnival ride = Really, really bad idea. Seriously. Who thinks up these things?

The lineup for the day’s Rock USA 2013 was downright impressive: Slaughter, Great White, Queensryche, Anthrax and of course, Twisted Sister. Not a bad set in the whole lot—you can’t go wrong with that! Well…actually…you could…but we’ll get to that. I really wanted to hear every band on the docket—especially Queensryche, one of my favorites….but duty calls! There was plenty of work and errands to be done, and so unfortunately…that means that we missed the bulk of the music. [Kind of ironic, isn’t it?]

We did get a few brief moments to catch some of the Anthrax set—a killer set—they opened with “Caught In a Mosh”, “Efilnikcufecin (nice fuckin’ life)” “Indians” and “Time”, along with a thunderous rendition of AC/DC’s “TNT.” But honestly, it was just so damn hot! We were drenched in sweat after only being outside for a few minutes! The local crews did a fantastic job of breaking down the previous set and moving in the next band—but there was one logistical item that could not be ignored—there was a LOT of down time between bands. Great for crew, lousy for the crowd. And my biggest beef of the night: they only gave our boys in black and pink 60 minutes onstage, and would not allow them to take the stage early to squeeze a few more songs in.

Twisted took the stage at 11:15 pm exactly, and opened with the song that has been the focal celebration this year: “You Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll.” I was a bit nervous…given the hot temperatures and omnipresence of all of those lawn chairs…but I was pleasantly surprised to see the majority of the fans on their feet. This song is always played faster when played live—it was fast and furious. What Armadillo Road Report would be complete without the French Fashion Minute? Jay Jay was sporting all black leather tonight, which was no easy feat in that kind of humidity! I think I lost weight just thinking about it.

“Shoot ‘Em Down” treated us to a nice, fast & loose Jay Jay solo joined by Mark “Animal” Mendoza back on bass! Two words for you: HOLY CRAP. Two more words: “HE’S BAAAAA-AAACCCK!” Oh boy, is Animal back! Nothing is gonna keep this man down—he pounded that bass twice as hard as usual, as if to remind us who he is. (not that we needed reminding!) Ladies and Gentlemen…..Animal is back to kick your ass!

After “Stay Hungry,” (Which turns 35 next year if I’m not mistaken) Dee got a good look at the crowd. For a crowd that had been sweltering in the sun all day…this festival was packed! There was not an empty chair or cheese plate to be seen. I mean it, these folks really dig the cheese. Can I say it again? Nicest people ever AND they’re into cheese. I LOVE THIS PLACE! Yanno….Wisconsin is downright….wholesome! And yet….they rock out hard and they turn out for the hard rock. Dee did a quick check “Am I allowed to curse? Yes? Hey Wisconsin…How the fuck are ya?” Dee was in a very empathetic mood: “We know it’s hot…..it’s toasty….you’re tired….” But then Dee recalled that “We’ve partied here before with you mutha fuckas before!.....so release the energy you’ve been saving up all day!”

“The Beast” gave us some hard core cowbell, along with a new addition to the A.J. percussion set—a special bell called an “ice bell.” Think heavy metal meets zen temple—really quite extraordinary. This one was a real bass pounder as well, and Eddie delivered a fantastic and tight solo, with one leg up. Literally. He did the solo on one leg—that’s some darn good rockin, you betcha!

When the band launched into “The Kids Are Back,” you could really tell that they had hit their groove. The sound was beautifully balanced, even from the stage. Animal was up to his old tricks—savvy SMFs who have been watching the shows may have noted the ongoing stage battle between Mark and Eddie as they duel guitars—the song ended with a flourish as A.J. tossed (and caught) a stick high in the air.

Jay Jay thanked the other bands, in particular Queensryche and Anthrax, who have shared the stage with Twisted Sister many times. He also expressed the band’s appreciation to all of the fans who have stood behind not only Twisted Sister all of these years….but supported all of the other heavy metal artists out there.

Dee welcomed those in attendance to join, as millions of fans across the world have, the Church of Twisted Sister. (now THAT’S a reason to get up on Sunday mornings!) “I Believe in Rock n’ Roll” was absolutely screaming but it took a bit of effort on Dee’s part to get everyone to feel the spirit. He asked the audience to “repeat after Dee…” but after an attempt at the refrain, Dee declared it was “Un-Wisconsin-like!” Best Dee-ism of the night: “We’ve seen your open spaces…and where there’s open spaces…there’s people partying!” So he asked them to give it to ‘em Wisconsin! Put down the cheesy fries (I actually saw a guy wearing an ‘I Love Poutine!’ shirt.) and give it all you’ve got. This crowd was fired up!

By the time we had cowbell, the crowd was absolutely on their feet. Jay Jay and Eddie gave us a spot-on flawless duet—they were like…peas n’ carrots….cheese n’ fries….and they had everybody singing. At one point, Mark came over to the side of the stage and yelled at all the folks standing in the wings, “Were you singing?! You’d better be singing!” Believe me, when Animal tells you to sing, you’d better start singing! Dee had the crowd sing one more time—he brought all of the house lights up, and asked for all the horns in the air….which we saw…plus one white lattice lawn chair…

There was one serious, poignant moment—Dee dedicated “The Price” to Jeff and Jack, two local folks who recently died in a plane crash. [I didn’t catch all of the details—so any local folks—if there’s a correction or additional information needed here…please contact me and I’ll update it]

And similar to those of you who caught the Austin, TX performance—Dee commented that many of his esteemed colleagues seemed to be obsessed with the “unplugged” phenomenon, playing acoustic sets these days. Dee pronounced acoustic sets to be “the death of metal,” punctuated by his absolute annihilation of an acoustic guitar on-stage, Pete Townsend style.
“The Price” was beautifully played—Eddie delivered another great solo--the crowd really feeling it. We had a sea of waving arms—Wisconsin, you done good! Truly, this was the best festival crowd in the U.S. that we saw all tour.

But we were far from done! “Burn in Hell” gave us a little something extra—maybe it was the heat….maybe it was the half-naked crowd…maybe it was the fact that Dee is looking quite toned these days…but Dee came out bare-chested, a black leather armband on each arm, white jeans laced up with black leather on the sides and black boots--illuminated all in red. It was quite a spectacle—I found myself taking a moment to fully appreciate Dee’s physique. (Not that there’s anything WRONG with that!) May I just remind you all that Dee is a grandfather? My grandfather, may he rest in peace, did NOT look like that! I’m just sayin’….. Dee is lookin’ good these days!

Dee took a moment to clarify that “Burn In Hell” is an uplifting song….the good Christian message “Don’t Be An Asshole!” And let us say…..amen! He gave props to the peeps all the way in the back, “We see you rocking out!”

And Dee shared with the crowd his thoughts…which I happen to share too….which is that Rock USA Festival is a great festival with fantastic artists, awesome fans and a wonderful staff….but the schedule and timetable is “weird.” Which is a nice way of saying…..fucked. Many fans were not happy that the headliner was only given 60 minutes…and there was a LOT of down time in between. Dee mentioned that if every band shaved just 5 minutes off (OR they shaved 5 minutes off the set change times) then Twisted Sister would have had a full 90 minute set instead of the 60! “Just sayin’….” Said Dee….and I’m right there with ya. This was a poor decision made by the festival. Feel free to visit their facebook and tell them that they need to give Twisted Sister a full 90-minute set for pete’s sake!

When Dee launched into “I Wanna Rock” and while we were expecting the crowd to go nuts, Dee unleashed a string of Dee-isms including; “This time, when you say ‘rock!’, throw your fist in the air…and no hiding behind the fat guy…that’s cheating!” He gave the “I Wanna Rock” vs “I Wanna Fuck” survey, but I don’t think the crowd fully understood when Dee say to only say ‘rock’ if you wanna rock more than you wanna fuck, and say ‘fuck’ if you wanna fuck more than you wanna rock. When Dee yelled “I Wanna Rock!” there were an awful lot of folks screaming “rock!” Dee whispers into his mic, “You gotta listen guys….” Finally, the crowd understood and Dee agreed to “fuck later let’s rock now!”

Dee complimented a lovely gal in the front row on her buxom bosom, commenting, “It must be all the cheese!” Unbelievable. Dee mentions rock….crowd? meh. Dee mentions fucking….crowd? meh. Dee mentions boobs….crowd? meh. Dee mentions dairy…..and the crowd goes wild! Welcome to Wisconsin….I LOVE THIS PLACE! The last verse was absolutely thunderous….that’s some serious cheese.

Sadly….only one encore tonight: S.M.F. But it was a performance worthy of a show closer—the self-proclaimed cheeseheads’ asses were officially kicked!

So let’s review, shall we? Twisted Sister headlined Rock USA 2013 to deliver 60-minutes of mind-blowing, cheese-melting, hardcore heavy metal that had a crowd of 30,000 fans on their feet, fists in the air, rocking hard after a long, tough day in the heat. Seriously—for me, this was the best U.S./Domestic show of the 2013 tour—thank you Wisconsin for an amazing show with some of the nicest local crews, hotel staff, hospitality and fans!

And so my babies, it is with great sadness that I now put away my colors, hang up my laminate, and bid you all farewell until the next tour. If you want Twisted Sister to play near you, remember to call your local rock station and ask them to play some TS… tell your local concert promoters that you want Twisted Sister to headline! Keep metal alive!
My infinite love to the entire Twisted road crew—Danny, Joe, George, Johnny, Rikk, Mehtis, Keith, A.J. Jr, Dwayne, Marty—and of course, nothing but love to the bad boys of rock n’ roll--Dee, A.J., Jay Jay, Eddie and Mark. You are my Twisted family.

This is Armadillo….trotting off….until the next tour, my babies! Thank you everyone for all the support!
A happy belated birthday to Mr. Mendoza and Mr. French!
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