WATCH THIS SPACE...Alcatraz Festival in Belgium and Heavy Montreal reviews coming soon! 
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 09:32 PM
Posted by Administrator
Watch this space, babies.... road reports and setlists coming soon from the Alcatraz Festival in Belgium and Heavy Montreal in Canada
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Official KLAKSVIK FAROE ISLAND ROAD REPORT: PART TWO 7-August, 2014 
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 09:18 PM
Posted by Administrator
I'm loopy as hell from no sleep, but one thing is for sure:

Twisted Sister DESTROYED Sommerfest in the Faroe Islands. After this summer, no other band will even come close to delivering what the crowd experienced this past weekend. It was raw energy that set the bar so high, the inhabitants of the Faroe Islands told us they don't know if they will ever see another show come close.
We heard it from every attendee we spoke with--best show ever!

So let's get right to it, shall we? After four incredible days of relaxation, it was now time to rock, which actually proved a little bit challenging at first--the crew was feeling so refreshed for a change, that it was hard to recognize that it was "show day." We took the foggy but beautiful drive into the 2nd biggest town on the island--Klaksvik--and settled into our new digs for the day.

The festival grounds were unlike anything any of us had ever seen. Nestled deep in one of Faroe's lush green valleys, the relatively small stage was still under construction, which gave us time to breathe in the surroundings. We had mountainous views on three sides. The town's businesses were located in the bottom of the valley, homes dotted the winding streets on the sides, and then nothing but sheep everywhere higher. The stage teetered in the edge of a hilly grass knoll, with an enormous Front-of-House booth for the lighting and sound engineers. It had the most bizarre downstage I've ever seen...two huge slick metal ramps that lead to a T platform in front. A second smaller stage was built a short distance away, and concession stands lined the walk. Keeping with the character of the Faroe Islands, our amazing host Simun opened his home to the band to provide a quiet, comfortable place to get ready, with one of the most incredible food spreads I've ever seen.

And for another first--Simun's neighbors gave Dee their house as a private dressing room. Yes. The whole house. What's more amazing is that they had to look for a key--not a spare key, mind you, a key. Living in a place with almost no crime at all, most islanders do not lock their doors. Remarkable. Special thank you to the entire family who opened their home to us--there was something really sweet about a little welcome message written on the entryway chalkboard--as if we were now a part of the family. It was also one of the more challenging security details--on a small island, word gets out fast, and the folks at Faroe are so accustomed to just walking into each other's houses, we were posted outside the house to gently explain to curious neighbors that the band needed privacy--and that meant no one could visit. They were puzzled...but as always, kind, polite and understanding.

The crew settled inside a telecommunications building as a production office while our talented Twisted technicians prepared the guitars and built the drum kit inside the garage of the police station. We enjoyed more Faroe Island hospitality with mounds and mounds of candy--an absolute must for those of us on the crew--and had absolutely LUXURIOUS hours to get the stage prepared. The sound check was very clean sounding--Danny Stanton (The TM) and road crew members Mehtis (From Finland), Duane (NY) joined A.J. on the skins to play a solid "Shoot 'em Down" to an early bird audience who applauded the sound check with gusto....and the rushed over to the crew to get autographs. Oh. And there was a clown in the pit. Yeah. A Clown. Not a guy in a wig...or a guy wearing a nose...it was a dude decked out in full clown makeup....complete with wig, nose, pom pom buttons and big shoes, and he was throwing the horns and moshing around with a group of kids. Okay. I ate a bunch of things I don't normally eat...I went to a 1000 year old house full of ghosts...flew in a chopper but THIS CLOWN is freaking me out, man.

I came inside the secondary staging area to listen to Jay Jay French's interview on a local radio station, talking about Twisted Sister's reunion and the rise to the top. Jay Jay never has a problem finding things to say--he gave a fun interview which was followed by the station's playing of "Leader of the Pack" a song which I mst confess, I have not played since, um, 1986. Rest of Europe ain't got nuthin' on Faroe. Special Road Report shout out to slamboard S.M.F. Patrick from Austria who made the trek to the island--good to see other S.M.F.s willing to seek a little adventure! (and brave the clowns)

This empty grassy field suddenly filled quickly with more than 10,000 people of all ages, and judging by the looks on their faces, this was truly the HAPPIEST crowd I have ever seen. They were loving every single minute, and I saw smiles as far as the eyes could see. "Stay Hungry" and "Kids Are Back" opened us up, and gave me a little background music as I loaded up the transport. It sounded perfectly balanced, loud as hell and 100% pure Twisted. Even the sheep were singing..."The Kids are Baaaaaa-aaaaaaack!" (oh please, like you weren't expecting sheep references)

"You Can't Stop Rock n' Roll" was a solid performance--some absolutely great guitar playing happening tonight--maybe it was the sushi...or the Black Sheep Ale....or the jumping salmon....or four days of rest...OR...maybe it's because no one can play live the way Twisted Sister can. This was rock and roll all the way, babies.

Here is what amazed me the most at this show--it is safe to say that a pretty large number of those in attendance had never heard of Twisted Sister prior to the festival. Many who had, did not know Twisted Sister beyond radio hits. But regardless, they were cheering, screaming and rocking out to every single song from the opening note. The crowd was absolutely electric, and now I can see why the locals told us that this concert was the most important day of the summer.
The islands experience a long, cold, dark and stormy winter--this concert will get the town through it all--they knew TS was giving it all they had, and the crowd gave it right back. Pure energy.

I knew that "We're Not Gonna Take It" was gonna set the place on fire. It was an absolute spectacle. Everybody was singing. And I do mean everybody, I spied the crowd singing all the way in the back, on the hills...local sittng on their roof tops were throwing the horns....and the sheep. They were throwing the hooves. Dee was clearly enjoying himself as well--he thanked the original fans in the audience--hear that? We're not old...we're original...and told the parents of all the small children in attendance that they were raising their kids right!

The next three songs were strong and well-played, with a rendition of "The Price" that this crowd will never forget. "Burn in Hell" then began with a hazer filling the stage with fog--wait, really? We've had crazy fog for 5 days...did we really need a machine? The stage lit with green light...wait a minute...green? Well, it IS the Faroe Islands. Everything here is green. Oh wait, there we go. Creepy red lights. Much better. A.J. delivered a drum solo that literally echoed off the mountains--the sound was truly THUNDEROUS, THe Sound of Thunder did not let us down--absolutely incredible.

We had another Dee-ism-- Dee acknowledged all of the fans, including those standing all the way in the back. "It's easy to rock in the front...it's hard to rock out in the back by the toilets going...'hey, it smells like shit here...' " He also complimented the crowd on their enthusiasm. "Sometimes we do the show where we have to show the audience what to do...and then coax them into having a good time. BUT NOT TONIGHT!" This audience needed no coaxing or instructions--Faroe Islands, you know how to rock!

It was time for the audience favorite--"I Wanna Rock"--I have never seen a crowd so happy, so excited and so loud. Dee decided that they were ready for the real test--not only were they told to throw their fist in the air, but jump when yelling rock. I felt the earth move beneath me--more than ten thousand fans simultaneously jumping, it made me wonder if the seismic activity across the world was the butterfly effect.

They closed it out with a hard rocking rendition of "It's Only Rock n' Roll" and that crowd was so pumped up, they could have gone all night. And truth be told, there wasn't a lot of night left. We packed up the gear, stopped at Simun's house for another remarkable spread of sushi and other delicacies, and then back to the hotel. It was about 3:00 a.m. I think...and we had lobby call just two hours away.

Five a.m. rolled around and we packed our luggage into the cargo trailer attached to the van. Just five miles or so down the road, our driver pulls over to check the rear doors on the trailer. He re-locks them and is about to pull away when I look in the distance, and comment that the sheep are looking at "something in the road." Danny and Mark go to check it out, and sure enough, three sheep are investigating Mark's luggage, which had fallen into the middle of the road. He told the locals to be on the lookout for any sheep wearing stolen Harley tee shirts. We double backed to the hotel to retrieve Jay Jay's bag, which had also fallen out somewhere along the way. With the gear now fully secured, we made our way to the airport for the next show--the whole time, we just could not stop talking about the experience that was the Faroe Islands.

No time for rest, as we then all boarded the plane together to head to Belgium for the Alcatraz rock festival.

And that, my babies, is how you rock. Thank you to Ronnva, our favorite flight attendant, her hard rocking mother and the countless kind relatives we met. And of course, there are no words to express our appreciation to Simun and Jastrid, for the most incredible hospitality we have ever experienced. Special thanks to all of the relatives we met, and the kind neighbors who opened their homes, factories, cars, fisheries, museums, restaurants and helicopters to us. Faroe Islands, your physical beauty was only outdone by the beauty of the people.

With that, this is Armadillo, trotting off to the zombie walk through another airport....stay tuned, my babies. Belgium is just right around the corner...
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SETLIST for Klaksvik, Faroe Islands 7-August, 2014 
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 08:51 PM
Posted by Administrator
Your official Faroe Island Setlist, 7-August, 2014

1. Stay Hungry
2. The Kids Are Back
3. You Can't Stop Rock n Roll
4. Captain Howdy
5. Street Justice
6. We're Not Gonna Take It
7. I Believe in Rock n' Roll
8. Shoot 'em Down
9. The Price
10. Burn In Hell
11. I Wanna Rock
encore
12. It's Only Rock n Roll

UNOFFICIAL Faroe Island Setlist with a shout out to all our Sheepish friends

1. Staaaaaaaay Hungry
2. The Kids Are Baaaaaaa-aaaaack
3. Ewe Can't Crop Rams n' Wool
4. Captain Husbandry
5. Sheep Justice
6. We're Not Gonna Taaaaake It (grasping at straws here...)
7. I bleet in Rock n' Roll
8. Shorn 'em Down
9. The Fleece
10. Bleet in Hell
11. I Wanna Flock
12. It's Only Flocks to Shoal
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Faroe Islands: PART ONE: BEFORE THE SHOW.... 
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 08:45 PM
Posted by Administrator
There is so much to share with you, my babies, that I'm going to break this into two blog entries. The first entry will be all travel and pre-show, to give you a flavor of a day in the life of a rock band. The second part will be the show itself.

That said, I now bring the next installment of the only rock n' roll tour blog where you not only get all the glorious details of the Twisted Sister show, but fascinating factoids about salmon and anecdotes about sheep. (oh, get your mind out of the gutter. I haven't been single THAT long.) Yes, my babies, it's time now to bring you the literary long-windedness known as the Armadillo Road Report--the Official Twisted Sister tour blog and concert review: Faroe Islands Edition.

What's that, you say? You've never heard of the Faroe Islands? Well, to be fair, neither had any of us. One of our crew, the notorious Duane, had apparently been telling folks that we were going to the FALLON islands, and was quite disappointed when he learned that Jimmy Fallon did NOT, in fact, own any islands, but he seemed very excited to find out that "Faroe" refers to sheep and goat-type livestock. (and yes, we made many off-color remarks about less-than-Christian activities that we speculated one could do with sheep, given they outnumber the people on the island by almost 2 to 1. So there you have it--we were playing the island of sheep.

I had no idea how to pack for an island of sheep, and the travel brochures all indicated that the primary activities were hiking, fishing and such, so I packed my 44L backpack along with plenty of outdoor closed and apparently resembled a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Or in this case, a Middle-Aged Nerdy Windbag Armadillo. But nevertheless, the point is that I was expecting four days of absolute boredom and hiking, with little else to do but serenade sheep. So wrong.

Twisted Sister had just annihilated the stage in Austria--I mean it, these guys don't just play a nice chill set and leave. They take the stage and the audience by the balls, and tear the shit out of the place, and then leave everyone feeling wrecked, but in a good kinda way. Any band that plays after Twisted Sister regrets it because so far, most crowds thin out after our boys in black and pink destroy the place.

We left the stage in Graz, Austria very late after the slogging dance of packing the gear and loading the vans. We had just enough time to go up to our rooms, grab a shower and change of clothes, toss our bags together and head back to the airport I opted for a quick one hour power nap. Getting to the Faroe Islands is no easy task, my babies. They are located in the middle of the Atlantic waters, just off the coast of Greenland and Norway. You have two options to get there--an insanely ridiculous ferry trip that takes about 19 hours, or you can opt to fly one of the very few flights each day--and I ain't even telling you what it costs--let's just say that I've been practicing saying, "Do you want fries with that?" because I'm gonna need an extra job or two to pay for this lapse of sanity.

Because of there are only three planes that fly to the Faroe Islands on our carrier, and one was disabled by birds, (yes, birds. Dangerous little bastards) we had to move some of the crew and Dee around to other flights, but 4/5 of the band and 6/8 of the crew flew from Vienna to Copenhagen {hell, I think it was Copenhagen) to retrieve gear to re-check to the Faroe Island flight. We were particularly nervous about this, because these small planes (and really small carriers) cannot always accommodate a lot of weight. But as we settled into our seats, the guitars made their way to the tarmac and the flight attendant stopped us to ask--"the pilot and I are from the Faroe Islands. He saw the guitars being loaded and wants to know what band is on the plane."

Well, knowing NOW what I know about life on the Faroe Islands, the pilot must have radioed his brother who works on the ground crew at the airport, who notified his niece who works at a newspaper who has a neighbor who is a photographer. The FRONT page of the faroe newspaper the next day, read (in Faroese, the local language) "Twisted Sister arrives in the Faroe Islands" with a photo of Twisted Sister coming down the steps of the plane and across the tarmac a la Beatles style. What made this highly amusing to us, is that A.J. and Eddie were off to the side and Mark in the background of the photo, and the center of photo featured Tour Manager Danny Stanton and several crew. Because many on the Faroe Islands had never seen Twisted Sister before, they then naturally assumed that those pictured were the band members, which meant that the road crew had a following of paparazzi and autograph seekers everywhere we went.

It was a one-hour bus ride from the airport to the hotel--photos can't possibly do it justice, and words fail me to describe the pure, untouched and breath-taking beauty of the Faroe Islands. We took windy, hair-pin turns along spectacular cliff sides, with lush green valleys and rolling hills surrounding us. Beautiful water falls cascaded from the tops of the mountains that emptied into dark blue rivers. The deep cold waters of the Atlantic were in view almost anywhere we were, and this pristine landscape was occasionally dotted with quaint wooden homes, many hundreds of years old, and the ever present livestock. Sheep of every size, color and variety roamed, grazed and slept on every lovely hillside....and in a few cases, wandered in the road, requiring gentle coaxing by the driver to mosey along. $500 fine if you hit one, by the way. One in particular seemed to have a personal interest in one of our crew, Matt. And somewhere, one of our crew has actual footage of said sheep chasing our van, as it bleated, "Maaa-aaaattt! Maaaaa-aaaaattt!"
What is hard to find on the island: trees. While everything is covered with a soft green moss, trees are rare since they are not a native species. It resembled a prehistoric moss-covered Grand Canyon.

We arrived at our hotel--a rather unusual looking structure that was one part nautical, with traditional Faroe roof made of turf (next time your teenager bitches about moving the lawn, tell him to be glad he doesn't have to go up and mow the roof!) and one part "The Shining." Something about living in isolation and long hallways. We opened the windows of the hotel, and could climb up on to a grassy hill (the hotel was partially underground, built into the mountainside) and before long, there was a road crew and band member hanging out of every window--think of it, like, Faroe Islands meets "Laugh In." (oh just google it, I can't spell out everything for you.) Given the complete lack of sleep, the slow pace of the islands, crisp clean breeze through the rooms, and the absolute quiet soon lured us all into long, refreshing naps. We joined our promoter and incredibly gracious host, Simun and his lovely wife Jastrid for dinner in town at an "American" style dinner.

We learned at dinner that Pamela Lee Anderson (Baywatch) was at our hotel--she was in town with an activist group called "Sea Shepherds," who protest and interfere with the town's practice of killing whales for food. The politics are very intense--and while I can understand someone finding the practice of killing whales distasteful, I can only tell that what we heard and saw from the locals, was that this is part of their way of life for thousands of years. The whales feed entire villages and there is no risk to the existence of the species. Nevertheless, the Sea Shepherds were the talk of the town, and because their logo was a skull and crossbones, we were often mistaken for them. (Hey, skulls are very rock and roll. honest mistake.) So when they weren't approaching us for photos and autographs, they were asking us about our view on whales.

The next morning, I was surprised to see a lobby call listed. And being one who never missed a lobby call, I grabbed my wet weather gear and headed out into a fog so thick we could barely find the cars. But our gracious tour guide Rannva, who incidentally, was also our flight attendant, and her mother (we nicknamed "The Captain") drove us down to the water where Jay Jay French and an assortment of crew boarded a ferry that took us so close to the cliffs, they made us wear hard hats to protect us from falling rocks. And since it was the Faroe Islands, where everyone knows everyone else....and every third person seems to be either a neighbor, a relative or both....we were constantly entertained and charmed by this sense of small town family atmosphere. Crime, by the way, is almost non-existent. (their prison census was 10...mostly for drunk and disorderly....and one guy for a domestic dispute over a fence and a ram. We met one of the island's two police officers, who is also Simon's brother. See how this works?

We thought the day couldn't get more amazing until Simon returned, and brought the remaining crew and band to a place called: Koykstovan One of the world's oldest still-inhabited timber houses. Our gracious hosts were the 17th generation of their family to live there. Let that sink in a minute--17th generation! It was also one of the most paranormally active places I have EVER set foot into--I don't really care if you believe me or not, but BELIEVE ME. I wanted to just smudge myself with sage for an hour afterwards. I have never felt so much activity in one place.

Then...off to sushi in the town. Fish so fresh--I think they caught it that afternoon. No, really. Fish is the primary industry, and they are so plentiful, we watched as a young boy dropped his hook in the water and reeled them in one after another, seconds apart.

And then...it was August 5th. Eddie "Fingers" Ojeda's birthday. You know, most folks celebrate birthday with cake and candles. But this is the Faroe Islands, babies and this is Twisted Sister we're talking about. The day started with another early a.m. lobby call in the deep fog. We began the day at a salmon fishery, watching with amazement as they nurture the fish from smolt to eventually mature salmon, with a total of 1.7 million salmon per harvest--42,000 juveniles in each tank, literally jumped out of the water. We donned special shoes each time we moved through the fishery to prevent outside contamination.

We then decked out in full fishery gear, wearing day-glo orange dry suits and life jackets--think "Twisted Sister meets Deadliest Catch" and had a chance to do something that so few get to do--we took a boat out to the holding nets in the sea, and watched them feed the giant, almost 60,000 mature salmon as we walked along the rim of the "tanks." We then returned for a special feast of...what else? Sushi and salmon! But we weren't done yet. We then took a tour of one of the largest fish processing factories (yes, we think the owner was related to Simun)
It was a fascinating, eye-opening look at how fish goes from the sea to the table and as we left the factory, we commented that Eddie's rockin' birthday couldn't get any better. Wrong again.

A man who we think was Simun's father-in-law or some other relation, arranged for us to load into a helicopter and take a spectacular ride over and around the islands. This was one of those once in a lifetime opportunities, and I filled with emotion as I climbed aboard next to A.J. Pero, gave a thumbs up to the rest of Twisted Sister, and we got a breath-taking view of the sweeping green valleys, majestic hillsides, fiords, and beautiful blue waters. I had to stop myself from tearing up, because, well....crying is NOT metal. The day still not over, we visited a local brewery who treated those in our party who do indulge, in fabulous local brews. If that wasn't enough, we then had an enormous traditional Faroe Island feast at Simun and Jastrid's beautiful home, where we dined on (what else?) sushi, freshly caught lobsters, whale and a saddle of lamb that was spectacular. The whale and blubber? An acquired taste. Last...we had cake, complete with a 60 watt lightbulb plus two candles and sang "Happy Birthday" to Eddie, in both English and Faroese. So...boat trip, factory tour, sushi lunch, helicopter ride, brewery visit, feast and.....cake. Yeah. Not bad to be rock stars. Simun, you are da' man!

Our next day found Jay Jay French, Maaaaaaa-aaaaatt, and myself with Ronnva and her sister on a beautiful drive out to her village, returning to a special dinner arranged by Simun in the hotel restaurant, where the two chefs reportedly have studied under the top chefs in the world. We enjoyed an 18 course meal that included scallops, octopus, fish, lamb...it was one more unique experience that I can say I would not have had anywhere else. We returned to our rooms, well fed, well rested and prepared ourselves for the next day: SHOW DAY.

Stay tuned, babies. Faroe Island CONCERT REVIEW is coming next!

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COMING SOON....Faroe Islands! 
Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 10:09 AM
Posted by Administrator
Coming soon, babies, a special edition of the road report from the beautiful Faroe Islands!
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