Happy New Year to SMF's everywhere! 
Saturday, December 31, 2011, 01:59 PM
Posted by Administrator
Just taking a moment to reflect on the incredible year 2011 was for Twisted Sister fans. While all of the local news broadcasts are calling 2011 a year that many wish to forget, for so many SMFs, 2011 was a year we will remember forever.

This time last year, we were still flying high from the winter twisted trip to South America--a land where Heavy Metal still reigns supreme, and the people's passion for music is surpassed only by their warmth, kindness and love. I arrived as a scared fan, but departed as a part of a heavy metal family.

The Spring of 2011 gave us one of the best US shows (and setlists) to date--a spectacular charity concert for Ocular Immunology & Uveitis Research in New York City, coupled with the extraordinary Pinkburst Project auction in Boston, the following afternoon.

Nothing could have prepared us for the summer of 2011--a Twisted tour of Europe that would stretch across the UK, Spain, Hungary, Canada,Czech Republic, Greece, Finland and remarkably, Russia! (Still kicking myself for not getting the visa lined up in time!) Nothing could have been greater proof that while cultures, dialects and customs may vary, rock and roll is a universal language of the heart and soul.

For this fan, it was a dream come to true to travel to Greece, where the Twisted Sister fans proved to our Twisted five that Greece was well worthy of the two shows they received that year. Finland was a land full of hospitality and beauty, with a passion for Twisted Sister and heavy metal that was unsurpassed. Quebec City was magical, whimsical and dream-like. SMFs everywhere share that one common bond-- a love for Twisted Sister and glorious rock and roll!

If I leave this Earth with any regrets, it is only that I could not join the Twisted fans in the other counties that they visited---every single country that Twisted visited gave them a warm welcome, energetic crowds and allowed Twisted Sister to do what they do best--put on the best live heavy metal concert anywhere!

And so my babies, not knowing what 2012 will bring us, I can only wish all of you--the S.M.F. friends of Twisted Sister--all over the world, a year of good health, prosperity, personal growth, love and most of all, peace. May the year ahead bring us all together once more-- my deepest heartfelt thanks to everyone in the band, the road crew, the management and of course, the fans!

Happy New Year....and I hope to see you on the road in 2012


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Best Buy Theater, Times Suuare, New York City, December 17, 2011 
Sunday, December 18, 2011, 07:30 PM
Posted by Administrator
You’d think that after the dozen or so Twisted Christmas shows that I’ve been fortunate enough to attend…that I would have a lack of things upon which to comment. Not so, my Twisted siblings! A chilled soda and stack of chocolate bars sits next to the notepad now filled with pages upon pages of incoherent shorthand, and that can only mean one thing: that’s right… it is time….here now, for your reading enjoyment…. Your noel of notepads, yuletide yammering, holiday holier-than-thou, festivus for-the-SMF-in-us….

Oh my babies…it’s the Official Armadillo Road Report from Times Square in the glorious City of New York, Best Buy Theatre, December 17, 2011. Bringing you all the concert details you’re dying to know….and plenty ya don’t. In a nutshell--Best Buy kicked serious ass! Funny raps...beautiful solos...great drums....excellent, tight guitars..just fantastic.

As you may recall, we skipped a year at the Best Buy Theatre. Last year’s holiday adventures brought us to Brazil, Argentina and other parts south of the Equator, leaving many in New York to wonder if Dee was sincere in his promise that the “last Christmas show in New York City” really was, in fact..the last. Fortunately for all of us, the Twisted ones were back on stage again and it was a delightful déjà vu to start putting on the heavy layers of clothing for the long cold wait outside. I knew I’d be meeting up with many from the Slamboard outside, and so finally I think I’ve got the cold weather formula down: Heater packets, one in each shoe and one in each pocket, a warm touque and four layers underneath. It was definitely nippy outside but I didn’t mind the almost two hour wait outside.

The Best Buy Theater has always been prompt, and we were all very politely greeted and brought inside by an attentive security force at 7:00 PM on the nose. Inside, it was the confusing layout and air-conditioning that I had remembered from years past, but it is still a wonderful venue with loads of amenities and a very well-trained and professional staff. Waiting for hours in the cold was still worth the pain as the large group of SlamBoard folks took their places near the front. Included but not limited to: SMFCyndi, Metal NY (Brian), Captain Howdy (Chris) and his lovely co-worker who took in her very first Twisted Sister show…we also met up with Amuz2Deth (Rob), Toronto SMF Corey and another fellow Canadian Anthony (also from Toronto).

Special shout out to a very special visitor—SMF Mark, who flew here all the way from Australia! Holy shite! That is ONE LONG PLANE TRIP to rock and roll! Hope it all worked out for you, mate, and you met the boys in the band. Wish I could have stayed with you a little longer. Let us know how things went at the Meet n’ Greet! (those NYC meet and greats are always very crowded—lots of friends, family, music folks!)

As we all gathered anxiously awaiting the start of the show, we had a strange dichotomy of DJ music—the usual suspects—Bon Jovi, Ozzy, Van Halen—but “My Sharona?” Really? The Knack? And now for something completely different…. A very jovial and likely intoxicated Santa’s helpers runs up onstage and gets the crowd cheering and fired up for Twisted Sister. After a good two or three minutes of cheerleading, it dawns on us—and the security team—that this elf was NOT with the show. He quickly escorted himself offstage and we were quite amused by the baffled and annoyed looking security guard—who I admit, I agree with those around me, did have a striking resemblance to Uncle Fester.

The photographer who dressed up as Dee at the last Christmas show was there—you can check out his photography at www.rockdivanews.com I don’t see the Twisted photos up yet but here’s hoping they’ll be up soon.

Jac & Jill was our only warmup act of the evening—and they sounded even better than they did the week before! Again, I have to give them some props due—they are by far, the best dressed band I have ever seen. Ironic, of course that you have Twisted, who made Blackwell’s worst dressed list—and then the highly stylish Jac & Jill. Bridgid rocked that Viper Violin, complete with a pink bow-and the horsehair was flying! (that’s the bow, I’m talking about….they’re made of horsehair) They again played the Foo Fighter’s “Best of You” and it was a very solid, tight rendition—definitely a crowd favorite.

[The gentleman next to me was excited to catch a J&J guitar pick—I could have sworn I saw it sail into his jacket—he couldn’t find it however, so I recommend checking your lint filter on laundry day..the damndest things come out in the wash.]

They dedicated their Christmas song to those still overseas, and the roadies dragged out a baby grand piano (boy, I hope they got a Christmas bonus for that—my back hurt just watching!) Beautiful song—and a nice heavy bass line. They really rocked the house last night, and seemed to get a much warmer welcome than they did at The Paramount, where the crowd was much smaller. Kudos again to Jac & Jill….and by the way, they looked absolutely radiant…..and …..I must have missed their call last time….ya know…still single here….how can you resist short, bald and nerdy?

Twisted Sister’s friend, fan and supporter, Rabbi Darby Leigh was there right in front. Unfortunately, the only thing worse than my massacring of spoken languages….is my ASL which is limited to just a few words, but fortunately Rabbi Leigh reads lips. It dawned on me—just as there are Catholics called “Easter and Christmas Catholics”—there are really only three times of the year that’s I identify as a Jew—Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur, Passover…..and Twisted Sister shows. At least now Jay Jay can take to heart that there are at least THREE Jews celebrating Twisted Sister Christmas with him.

When the lights came down and the opening riffs of “Long Way to the Top” began playing….we were clapping along, until we realized something was amiss. It was that feeling you get when you order a Coke and get Pepsi instead….something wasn’t quite as it should be….No vocals! It was sort of like a karaoke version of “Long Way,…” we don’t know. Were the roadies playing the opening riff to buy them more time? A soundboard issue with the opener CD? One may never know…. But the original AC/DC did finally come over the speakers, order was restored in the universe, and we were off for another Twisted Sister Christmas Extravaganza!

Unlike previous Christmas shows, Santa-Dee still had plenty of treats and such for those in the front, who were showered with candy canes, condoms and little bags of coal. You’ve by now seen the setlist—it was identical to The Paramount Show—“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” really is an excellent opener. The guitar lines are fast, furious and for a Christmas song that was introduced to the world by Judy Garland in “Meet Me in St. Louis,” it really kicks some ass. And your little dog’s, too.

Eddie sported his “Christmas present” guitar—and upon closer inspection, I noticed that the Head Stock (the part with the machine heads/tuning pegs…thank you, Chris and Wikipedia!) of his guitar has not only a small Santa on it, but the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, which made me realize that this guitar was probably commissioned for the Twisted Christmas in Vegas shows.

Then of course, to mix a little old school with Christmas Yule, they rolled right into “The Kids Are Back.” Do you know how you can tell the new SMFs from the old ones? The old ones know all the words to the songs off “Under The Blade” but can’t remember the words to a single Christmas Carol….and the new SMFs…well, you get the picture.

“White Christmas” was next—and although the forecast in the front row was for heavy blizzard conditions, a malfunction of the snow machine gave us only light flurries. “White Christmas” absolutely gallops along and every time Mark pounded on his bass, you could little soap flakes from his side of the stage go flying off the stage by the speakers.
Dee was again decked out in full regalia, and commented that he “scared the crap out of his granddaughter” tonight with “Snider Claus is coming to get you!” Seriously—Dee jokes that his grandkids are going to be really messed up but I cannot imagine a more wonderful set of grandparents than the Sniders! Periodically, throughout the show, Dee would give a little wave to his granddaughter who was rocking out in the wings. It was priceless!

Jay Jay seemed a bit underdressed compared to the Paramount—he still looked quite dashing in his tuxedo—however no black tie! Was it casual night? Tie at the cleaners? Couldn’t figure out how to make the bow? Sheesh…no initial vocals on Long Way, no snow, no tie….I was getting worried..what else were we missing? [more on that later!]

Then.. “Destroyer”. When Animal pounds on that bass combined with Eddie and Jay Jay’s guitars, it’s impossible to stand still. At one point, all I could see around me were fists and hair flying—it was a glorious timewarp back to the 80’s. The massive sound of “Destroyer” always makes for an interesting juxtaposition to the light-hearted “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”….who of course, in Twisted Christmas, is performing fellatio on Santa and tickling him under his balls so snowy white. And seriously, Dee’s right on the money here—if your kids understand the word fellatio, well, they’re probably old enough to handle “Twisted Christmas.”

Jay Jay said a few words of welcome: “This is not a Kenny G Christmas….not a Justin Bieber Christmas… if you were expecting the Trans-Siberian orchestra…you’ve got the transvestite Siberian orchestra…” and then went on to explain that being a New York Jew….well.. you’re a Jew… …ish….” [well, at least two of us understood that joke….almost as good as his late parents “sleeping with the kanishes”]

Jay Jay and Dee together introduce what is now known as the “Christmas drinking song” –one of those spots in the show where there is no excuse for anyone not to sing along. Jay Jay yells out: “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” The audience obligingly responded: “Spongebob Squarepants!” A tangent..true…but it warmed the crowd up to demonstrate their ability to “fa-la-la-la” with the best of them. “Deck the Halls” absolutely rocked, and one my favorite parts—Mark’s “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” bass solo, was absolutely fantastic Only upstaged by Dee’s roxette-style kick.

Next up was “The Price.” One of the things I love the most about this song is that every fan brings a little something self-reflective to it. So many of us have been touched and inspired by the lyrics and the beautiful guitarwork, that if you ask any SMF about “The Price,” they can put their own personal spin to it. For SMF Cyndi, “The Price” was the song dedicated to her in Italy, as a thank you for her travels. For me, the song was dedicated to me twice—once in Vegas when I proposed to she-who-must-not-be named- [which, admittedly, made it painful to hear the song for the longest time after the divorce..] and then a second time in Greece, when Dee thanked me for my almost thirty years of faithful devotion.

When I looked over and saw Rabbi Leigh signing along, I remember just how deeply this song touches the hearts of SMFs all over the world. I can certainly tell you long I have wanted this dream to come true—and I have to pinch myself time and time again to believe it’s really happening.

Eddie’s solo was fantastic—Dee was hanging off of Mark’s back as they all swayed—it was just a moment of perfection. The band swaying band and forth, the crowd swaying back and forth—lighters and cell phones in the air. Just perfect.

“Oh Come O’ Ye Faithful” (or as I call it, the WNGTI crowd teaser) was fantastic and tightly played—Jay Jay sounded especially good on this tonight, and Dee welcomed us all to “Come to the Church of Twisted Sister!” He then went onto one of his many incredibly hilarious raps of the evening, commenting that the handicapped section gets bigger and bigger every year…which prompted a fan to stand up…making Dee realize this was the opposite of his faux pas many years ago—they weren’t the HC section—they were just sitting down! (Oh! The humanity!)

For the second time in a row, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” treated us to Eddie and A.J. vocal solos—it was quite special that this year, many of the troops were finally home for the holidays. I’ll editorialize here that there are still many abroad, away from their loved ones—so please continue to remember those serving their homelands. Eddie’s guitar solo was quite lovely—I was mesmerized between watching his nimble fingers on the frets…and his facial expressions. He has such tremendous passion and concentration when he plays—it’s really quite special to watch up close.

“Burn In Hell” gave us that incredible trio of dueling guitars as Eddie, Jay Jay and Mark lined up. If you have never perused any of the youtube or photo albums of Dee performing this song in a red glow—it’s quite dramatic. It leads into A.J.’s mammoth drum solo-song medley…we had the red and green laser sticks and lots and lots of cowbell.

“Silver Bells” gives us another Mendoza bass solo—we had some sound issues in the front row all night—I heard from those standing a few rows back that the sound was fantastic. This is the issue that I’ve had in the front row at Best Buy three times in a row—right up against the stage, you get too much monitor and miss the vocals. Most of Mark’s bass solo was lost because of where we were standing, but those behind me were absolutely wow’ed. As
Dee said, “He would have gone on longer but he ran out of bass!”

And then….my babies….we heard a growly “ho….HO….HO….” and out came Santa Claus…sans pants. Yes, it’s was the return of the notorious Pantless Claus, who I might add, has had a rising hemline each year he does this bit. Next year, there will be nothing left to the imagination. I did spy Mark peeking under the back of pantless Claus’ coat….let’s just say that it was one of the moments when I wish I wasn’t standing so close….(if anyone needs to get Santa a present, a leg waxing gift certificate would be greatly appreciated!) Dee exclaimed, “Santa! Where’s your sack!” Mark could answer that… oh, wait, his sack of TOYS. Never mind. Apparently Santa was mugged in Central Park but he did manage to bring the boys a few gifts this year.

Dee commented that” all [he] wanted for Christmas was his two front teeth, but [he] already got those a few years back….” And then had to get them capped. Tough crowd tonight….prompting Dee to admonish the audience with “you older guys know what I’m talking about…the rest of you…try to keep up!”

A.J. again explained his deer accident and he gave his new Deer taxidermy bike a big hug. Mark (who insisted that Santa give him a little personal space now that he knew what was under his Santa coat) received his “pocket gun”—Animal, after all, said he likes “things that go boom!” He was so excited to carry off his big gun that he actually dropped his bass!

Eddie, who normally does not insist very specific in his holiday requests—lamented the loss of Off-track betting, and was thrilled when Santa wheeled out the giant roadie-sporting hobby horse, prompting him to remark: “Finally, a horse that can make me money…” With A.J. quipping, “It’s a horse of a different color….” And Dee remarking on the size of the horse’s….oh never mind.

Jay Jay had a very specific request for Pantless Claus (I agree with Dee—it just never gets old!) He wanted something that will remind him of his ex-wives divorce lawyers. [Christ, Jay Jay…as if alimony isn’t enough of a reminder? Hell, I think of my divorce lawyer every time I look at my empty bank account…] In any case, Santa had one his elves (Samantha French) deliver a spectacular shark guitar! Prompting Jay Jay to remark: “How subtle is that?” and Dee’s comment: “That’s Jay Jay’s daughter…so that makes TWO things that remind him of his ex-wife…”

Which led us into another one of Dee’s notoriously funny raps….and he motioned for Santa to come closer so that could tell him what he wanted for Christmas…the audience screaming out “I Wanna Rock” as Dee turned to us and admonished, “Will you let ME do it???!!” We had a blistering version of “I Wanna Rock”…and then came to the portion where Dee wants to see the audience in the light.

And yep. That so-called Handicapped Section that wasn’t the actual handicapped section was still seated. He launched into a brilliant and hilarious rap about audience laziness, culminating with: ‘Unless you are wearing a colostomy bag or an adult diaper….stand up!” The crowd began to chant it, and then Dee started a new chant: “THE POWER OF DEE COMPELS YOU! THE POWER OF DEE COMPELS YOU!” Wow. A Christmas show and exorcism all in one. That’s Twisted Christmas, folks.

He then addressed a fan in the back row of the balcony, who was waving frantically with both arms, “I see you in the back….signaling for help…. What? I didn’t pick your seat! You could have been down here with all these crazy bastards …” And then…as he was about to deliver the big finish, he saunters over to Eddie and casually asks::
“What’s the toughest thing about a colostomy bag? Finding shoes to match.”
And he wasn’t done.
“Hey…I’ve been wearing an adult diaper for years…not because I’m old…but just sheer laziness…” and then went on a brief tangent about how hard it was to hide the panty lines….


This folks.

THIS…. is why I bring a notepad! To bring you such gems of brilliance and comic delights.
{please no hatemail from those of you with Colostomy bags. All the men in my family have Crohn’s. Believe me, I’m sensitive to it, but it was still a damn funny one liner!}

The closer of the night—we had two encores again, including “Heavy Metal Christmas”—I swore I saw elves dragging their manager onstage during the frivolities—and as we got to the dramatic pause of the last refrain when the band re-dons their instruments—Dee yelled: “Wait! NO premature insingulation…think of garbage!”

The insanity wasn’t over yet—and this is truly why the Christmas shows are so much more fun than the standard Twisted Sister show (not that any TS show is average…..they are ALL special!) But there’s just so much fun and silliness—it’s really infectious! As Dee introduced the band…Jay Jay whispered something into Dee’s ear, prompting Dee to whisper back, “Yes, Satan?” Jay Jay disappears….

Dee thanked the old school fans who have supported the band all of these years….he then introduced A.J. Pero—the “new guy who has only been with them for thirty” as Eddie did arm curls with the pink mic stand…
...and then Jay Jay reappears., wearing a white Dee wig, announcing that he wondered what it would be like to be Dee…and if this is what Dee would look like without hair dye. [Dee said to give it 3 or so years]
I missed the next one-liners because when I looked up, Dee was looking down at me going, “Do you have to write it down every time I scratch my balls?”

Now, wait a second…I don’t do that….oh. wait. There was one road report where I think I did… aw shit.

But see? If I didn’t capture the best Dee-isms of the night, you’d miss them—most of the YouTube videos have the music but not the raps. Maybe the Rabbi will appreciate the “closed captioning” that I provide to you all. It’s worth the ridicule…it’s worth the pucker fear factor….I do it all for you, my babies. ( I don’t know if Dee reads these reports—he knows I write them!) It really does mean a lot to me when folks tell me they read the reports—I love bringing them to you and hope that 2012 will afford me the opportunity to bring you many, many more.

The boys closed with a house-shaking rendition of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” that had the whole place on their feet—stomping, clapping and singing. I hated for Twisted Christmas to end!

But something was missing tonight! Best Buy was a Douche-Bag free zone! that's right! I couldn't believe it either--the crowd was happy, polite...no fights, no spilled beer, no broken ribs--it was the most well-behaved New York show I've ever seen! Wow--the Power of Dee compelled us!

So I’ll take this opportunity to wish a happy holidays to everyone in the band, Danny Stanton and the entire road and set crew for doing all that they do so that we can rock out! A special holiday wish to all the slamboard peeps and SMFs all of the world! Special thank you to the staff at the Best Buy Theatre, and all of the promoters, club owners, staff and fans from all over the world.

Let us all hope that 2012 brings us health, peace and happiness….and I hope to see you all on the road next year!
This is your faithful road reporter, trotting off to find more candy bars to battle the post-concert blues….
Terry a.k.a. Armadillo

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Best Buy Theatre, Times Square NYC December 17, 2011 
Sunday, December 18, 2011, 03:40 PM
Posted by Administrator
Well folks- another great show, road report in progress... in the meantime, for archivist purposes, here is the setlist-- same as the Long Island show! (but still fantastic)

1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
2. The Kids Are Back
3. White Christmas
4. Destroyer
5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
6. You Can't Stop Rock N' Roll
7. Deck The Halls
8. The Price
9. Oh Come O Ye Faithful
10. I'll Be Home for Christmas
11. Burn In Hell
drum solo
12. Silver Bells
13. I Wanna Rock
14. Heavy Metal Christmas
15. We're Not Gonna Take It
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Paramount Theatre, Huntington LI NY, December 2, 2011 
Sunday, December 4, 2011, 10:31 PM
Posted by Administrator
Ho, Ho , Ho my babies!

The roadies are donning their tights, the SMFs are full of holiday cheer, the truck is full of gas, and I’m full of Ibuprofen. So you know that it can only mean one thing…. that’s right, my Twisted brothers and sisters…

It’s time…here now….for your reading enjoyment…the elated, the infatuated, often emulated, occasionally constipated and highly overrated….the one…the only…
Official Armadillo Road Report: The Paramount, Huntington, NY, December 2, 2011

I cannot begin to tell you how absolutely ecstatic I was to hear the news that not only do we have one Christmas show this year, but to fend off the holiday blues and the dreaded post-show depression, we have a second one as well. The last time I made the long trek to Long Island, it was for our boys as Bent Brother, playing the now-closed Crazy Donkey. (rest in peace, O’ Metal Mule!). I was quite excited to be back in Strong Island, and this time I planned accordingly—the drive took just under 6 hours in Friday traffic.

Huntington is a wonderful, quaint and scenic little town with a lovely main street area. I enjoyed chatting it up with some friendly locals and their odd assortment of pedigree dogs, and sat on the bench outside the paramount with a cup of hot cocoa and a warm chocolate chip cookie as I listened to the sound check. I only heard bits of two songs for the sound check…”I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Heavy Metal Christmas” but the sound was remarkably good on the outside, which meant we were in for some outstanding sound quality on the inside.

The theater itself was quite attractive inside and out—the exterior reminded me of the art deco era, and I guessed the age to be somewhere between 1920 and 1930—a highly loquacious local informed me that it used to be a movie theatre when he went there as a boy many years ago. [inside, one of the staff guestimated the theatre was built in 1929—so glad my art schooling wasn’t a complete waste!] A trolley shuttled guests from the parking areas to the theatre, completing the Norman Rockwell Christmas illusion.

Standing in line, I met up with fellow slamboarders: SMF Kathy, SMF Chris (aka Captain Howdy), SMF Cyndi, SMF Brian (aka MetalNY) and a new and fine local chap, Jerry, who was quite understanding as the five us chatted away at our mini-reunion. The tickets and signage stated that doors would open at 5 p.m., but alas, it was almost a chilly quarter til’ 6 when we were let inside…..only to find that once inside, there was a large, 360-degree cocktail bar, and a mysterious black curtain that was protected by an army of fluorescent yellow clad security officers. I imagine the goal was to keep us warm…and rack up a nice bar tab while we waited. Since our entourage doesn’t really drink, it was simply… a long wait staring at a black velvet curtain. I felt like a horse in the starting gate at The Preakness. I just wanted to bolt out as quickly as possible to secure a prime spot in the front row.

Gracious thanks again to Santa’s little helpers….and one of Santa’s little managers —who noticed this time around, I was on three legs—that is, due to a back sprain, I was hobbling about with a cane—and they gave me a 2 minute head start on the crowd, which was just enough time as I could see the sprinting SMFs right on my heels. But it was Armadillo by a nose, and the happy slamboarders five took our places and settled in for what the giant glowing marquee outside hailed as “Twisted Sister Christmas EXTRAVAGANZA!”

Inside the theater, it was an extremely high, vaulted ceiling [think: good sound!], exposed brick all around, large exposed industrial steel beams above, two large LED jumbo-screens stage right and left, bars the full length of the theater on both sides [read: no waiting!}, and balcony seating all the way around, with a few cocktail tables in the rear. A great area for merch, coatcheck and restrooms that didn’t require a GPS to find them—I really LOVE this theater! The place was aglow with red and green lights and it was beginning to feel a lot like Twisted Christmas!

Our show began at 7:05pm, with J.Rad taking the stage. The theater was rather empty still, and that always makes it a challenge for a warm-up band. You’ve got to give J.Rad some props—they played hard, fast and with as much energy as they could muster to a crowd still shaking off the cold. I was temporarily distracted by the photographer in the pit who was dressed like Dee in full makeup & sporting the pink and black—but more on him, later.

J.Rad did an excellent job overall….they played a very decent set, and I appreciated that they were a band that was just about the music. No frills, just rock and roll. They had a truly outstanding drummer (even if he was wearing argyle socks. Drummers are a peculiar lot, aren’t they?) Extra bonus points to the bassist who played the intro of one of their songs using a violin bow—very rich, deep sound. The lead singer reminded me (visually) of a young Freddie Mercury (with better teeth).

Musically—take a listen for yourselves at their website: www.jradrocks.com

Good job gents—tough crowd but you played a great opener. My only two beefs? Too much bass—not enough vocals. We think it was likely just a sound board issue—but we often found the lead singer competing (and losing) to his bassist. Other beef: the lighting—they were backlit almost the entire time, and it would have been nice to see them a little better.

In the interlude, Twisted’s own manager extraordinaire , Mr. Danny Stanton, emerged wearing Grinch gloves and introduced a familiar face to many in attendance—Fingers, from WBAB, who in turn, brought out our very own, Mr. Mark Mendoza. Animal introduced some special friends of theirs who were next up—and the curtain opened to our next act, Jac and Jill.

Jac and Jill—named for the two sisters in the band, the guitarist and lead vocalist—came onstage with a dramatic entrance and an electric violinist. (called “Viper Violin—7 strings!) and played an opener a la Silver Bells that could have passed the muster for the transiberian orchestra. This band is a treat—not only musically, but visually as well. Let me first speak to the ear candy.

One of the toughest things for a band to do—is play to a half-empty theater as an opener. Even tougher…play a genre of music that is a bit different from the headliner. Then….add the third challenge: the lead singer, guitarist and violinist are all women. And by challenge, I am referring to the bias that some people still hold against women rockers. In spite of these obstacles, I thought Jac and Jill really rocked the house. I didn’t catch the name of the song, but the refrain was “This is me, without you”. [oh the story of my life, sing it, sister!] A decent rock and roll riff.

The lead singer and her guitarist sister showed off not only their vocal chops (which were impressive ) but also their other talents as they played keyboards and percussion. They did a cover of the Foo Fighter’s “Best of You” that was definitely a crowd favorite, and seriously—that viper violin!

I know what you’re thinking, yes, I do. Violin you say? That ain’t metal! But I will argue to disagree on this one. The Viper Violin added a really rich bass line—it was like having two basses—actually, more like one bass and one baritone. The result was a delightful robust sound…and it looked really neat too—like a little sparkly purple flying-V guitar….perched on the shoulder of a strikingly beautiful woman.

And that leads to the eye candy part of this. I want to be careful and respectful here—too often, women rockers get overlooked or dismissed in spite of their talent, by those who can only focus on their looks. So I want to be clear—this band definitely has talent—and….they are all absolutely gorgeous. All three of them! And fashionable too--the lead singer, Jac lyn Quatela, was decked out in a stunning white fur-line peacoat and later stripped down to something a bit more revealing….and then changed outfits to something a bit more festively inspired.

Her sister played a wicked guitar and percussion (decked out with Christmas lights, no less) as they played an homage to the “Nutcracker Suite”—I mean, seriously—Tchaikovsky! How many metal shows give you that?! I was so inspired—I did a 'plié! (oh, look it up...) All I needed was a pink and black tutu. Uh, on second thought…..let’s deep six that idea.

Animal came back onstage and joined them on vocals for a special Christmas song—he certainly looked quite happy—and for a Christmas song, it really kicked ass! Kudos to Jill Winter (guitarist) and Brigid Bibbens (Viper)—fantastic job.
What amazed me the most? I *swear* they did not sweat one ounce. No, they didn’t perspire either. When they left the stage, they looked as stunning as the first moment they set on stage. A pleasure to listen to….and a pleasure to watch. I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing them again in Times Square in two weeks.

And for the ladies, their bassist is called “Pretty boy”—their keyboardist and drummer are a handsome lot as well. (even if their drummer did play for “The Wiggles”)
So folks…. Come out and come early! Don’t be too cool for school, and meander in right before our boys in black and pink take the stage. Come a bit earlier, have an extra cocktail, and be sure to catch Jac and Jill live onstage. Here’s their website: www.jacandjill.com

And I don’t know if Jac…and Jill…and Brigid..have any other sisters….but, uh…. Call me! I’m single!

We did have a brief moment of auditions for the “Douchebag of the Night” awards as SMFCyndi and some other young ladies were baptized by beer. Kudos to a very attentive security staff at the Paramount who escorted the inebriated attendee and her very apologetic boyfriend to the exit, stage right.

It was roughly 9:30 pm when “Long Way to the Top” finally gave us the old familiar cue that it was time to get wild. The curtains opened once more to reveal that over-the-top Christmas set (that you can also see in the latest Twisted Christmas in Vegas CD, available now!) and there were Twisted elves a plenty! I don’t ever remember seeing so many elves frolicking onstage. Including a pink and black adorned elf that looked remarkably like Twisted roadie and guitar technician Keith, who flashed us his jingle balls….I mean, bells….well, his balls were bells…. Well….whatever they were, they were jingly and green. {I have a urologist who can help you with that, my fine elfin friend.}

Atop the giant Christmas mechanical assembly line, an elf dropped a Diet Coke and a pair of sticks into the grinder, and the machine produced….A.J. Pero! Voila! A large animal print pelt…a turn of the wheel…and out struts the one and only, Mark “Animal” Mendoza.

A small purple guitar dropped into the mix…and out strolls….get ready for it… Mr. Jay Jay French in a tuxedo, with slicked back coifed hair, you might have heard my jaw drop except it was drowned out by the squeals of delight coming from the ladies around me! He was quite the sharp dressed man—very dapper and I was just waiting to hear him say, in his best Sean Connery:
“French. James French. Twisted, not stirred.”
He explained that the band was conflicted over the evening dress code—and then he explained his own internal conflicts, being a Jew in a Christmas show. We were again treated to his festive Christmas wreath on one side—menorah on the other—custom guitar. Sounds as good as it looks, I might add.

Eddie arrived onstage with his “gift wrap guitar”—fully adorned with working LED Christmas lights.

And of course, the one…the only….Dee Snider in his Santa suit….pulled onstage in his totally tricked out muscle car sleigh, powered by three very attractive, scantily-clad lovelies…and best of all? Santa Dee was wearing his war paint! He reached into his sack…..(uh, his SANTA sack) and tossed us candy and condoms. (For some reason, every year, everyone gives me their condoms. …do I look that lucky? Or just desperate? Don’t answer that, please.)

You’ve seen the setlist—we were treated to something off of their earlier albums as well as the Twisted Christmas. Even if you don’t like holiday music, there is no doubt that Twisted Christmas will absolutely knock your Christmas stockings off! Dee did comment that the last time they played Long Island, they claimed that it would be their last show there….and the last Christmas show he announced it was his last show in makeup…. so now they join the ranks of KISS and Ozzy…of doing the routine of “it’s our last show….NOT!” And believe me, Dee. We are GRATEFUL!

After a thunderous opener of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, they launched into a perfect rendition of “The Kids Are Back” and the sound was top notch from the first note. Fantastic-- a few adjustments made early on and even in the front row, which can be hit or miss, we heard every part, every note. The vocals were flawlessly balanced and loud-- I don’t know if it was the high ceilings, a good system or just the sheer expertise of George, the Twisted soundman, but the acoustics were perfect.

“White Christmas” treated us to a galloping guitar line…and two very naughty elves that were having entirely too much fun with the artificial snow maker. Those of you who live in snow climates are familiar with the expression: “Little flakes, big snow….big flakes, little snow.” Those were some damn big flakes. I inhaled enough soap snowflakes to clean my system out for a week. I must have coughed up Palmolive for an hour afterwards…. I think I was farting soap bubbles ! The photographer in front of me seemed to get the brunt of the flakes—she didn’t look very happy, but it amused the elf (and me) to no end!

The boys launched into “Destroyer” and if you have not heard that bass line played live, it shakes every bone in your body. I always expect all the glasses to start shattering back by the bar—the place damn near vibrates from the foundation up From there, we were treated to the now obligatory R-rated version of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” In light of the all ages audience, Dee assured the parents in the audience, that “if your kid knows what fellatio means, you’ve got bigger problems…”

Eddie sported a new guitar—bright red with a huge mouth (teeth and tongue included) painted on it—so you can really say that his solos had some bite! Ugh. Sorry about that.

“You Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll” sounded absolutely flawless—it’s one of my favorite songs to hear live—I just love the guitar riffs—and as we lifted our hands in praise—SMF Cyndi pointed out that in the front row, stage left, was an ASL signer. I didn’t recognize the fan as the rabbi who came to the show last Spring, but let me just say—you KNOW you’re good when even the deaf rock out to your music!

As the band played the opener to “The Price”, the fans began singing it a bar early as we traditionally do, prompting Dee to exclaim: ‘What am I? Vince Neil? I can sing it!” A perfect rendition, and the crowd actually had a few LIGHTERS…yes, Lighters! That’s old school, baby. Afterward, Dee gave some props to all the SMFs who brought kids, commenting, “They allow you people to procreate?!!”

He further explained that he was caught up in the Christmas spirit, “The spirit of giving was upon [him]” and that prompted the return of the Heavy Metal Maybelline because he “don’t wear this [shit] for anyone any more…” He did a few shameless plugs for some reality shows coming up. He couldn’t say the name but since I’m not under contract and the cats already out of the bag on YouTube…. Watch for Dee on Celebrity Apprentice. {I don’t know how Donald Trump will handle someone on his show who has better hair than him…] and we can expect to see Dee in the Celebrity Wife Swap as Dee and Flavor Flav swap families. Mr. Flav better behave, or I suspect Mrs. Snider will give him a whole new meaning to “Fight The Power”.

Jay Jay finally slipped into something more comfortable—I was getting a little worried seeing him in that tuxedo—I thought maybe he had to play at the Bar Mitzvah that I was attending the following day—and Eddie donned the familiar pink bullseye guitar—and their rendition of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” was absolutely fantastic. Eddie and A.J. sang the solos this year, and I can honestly say that I definitely preferred this version over any of their previous guests—with the exception of Lita Ford, of course. (You can never have too much Lita!) Both Eddie and A.J. have terrific voices, and it is always a special treat to hear them sing solo.

As they played the last verse, Dee jumped on Jay Jay’s shoulders…and launched himself right onto the floor as they erupted into the intro for “Burn In Hell.”
The lighting for the show was absolutely fantastic—and “Burn In Hell” gave us our spooky red glow with a demonic Dee growling out the opening line. There’s something about Dee in those red lights….in his makeup…. It just screams: “Scary clowns are coming to eat me in my sleep!” A.J. did his drum solo with drum medley—and I again put the challenge out to see if any SMF can name all the songs he did a few bars of.

“Silver Bells” has become my favorite Twisted tune to hear live—you have GOT to hear (and see) Animal’s bass solo. It is BEYOND phenomenal—it’s heavy metal jazz—beautiful and precise, yet at the same time, improvisational and brilliant. One hand skillfully plays while the other….how do I poetically put this? Pounds the living shit out of the instrument! He was playing a bass I’d never seen before—a deep red starburst—absolutely gorgeous bass and a sound that was powerful and deep.

Dee then announced that it was time for a special moment…… and then had to look around because the rest of the band was in absentia….but the doors opened and ….
Out came Santa Claus! Unlike the previous years, this Santa Claus was not only SOBER, he was wearing PANTS! We were very, very grateful. He had a real beard….traditional long regal red coat…and you know, I think that may have been the REAL Santa from the North Pole! Or as Dee explained…kidnapped from the Salvation Army!

The gentle, soft-spoken Santa asked the band what they wanted this year. Animal got his Christmas wish as Santa had his elves bring onstage, a truly Mendoza –sized handgun—this Luger was about 6 feet by 10-feet—someone’s got a photo of it I hope! Animal even exclaimed—finally he had a gun that would fit in his holster!

A.J. explained that his motorcycle hit a deer recently (good grief AJ! Be careful out there brother!), and so he asked Santa for a new bike. The elves then ushered onstage, a rather large bicycle made out of a taxidermied deer! AJ wondered aloud if that was the deer he crashed into—I certainly hope not—because judging from the nose, I’d say that Santa won’t have Rudolph guiding his sleigh this year!

Eddie couldn’t decide what he wanted for Christmas, so he asked Santa to surprise him. Santa gave Eddie a special holiday gift—a condom—not just any condom, but an Eddie-sized condom. In fact, you have probably fit Eddie inside the damn thing! It was huge—I wish I could tell you Eddie’s response, but we were laughing so loud we missed what he said!

Jay Jay told Santa that he wanted tickets to the Broadway show, War Horse. Leave it to Jay Jay to ask for something that even Santa couldn’t get…..but this Santa was no slouch, he had his elfs drag out a ten foot toy Trojan horse (PUH-LEASE tell me someone has a photo of this!) with elf roadie Keith riding atop it!
And finally….Dee.

Dee shared with the crowd that he already received a Christmas gift—a beautiful second grandchild--a new bundle of joy, his grandson, Cassidy! (Congratulations again to the entire Snider family) But when he motioned Santa close….and got ready to whisper in his ear…”you see, Santa…what I want…” then screamed:

I thought poor Santa was gonna have the big one! I saw the two elves carrying poor St. Nick off the stage.
When it came time for the audience participation portion of “I Wanna Rock,.” I’ve got to give my disclaimer first. There were SO many funny Dee-isms, so many good one-liners, as fast as I could jot down in my shorthand, he was zinging them out left and right. It was so damn hilarious and fast, that SMF Cyndi and I were like taking your parents to the movies… “what did he say?” “Did you hear that last line? Eh?”

He commented that the audience participation part of this song is easy… “So easy a trained DOG could do it… I know….I’ve seen it on YouTube…”
At one point, Dee looked down at the Dee look-alike photographer in the pit and exclaimed:
“You’re a good looking guy….. I thought I was looking at a reflective surface…until I realized, OH! There’s two of us!”
He launched into a killer version of “I Wanna Rock” and noticed that the crowd in the upper balcony was still sitting down. He commented: “I know you’re OLDER….I know…you’re SAVING it for later… THERE’S NO SAVING IN HEAVY METAL!!!”
And then….
“And THIS guy’s taking notes…are you taking notes?”
And it took a full minute to realize….oh shit….he’s talking to me. Due to my back (which I might add, was in absolute agony at this point) I was putting all my weight on the front barricade, and because the light made it hard to see, I had to lean forward to scribble my notes instead of doing it discreetly as I try to do….
“You didn’t get enough in Finland?”
I swear, I had a moment where I though he might snatch my notepad out of my hands and shove it where the sun don’t shine….and I ain’t talkin’ about Finland in the Wintertime, either….
Then he turned the house lights up, got the audience to get up on their feet….rock out to “I Wanna Rock”, except they started to sit back down again, prompting an absolutely classic Dee rant of:
“No, No….Don’t sit DOWN again…. Christ, go get a frickin’ gurney for that guy…” and as he got the crowd to scream rock and clap, he said “See….You can do two things at once….spit out the gum…”
And then…
“Are you STILL taking notes? What are you, a freakin’ reporter?”
Uh. Well. Yes. Sort of.
“Here….. I …..WANNA….ROCK…… write that down!”
And….I did.

And I almost wet my pants.

I hope you all appreciate the danger and risks I face as your road reporter.

The band closed with two encores—the hilarious Heavy Metal Christmas…introduced as “Premature singulation” The elves onstage were frolicking so much with the band that they almost missed the entrance to the song. At least now they don’t need those cue cards to get through all twelve days of Christmas.

Dee introduced the boys in the band—the sounds of Christmas Thunder, A.J Pero……Eddie”Fingers” Ojeda from Da Bronx….Mark “Animal” Mendoza, who is also from Strong Island…and…
“the man who was born and raised in that rent-controlled apartment…his kid’s kids will die in that rent controlled apartment….they’ll need a roach bomb to get his ass out of that rent controlled apartment..” yes, the one, the only…the man who cleans up quite well…Jay Jay French.

And of course, our lovable (and sometimes terrifying) but always entertaining and hardworking Dee Snider, the man whose look has been stolen by Bette Midler, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga….and the British press described as “Sarah Jessica Parker dropped in a vat of acid”….which Dee added, “was a real insult to Sarah Jessica Parker…..”

They brought out Kevin-- the brilliant set designer, his band of merry stagehands and all of the road crew, including manager Danny Stanton, to get the accolades they all so rightly deserve—the hardest working crew in the business.

The closer of the night was “We’re Not Gonna Take it”….which I confess, always feels a bit déjà vu at these Christmas shows after hearing “Oh Come O’ Ye Faithful”, but even so, it just brings the house down. Kudos to a very well behaved crowd, an excellent and attentive staff at the Paramount, and a shout out to all of the slamboard folks in attendance.

There is one Christmas show left this season….the Best Buy in Times Square is a fantastic theatre…you will HATE yourself if you miss Twisted Christmas on Broadway. There was great merch to be had—CDs and DVDs autographed by the entire band, autographed posters, limited edition Twisted Christmas concert tees, TS santa hats—all sorts of goodies for you to buy for the SMFs on your Christmas list. Please folks—catch the bus, catch a train, catch anything but a cold…..and come on out to join us on December 17th!

And with that, this is your faithful road reporter, trotting off to have some more pain relievers and rest up for the 17th! See you on the road, my babies!

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SETLIST The Paramount, Huntington NY December 2, 2011 
Saturday, December 3, 2011, 02:01 AM
Posted by Administrator
Here you go! Your seasonal setlist:

1. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
2. The Kids Are Back
3. White Christmas
4. Destroyer
5. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
6. You Can't Stop Rock N' Roll
7. Deck The Halls
8. The Price
9. Oh Come O Ye Faithful
10. I'll Be Home for Christmas
11. Burn In Hell
drum solo
12. Silver Bells
13. I Wanna Rock
14. Heavy Metal Christmas
15. We're Not Gonna Take It
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