You can't stop rock n roll!
Make no mistake, Twisted Sister are the draw at Hard Rock Hell, they are the band that everyone wants to see and subsequently the arena is packed out for their set. They've been going well over 30 years, haven't had a mainstream UK hit for over 20 years and yet they have retained their legendary status and they're about to show us just why they justify that tag. Two years ago they played their first UK date for 18 years at the Rock & Blues Custom Show, which I was fortunate enough to be at so I knew what to expect but many in the crowd today have not had the chance to experience Twisted Sister live and boy are they in for a treat!
From the moment the band take the stage there is no danger that anyone in attendance is not going to have a good time! The whole band seem up for this one and give a performance worthy of a band half their age. Of course the main man is vocalist Dee Snider, complete with trademark make-up from a distance he looks exactly the same as he did back in the 80s with his long blonde hair bouncing all over the place. Twisted Sister have always had an element of humour about them (how could they not looking like that?) and tonight it's very much to the fore. Snider constantly interacts with both the crowd and his fellow band members, frequently with hilarious results, especially when he gets the whole band to stand at the back of the stage but then changes his mind immediately & they all shuffle forward to the front instead; it's a bit Spinal Tap but that's all part of what Twisted Sister are about.
As for the songs, well all the classics are present and correct and it's great to hear them played live, tracks like 'The Beast', 'Shoot 'Em Down' and 'You Can't Stop Rock n Roll' all find the crowd in fine voice. The longer they play the more the band seem to enjoy themselves and that in itself is refreshing to see. There are however a couple of down points, firstly is founding member & guitarist Jay Jay French delivering a five minute speech about the virtues of heavy metal and nothing in particular (way too long) and secondly is the Christmas songs. You haven't heard about those? Oh dear, last year they released an album of metalled up Christmas tunes that was a huge success and a couple of those get aired tonight – yes it's quite funny but it's quite awful as well and 'Silver Bells' is just a tad embarrassing. You know they'll pull it back though and of course they do with 'We're Not Gonna Take It' prompting the biggest cheer and the biggest crowd sing a long all weekend, follow it with 'I Am (I'm Me)' and the finale of SMF and you've just been treated to a classic performance that would put many of today's bands to shame.
Twisted Sister are without doubt the highlight of the weekend and long may they continue.