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On stage: Twisted Sister

- W.O.A. - Aug. 1999 - Wacken (D) -
- Twisted Sister & Vince Neil - June 2013 - Austin, TX (USA) -

- Twisted Sister & Vince Neil -
- June 15th 2013 - The Republic of Texas Bike Rally in Austin Texas (USA)

Growing up, Twisted Sister was my favorite band. I was raised on country music, but in high school, Twisted Sister was the band that got me hooked on metal. In fact, during my senior year in high school, I kept five tapes in my car: Twisted Sister - Under The Blade, You Can't Stop Rock And Roll, Stay Hungry, Come Out And Play, and W.A.S.P. - The Last Command. Since then, Twisted Sister has only played Houston twice, in 1986 on their Come Out And Play tour and 2008 at the Rock The Bayou Festival, both incredible shows. So when I saw they were coming to Austin, I started making plans for a road trip. We got to the Travis County Expo Center about 5:30 and quickly made our way to the far side of the grounds where the stage was set up. After a bite to eat, we claimed our spots on the barricade, front and center, baking in the unshaded Texas heat. About 45 minutes before show time, the MC came out and did his thing. Then they tossed out box after box of RoT shirts to the crowd. I ended up catching 5, keeping two for myself.

Vince Neil liveFinally show time! AC/DC For Those About To Rock was followed by Samuel L. Jackson's prayer from Pulp Fiction, then Vince Neil and band hit the stage to Live Wire. I was never a big Mötley Crüe fan and less of a Vince Neil fan. He misses too many notes and skips way too many words for my taste. However, this time he was pretty damn good! Maybe I was distracted by his band, Jeff Blando on guitar, Dana Strum (from Slaughter) on bass, and this maniac named Zoltan Chaney on drums. In my opinion, Zoltan stole the show with his wild antics. Vince's set was composed of mostly Mötley Crüe classic plus the title track to his Tattoos And Tequilla album. He also gave his band a chance to shine on their own. **Blando Medley** as it was called on the set list started with Jeff Blando's guitar solo Zeppelin style with a bow. Vince Neil live Then they broke in to a Zeppelin song (A Whole Lotta Love if I remember right) with Jeff handling the vocal duties. Afterward, Jeff announced they wanted to dedicate the next song to a fallen hero, Ronnie James Dio. Vince Neil popped up behind the drums and actually played the first 30 seconds or so before Zoltan took over for their version of Heaven And Hell. After the guitar solo, Vince reappeared as they transitioned into Kickstart My Heart. They finished with two more Crüe classics before giving up the stage. I came away surprised and impressed.

Vince Neil set list:
Live Wire
Dr. Feelgood
Piece of the Action
Looks Tat Kill
Tattoos and Tequila
Home Sweet Home
Don't Go Away Mad
**Blando Medley**
Kickstart My Heart
Girls Girls Girls
Wild Side

Twisted Sister liveDuring the break, there was a tribute to the military culminating with a custom made chopper being raffled off to a vet. Once the stage was cleared again, to lights went down to Twisted Sister's intro music, AC/DC's Long Way To The Top. Twisted Sister exploded onto the stage to their classic anthem You Can't Stop Rock An Roll. The original lineup of Dee Snider, Jay Jay French, Eddie Ojeda, Mark Mendoza, and A. J. Pero remains, although they no longer wear their signature make-up and stage costumes. They still play with the same fire and energy as they did in their glory days of the early to mid 80s. Even though he's pushing 60, Dee was a constant ball of energy, hopping around, running all over stage, yet never missing a note. To me, Dee is the best frontman in rock or metal. Twisted Sister live Nobody can get a crowd going like Dee Snider. He can insult the crowd without being personally insulting to get them motivated, (unlike the Geoff Tate incident at Rocklahoma). He's also somewhat of a comedian onstage with rants ranging from Bret Michaels on Celebrity Apprentice, to feminine products using their song, to bubbles at a concert not being metal, but who might like them. It's too bad Twisted Sister doesn't tour anymore, only playing select dates and festivals, because they are as good as ever, not showing their age at all. The only complaint I could have was some of my favorite songs like Come Out And Play, I Am, I'm Me, and SMF didn't make the set list. I figured since this was a biker rally, Ride To Live, Live To Ride would be a lock. It didn't make the cut either.Twisted Sister live Instead, they closed with what Dee called the ultimate biker song, Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild. All and all, it was an unforgettable show. It's too bad Twisted Sister quit making new music because their last two songs they released are in my top ten favorite TS songs, Heroes Are Hard To Find from the Strangeland soundtrack and 30 which came from Dee's appearance on the TV show Gone Country. The only thing missing from a perfect day would've been a meet and greet with my teenage hero.

Twisted Sister's set list:
You Can't Stop Rock And Roll
Shoot 'Em Down
Stay Hungry
The Beast
The Kids Are Back
I Believe in Rock And Roll
We're Not Gonna Take It
The Fire Still Burns
We're Gonna Make It
Under The Blade
The Price
Burn In Hell
I Wanna Rock
Born To Be Wild

Search YouTube for my videos of Vince Neil - Heaven And Hell / Kickstart My Heart, Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It, and Twisted Sister - I Wanna Rock

Jody Hickman


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