Live in Club Teatria, Oulu FINLAND
Review and pictures by Marko Syrjala
It’s been nineteen years since Twisted Sister last time played in Finland during their “heydays” in 1986. Then about a year, later the Sisters broke up after very the unsuccessful “Love Is For Suckers” album, and that was it? Fortunately, vocalist Dee Snider visited Finland in 1999, playing for the sold-out crown in Tavastia Club as a solo artist with his S.M.F band. When Twisted Sister “surprisingly” announced the news about their re-union in 2002, rumors started to fly about their possible return to Finland, which now finally came true when hockey player Janne Niinimaa asked them to play the opening party for his new rock club Teatria in Oulu.
Teatria is a pretty big place in Oulu with a capacity of 2500, and I was a little afraid it would be quite empty in some areas, but when I got in and saw all the people heading to the show, my fears were gone. I think that show was almost sold out; at least it looked like that.’The night kicked off with two Finnish bands Teräsbetoni and Tarot, but somehow I managed to miss them both because I arrived just a few minutes before “the showtime,” so there is nothing to say about those bands.
Within a few minutes, Twisted Sister was on stage, launching into “What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)” – what can I say? Dee Snider screaming and jumping across the stage, Jay Jay French and Eddie Ojeda playing and looking funny, Mark “the Animal” Mendoza chopping his bass and looking angry, and A.J Pero …. this man now knows how to play drums! All in all, a great start. The next song was “Shoot ‘Em Down,” another gem from their classic debut album “Under The Blade.”
The crowd went wild right from the beginning. The guys were stunned by their fans’ reactions, and the fans were stunned by their heroes. Everybody knows that this band’s success culminates in the classic “Stay Hungry” album, which they recently re-recorded with the new title “Still Hungry,” and now first time, they did the entire album from start to finish. When Snider introduced their biggest hits: “We’re Not Gonna Take It ” and “I Wanna Rock,” a wave of screams shook the hall. Everyone went completely mad!
One funny thing happened during the guitar solo for “We’re Not….” when Eddie completely lost his melodies. He played the solo from the wrong note until Jay Jay showed him the right place. It’s only rock’n roll, and from that moment, everything only got better!
At some point, Jay Jay, who looked really “twisted” in his 80’s look, did a long speech about the faithfulness of metal fans who keep on following their heroes year after year, and he received big cheers from the crowd. “Burn In Hell” intro included a nice effect when “Evil Dee” was standing on stage, and a red spotlight was pointing in his face when the stage was full white smoke. That worked out great. The drum solo from A.J Pero was okay because it didn’t start a mass invasion of the bar which is a good thing, I think? “Stay Hungry,” another “evergreen,” was good as always, and so was “The Price.” “Horror-Teria (Captain Howdy & Street Justice)” (another track from Stay Hungry) was one of the few surprises of the night, and it receipt another big cheer from the audience. This song was a rare delicacy for the Finnish audience because, as Dee said himself, it was the second time ever this song was performed live. Other not-so often played tracks included “I Believe In Rock N Roll” and “Don’t Let Me Down.”
Encores started with “Come Out And Play ” and then followed “the grande finale,” which included a brief band member introduction by Dee before they closed the event with “S.M.F.”
This band is indeed a pure nostalgia act, some of the guys are using wigs on stage, they are not the best players in the world and fact they haven’t made any new music together in almost 18 (!) years, but still, this is something that people are looking for. There isn’t anything negative to say about this concert, even i’s a pity that there weren’t any tracks from the “Love Is For Suckers” because they played with such energy and power that it only couldn’t have been better. Especially Dee Snider is still in incredible shape. But from fans’ perspective, only two tracks from “Under The Blade” and another two from “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll” is not enough… but you can’t get everything.
Hopefully, the band will carry on for a long time, and they should definitely give it a try and put out another studio album sometime..?
If you have a chance to catch ’em live, don’t miss them!
What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)
Shoot ‘Em Down
The Kids Are Back
You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll.
We’re Not Gonna Take It
Burn In Hell (incl. drum solo)
Horror-Teria (Captain Howdy & Street Justice)
I Wanna Rock
Don’t Let Me Down
Come Out and Play
I Believe In Rock N Roll
The Fire Still Burns
MORE PICTURES FROM OULU