TWISTED SISTER- Live at Ideapark, Lempäälä FINLAND

Spread the metal:

10.09 2008

REVIEW AND PICTURES BY ARTO LEHTINEN & MARKO SYRJÄLÄ

Back in the heyday of heavy metal and hard rock in the ’80s, Twisted Sister was considered public enemy #1 amongst parents and, above all, the legendary PMRC led by Tipper Gore. They constantly attacked Dee Snider and his Twisted Sister clan. To think back then that one day the same public guys would play in some tremendous shopping center somewhere in the middle of nothing would be beyond belief. Strangely enough, the sisters had indeed been booked to perform in a shopping center up here in Finland, whose typical daily visitors are mostly Finnish families. Of course, the Sisters didn’t play in the middle of the day, so not many shopping families got to take a glance at them while shopping.

The evening started with the domestic warm-up by Finnish glamsters Jann Wilde and the Comets. There’s not much to say about this band but let’s do it in brief – the band had a horrible look, they sounded awful, and there were hardly any good songs in their set. Jann Wilde and his buddies were completely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

After bouncing back from the shock treatment of Jann Wilde, it was Twisted Sister’s turn to take the stage. Twisted “f*****” Sister, as the band was announced to enter the stage, kicked the set off with “You Can’t Stop Rock N Roll” around 11 P.M. Like always, Dee Snider appeared to be in a bloody good form, and his stage manners were pure iron and diamond. It is admirable how Snider has been able to keep his body and voice in such an excellent condition during these all years. He’s still definitely one of the greatest frontmen in hard rock; there’s no denying that. Snider has always been known for his stage charisma and doesn’t let the audience down at all. He knows how to encourage and make them get into the show. Of course, the Finnish crowd got praised by the whole band, and of course, the band wondered how there might have been so many kids in the crowd. Especially kids sitting on their parents’ shoulders got special attention from Snider throwing out comments as “Hello Fuckin’ Kid.” Speaking a little more about kids, it was funny to see many metal dads and moms with their kids who all had dressed up in metal-oriented clothes.

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But back to the concert. Even though years have passed by and keep rolling by, the five-piece seems to enjoy doing gigs here and there and, above all, avoid getting bored. That passion could be noticed from the band’s show now; especially bassist Mark “The Animal” Mendoza seemed to be having his own fun on the stage all the time. His bass-playing approach may look a bit hilarious, which was kind of ripping on the string. Guitarist Eddie Ojeda and drummer A.J Pero did a great job, and to be honest, they both play much better now than they did back in 80’s heydays. Still, the special reward goes to the band’s founder, guitarist Jay Jay French, whose “heavy metal wig” looked insane!

The setlist followed the same guaranteed formula the Sister clan had since returning to the stage in 2003. Although the band is currently celebrating the 25’th Anniversary of their classic YOU CAN’T STOP ROCK’N ROLL album, their 90-minute set consisted of several songs picked up from their more successful album, STAY HUNGRY, with a few cuts from COME OUT AND PLAY and UNDER THE BLADE. However, once again, nothing from the band’s last release LOVE IS FOR SUCKERS.

Twisted Sister’s show didn’t offer too many surprises, and this was the band’s fifth show in Finland in five years. Despite that, it was still really entertaining and an enjoyable trip back to the ’80s. The gig was an outstanding experience for all these old-school hard rockers. Encouraging people to jump and cheer in almost every song started bit by bit to get on many’s nerves. What was the point of making the audience shout between every song? Of course, it is conceivable if “I Wanna Rock” makes people shout during the next 15 minutes, but in general. Come on now…!!!!!!!!  As a concert place, the whole IDEAPARK is completely absurd and unsuitable for hard rock or metal gigs. Imaging some legendary bands playing between shops and restaurants is kind of hard. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be any surprise if someday “I Wanna Be Somebody” will be echoed in the catacombs of that shopping center?

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MORE PICTURES FROM THE SHOW ON PAGE 2!!!

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