Live At Wacken: The Reunion

Twisted Sister

There’s no point in mentioning how older guys in make-up and spandex can look like drag queens gone bad. The guys in Twisted Sister point this out plenty in the interviews interspersed with the music on the DVD, Live In Wacken: The Reunion. The all-original lineup is here, after years of fits and starts, kicking ass as only the Long-Island natives can, the famous Waken Open Air festival in Germany where they literally filled in at the last minute.

They open with the blast of “What You Don’t Know (Sure Can’t Hurt You).” “In The Beginning” sees Dee Snider growling through some solid vocals, while “Destroyer” plods away with that low heaviness the band pulls off expertly live. The DVD features interviews and archival footage interspersed between many of the songs, including the band talking about their first reunion in 1997 (with only four of the five original members) and another reunion at an industry party in 2000. There’s a real entertaining snippet of this private show featuring a fantastic few minutes of The Blue Man Group playing “We’re Not Gonna Take it!”.

There’s also footage from an early reunion show at a club in Long Island, sort of showing a progression of the band working toward Wacken. Drummer A.J. Pero is quite the down-to-earth dude in interviews, but he offers some real solid low rumbling on “The Fire Still Burns.” And there’s a slower moment on “The Price” that manages to entrance the crowd amongst explosions and bombast. It’s just solid fun and Twisted Sister madness, even if Dee Snider looks a little too old to be wearing eye liner.

This set comes with a CD as well. The first four cuts, from 1980 shows in Detroit and Portchester, include a confused, but spirited cover of “Born To Be Wild” and an inspired “I’ll Never Grow Up.” Guitarists Jay Jay French and Eddie Ojeda are locked and loaded for a fantastic “You Can’t Stop Rock And Roll” from a London show in 1982. The last six tunes are from the Wacken set. Highlights include “What You Don’t Know (Sure Can’t Hurt You)” and one not available on the DVD, “I Am, I’m Me.” Altogether, Live In Wacken: The Reunion has it all for the discriminating Twisted Sister fan.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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