Twisted Sister – The Sound Of Thunder

first_imgWords by Bob Wilson Photos by Wayne Herrschaft The current line-up of Twisted Sister is Dee Snider (vocals), Jay Jay French (lead/rhythm guitar), Eddie ‘Fingers’ Ojeda (lead/rhythm guitar), Mark ‘The Animal’ Mendoza (bass guitar), and Mike Portnoy (drums). A Concert To Honor A.J. PeroTwisted Sister brought “The Sound Of Thunder” tour, a concert honoring the memory of drummer A.J. Pero to the Starland Ballroom in Sayerville, New Jersey on June 13th.With front man Dee Snider reminding one of a cross between Roger Daltrey and Phyllis Diller with serious abs, Twisted Sister were certainly visually quite a site to behold.The band went from the bars to the stars, and even found the controversial Snider testifying before the United States Senate back in 1985 with John Denver and Frank Zappa.  Exalted by MTV to the (silver) stars and into America’s consciousness, the group followed in the footsteps of Alice Cooper and the New York Dolls.  They had less makeup than Kiss, and more balls than your average Long Island bar band.Anthony Jude Pero died at the young age of 55 on March 20th, 2015 of a heart attack.  A.J. was traveling on the tour bus of the band Adrenaline Mob on their way to a show.  The drummer was rushed to a hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, but he could not be revived.  A.J. would often come to dine with the roadies, and love to meet the fans.  Guitarist Jay Jay French was quoted as saying, “The nice one died”.  He loved the vocation he had chosen, and the people that surrounded him.  It seems fitting that he passed on his way to rock, with the wheels of the tour bus rolling along.Twisted Sister performed an 18 song set, opening with What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You).The drum kit was handled studiously by Mike Portnoy, formally of Dream Theater and Adrenaline Mob. The band did not skip a beat, with highlights including Stay Hungry, The Beast, You Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll, I Am (I’m Me), and the band’s signature tunes We’re Not Gonna Take It and I Wanna Rock.  Portnoy played a memorial solo with A.J. Up on the screen, while the audience chanted his name, and reacted with visceral emotion.  While the drummer’s life was being celebrated, so also was the band’s history which started in 1972.  The theme of the set list seemed to be aimed at defying Father Time, who the aging rockers have realized is a real mother. Both a CD and DVD are set to be released of the memorial shows.  The first of the shows was held in Las Vegas on May 30th at the Joint Hard Rock Hotel, with Skid Row also on the bill.Tonight’s show was opened by Four By Fate, and Billy Mira and the Hitmen.  Twisted Sister will hit a few dates around Europe, and return to the USA.  Their last scheduled show this yearis on September 12th at the Grand Casino for the Grand Rocktember Music Festival III.last_img

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