Dead End Drive-In: Now Showing – ‘Twisted Sister: Metal Meltdown Live!’
Written by Johnny H
Sunday, 24 July 2016 03:00
‘Twisted Sister: Metal Meltdown Live!’ (Loud & Proud Records)
Forty years of Twisted Sister are about to come to an end folks. Okay granted there was that eight year hiatus between 1989 and 1997 to (max) factor in to that but otherwise the boys of rock ‘n’ roll have been such a huge influence on my life that it’s going to be almost impossible for me to say “goodbye” when I witness their last ever UK show at Bloodstock in just a couple of weeks’ time. But goodbye it has to be and for very good reason too as whilst Mike Portnoy is more than able to hit the drums like A.J. Pero, he ultimately is not A.J., and as such in my eyes the band are doing absolutely the right thing by bowing out via one last set of shows in a tribute to their fallen brother.
That tribute actually started right here with the first Metal Meltdown show – a series of four to be recorded and released under this banner – being held at The Joint at the world famous Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas on the 30th of May 2015 and it’s all finally being released via Loud & Proud Records this August on both Blu-ray and DVD formats along with an audio CD of the show. Although at the time of writing I’m not exactly sure how much of the 90 minute video will actually make it onto the latter.
So what better place to start the review of this package than with the live show, ninety minutes of pure Twisted “Fucking” Sister playing 17 of their best (and some maybe not so) tunes from their back catalogue like their very lives still depended on it. Kicking off with the best opening song EVER ‘What You Don’t Know (Sure Can Hurt You)’ it’s like I’m immediately fifteen again and my father is pissing himself laughing as me and my mates lose our minds to the band’s legendary debut UK TV appearance on The Tube. Great music is timeless, and this song brothers and (twisted) sisters, is truly fucking timeless. In fact of the 17 tracks in the set list for this show I’d say at least 10 of them are amongst some of the greatest rock anthems written this side of Slade at their creative peak (remember that even Noddy and the boys wrote some duffers too). I’ll not go into what songs I’d classify as being lesser numbers because it’s all down to personal taste in the end of the day, but I will say that I personally would prefer to hear the likes of ‘Bad Boys (Of Rock ‘n’ Roll)’, ‘Run For Your Life’ or the simply immense ‘Tear It Loose’ (a track they actually played at Sweden Rock earlier this year) over the album tracks from ‘Stay Hungry’ and ‘Come Out And Play’ that the band seem to always play these days. Again it’s just a personal thing but with the 5.1 surround sound mix of the guys sounding this great, who really cares what they play?
Visually the concert looks stunning too, shot in stunning HD quality it makes the five guys look almost human without their legendary stage make up on. Not that the make up should ever detract from the fact that Twisted Sister were always more than just an image band, I wonder if you cast a look over your shoulder now at the early to mid eighties how many of their peers you could also level that claim at? Motley Crue? Go fuck yourselves, they might have had a few very decent songs at the very beginning, but did they produce anything to rival the likes of ‘The Kids Are Back’ or ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’? No chance!!!!
Still pondering over whether you need a copy of ‘Twisted Sister: Metal Meltdown Live!’ in your collection? Well, if you’ve seen the peerless ‘We Are Twisted Fucking Sister’ documentary then you really do need to also see the 95 minute Rock Show documentary that comes as an added extra with this concert film. I honestly would buy this package just for this excellent piece of film where director Barry Summers simply gets everything right, mixing the usual talking heads with interviews with the band (where Mike Portnoy comes over as a huge fan it must be said) along with selected live footage from the ‘Meltdown’ show.
Look if you can’t make Twisted Sister’s final UK live appearance at Bloodstock on Friday the 12thof August then this live package is probably your next best option, it’s an audio/visual time capsule of truly great rock music played by a band I will miss like hell when they do ultimately call it a day. Celebrate the majesty of Twisted “Fucking” Sister whilst you still can people because this time when they are gone they really will be gone. Forever!