Review: TWISTED SISTER In Toronto - "Satan And Jesus Would Be Equally Proud"

December 6, 2006, 10 years ago

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The following review is courtesy of Ben Rayner from TheStar.com:

Twenty years ago, word of a TWISTED SISTER Christmas show at the Danforth Music Hall likely would have brought out phalanxes of Bible-toting protestors and fears of fire, frogs and brimstone raining down from the sky onto Greektown.

In 2006, though, surely even Tipper Gore must long ago have conceded that garishly made-up frontman Dee Snider — of late, both a syndicated radio host and a supplier of voiceovers for the cable outlet MSNBC — and his Long Island-bred brothers (sisters?) in metal were always a bit more "Bozo" than "Beelzebub."

Adept at pushing buttons, yes, but only a threat to those who find a dude decked out like the world's saddest drag queen singing "Burn in Hell" threatening. We poor, impressionable legions whom Twisted Sister's foes fought so valiantly to protect, back in the day, were always smart enough to get the joke. Which was, of course, the point all along.

Still, while Twisted Sister has never been too terribly serious as a musical endeavour, the quintet's current comeback bid, piggybacked on an album of metallic carols dubbed A Twisted Christmas, ran the risk of reducing its entire legacy to a punchline.

With characteristic, admirable perversity, though, the reunited band's first Toronto show in 23 years at the Music Hall last night — downsized last week from Massey Hall to the three-quarters full theatre — managed to have it both ways: it was at once a total joke and a reasonably rip-roarin' celebration of one of heavy metal's least acknowledged careers.

The amusing sight of Snider in a Santa suit and rows of Marshall amps strung with Christmas lights and festive red bows notwithstanding, an entire evening of Twisted Sister busting out Ramones-esque molestations of "I'll be Home for Christmas" would play itself out pretty quickly.

Fortunately, the band has a surprisingly deep well of its own stubborn standards ('Stay Hungry', 'You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll', the massive 'Under the Blade') beyond the required 'We're Not Gonna Take It' and 'I Wanna Rock' with which to dilute its new-found holiday spirit.

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