Dee Snider –
The Chance Theater, Poughkeepsie, New York, USA,
Saturday, November 4th, 2017
Set List: We Are The Ones/The Kids Are Back/Close To You/You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll/Crazy For Nothing/Head Like A Hole/Rule The World/We're Not Gonna Take It/Outshined/The Price/So What/Burn In Hell/I Wanna Rock/Highway To Hell.
Dee Snider took the stage at the Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie New York, playing to a packed house of hardcore Twisted Sister fans and several music enthusiasts who were there to watch the legendary front man for the first time.
Performing Twisted Sister classics, tasty new material and brilliant rock covers, there was not a soul in the house who did not leave fully satisfied. New York crowds are tough. We are proud of our home artists be it KISS, Twisted Sister, The Ramones, Lou Reed, (for those fortunate enough to see any/all). We want them to do well internationally, yet, we are protective of them and proudly refer to them as our own. Dee Snider is no is no exception.
Poughkeepsie welcomed their home state artist with unbridled enthusiasm. Opening with 'We Are The Ones' the title track of his strong solo release, reinforced Snider as a solid front man. Snider jested claiming he was not going to announce the debut of new material as that would result in a mass exodus to the nearest restroom. Snider has never held back from voicing his opinion but he was clearly wrong in regard to his newer material’s reception, but then again, he more than likely knew that.
Continuing with a variety of offerings that unremittingly held the crowd’s interest; Snider’s well written excerpts from 'We Are the One’s' encompassed his characteristic no filter rock and roll attitude. In fact, by the end of the show, quite a few impressed fans gathered at merchandise table yearning to get their hands on the desired CD.
While new work by any artist is refreshing and guarantees they have no plans of drifting off into retirement, Snider knows that his fan base want to hear the songs that kept his loyal following attending multiple shows. One of the distinguishing traits of Twisted Sister was their ability to connect with the emotions of their audience.
Whether, it was anger, frustration, a long day at work etc.- channelling passion and losing oneself in music is why many of us attended concerts over the years. Choosing his traditional anthem rock numbers from his Twisted Sister archives; 'You Can’t Stop Rock 'N' Roll' was first up. The frantic crowd responded with fists raised and heads banging.
The trend continued with a few of the most requested selection s from the 'Stay Hungry' album - The widespread popularity of this masterpiece launched Twister Sister’s massive MTV campaign and sealed their fate as a household name. The power ballad 'The Price' the crowd screaming favourite 'I Wanna Rock' and the tongue-in-cheek 'Burn in Hell'. The onlookers knew every word and every nuance; the audience lost themselves in their past and present.
However the most impressive familiar number was the acoustic version of 'We’re Not Gonna Take It.' For those who were not aware of the immense power and melodic nature of Dee Snider’s vocals, no doubt was left. Beautifully performed with strength and class; the audience savoured the moment before Dee and the band let loose and continued the song as expected.
As I mentioned often, when an artist performs another band’s song, they had better do the song justice yet still add their own unique touch. A smart musician knows what songs suit them best. Dee Snider is an expert in that department. Snider’s version of Nine Inch Nail’s 'Head Like a Hole' convinced me that I did not miss the original style. This was brilliance, but, taking on legendary Chris Cornell is something not tackled by most.
Not to mention I, personally, am extremely hard on anyone attempting to do so. Chris Cornell and Soundgarden delve into my personal history and the loss of both is not something I openly discuss. Dee also felt the loss and brought Mr. Cornell’s passing to the forefront several times. Snider’s execution of Soundgarden’s 'Outshined'… I don’t know where to begin. This is not an easy song to accomplish, coming from someone who sports a Bad Motor Finger tattoo; this hit home. Bravo, Dee, he nailed this one with perfection.
Snider’s final encore was also a tribute to a band who also recently suffered loss. Explaining that the stage was too small to exit and return for their final numbers, they stayed in place and continued. Choosing AC/DC’s 'Highway to Hell' was a nod to both the late Bon Scott and Malcolm Young.
They say you can’t take the New York out of the New Yorker. There is a bond between a New York band and the New York fans. We hold them to high esteem but we also welcome them home with open arms. Tonight Dee Snider came home where he belongs and we loved every minute of it.
By Dawn Belotti