The last couple years have been really exciting for Twisted Sister fans and historians with the re-release of virtually every Sister album and video and the release of several CDs and DVDs of lost footage and recordings. One of the more exciting releases is the new one: Double Live, a two DVD set that features a 1982 New York club show and the November 2001 band reunion performance at New York Steel.
Starting off the collection is North Stage Theater 1982, the band’s last club set before heading to the UK to record the Under The Blade album. It shows a young and hot band ready to conquer the world at the peak of their early days. The performance is solid, exciting and a completely different mix of songs that an average fan would be used to, including some that were never played or recorded after this show. The most surprising is how solid and tight the band really was at this point and how dedicated the 1,200 fist-pounding fans were for this signed, but un-recorded band.
Of all the Sister footage that I’ve seen over the years, North Stage Theater 1982 was the best and most exciting of the bunch. From the opening announcement saying this was the last time the band would be playing in the clubs, there is a certain aura about the North Stage show that powers this performance. With early versions of the famous costumes and a performance of Leader of The Pack, complete with Dee Snider seated on a motorcycle, the energy is high and doesn’t let up at any point. Highlights include Leader Of The Pack, the opening with What You Don’t Know (Sure can Hurt You), I’ll Never Grow Up Now and a pre-album version of You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll. At the other end of the spectrum, New York Steel 2001 is a Twisted Sister reunion concert to benefit the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. It’s the first complete show with the band in 13 years.
Dressed in street clothing, the band hit a dimly lit stage for 13 classic Sister tracks, including We’re Not Gonna Take It, I Wanna Rock and The Price. It has a fairly short-haired version of the band (minus the always golden locked Snider) decked out in jeans and t-shirts performing their brand of rebellion as passionately as possible.
With little rehearsals (there’s even some footage of the rehearsals in the extras), the band sounded surprisingly good. Maybe it was the anger and disgust from the effects of 9/11 that fueled the performance, but the band rocked the house and made the show a special event that can now live on in this DVD. The New York Steel 2001 set list is very different from North Stage Theater 1982 with only five songs repeating. It should be noted that the rare track You Know I Cry is performed at both shows.
I actually enjoy the street-wise version of TS that appears in New York Steel 2001. It shows a tough and care-free band where the music means more than the make-up (although the hair might be a bit short and too conservative). From a historical standpoint, New York Steel 2001 is an important show because it began the on-going reunion that fans have had the chance to enjoy for nearly a decade since.
If there’s any aggression in you at all, there’s at least one Twisted Sister song to satisfy that need. Double Live shows two very different aggressions, a young band ready to kick ass on the world and a band that’s fighting against terrorism. Two very different sisters indeed.