Retroactive

While some '80s bands have lost their luster -- or act as though they're ashamed of the hits that made them famous -- Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider shines ever brighter and makes no apologies. Heavily influenced by Alice Cooper and New York's glam scene, Twisted Sister formed in 1973 and spent nearly a decade paying its dues. Still mostly unknown after its first two records, the act finally burst into the mainstream with 1983's You Can't Stop Rock & Roll and 1984's Stay Hungry. Post-punk youth ate up the band's combination of hard-hitting anthems, over-the-top look and classic-cartoon-homage videos. Despite Twisted's blatant self-mockery and a stand-out sobriety -- a rarity among metal peers -- the group was added to the Parents' Music Resource Center's "Filthy Fifteen" list. The sanctity police, helmed by Tipper Gore, culled the list from bands the D.C. housewives deemed offensive. Now, nearly twenty years after their 1987 split, Snider and company have reunited, and they're rawer than ever. Appearing at the recent Cadott, Wisconsin, Rock Fest, Snider proved that his mouth hasn't gotten any smaller; he can still hit the notes on all the Twisted tracks and still has a hefty appetite for spewing intelligent observations imbued with his smartass personality. His sarcastic stage banter at the July 17 show included commentary on everything from American Idol to the irony of the PMRC hearings and a recent USO show for American troops overseas. In the mid-'80s, Snider testified before Congress in defense of his music and videos for songs such as "We're Not Going to Take It," and yet just last year, he and his bandmates performed that same song for appreciative soldiers, who hear it as a battle cry. Patriotic fists were pumping as Twisted Sister played, further roused by Snider's quip that visiting Iraq and Afghanistan forces one to realize what a great country we Americans live in. You wanna rock? Of course you do -- and you can, this Saturday, August 7, at the Adams County Fairgrounds, where, along with Warrant and Great White, the original Twisted Sister will remind you that she's still hungry. -- Catalina Soltero

 
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