TWISTED SISTER played its first show with drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, ADRENALINE MOB, THE WINERY DOGS) last night (Saturday, May 30) as part of the "Metal Meltdown", an all-new rockin' series in The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event — which also featured performances from EXTREME, SKID ROW and GREAT WHITE — was filmed for broadcast, DVD and CD.
TWISTED SISTER's setlist was as follows:
01. What You Don't Know (Sure Can Hurt You)
02. The Kids Are Back
03. Stay Hungry
04. The Beast
05. Shoot 'Em Down
06. You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll
07. I Believe In Rock 'n' Roll
08. Under The Blade
09. I Am (I'm Me)
10. We're Not Gonna Take It
11. The Fire Still Burns
12. The Price
13. Burn In Hell (with drum solo)
14. I Wanna Rock
15. Come Out And Play
Fan-filmed video footage can be seen below.
TWISTED SISTER will embark on its final tour, dubbed "Forty and F**k It", in 2016.
To honor the memory of TWISTED SISTER's fallen drummer, A.J. Pero, another show will take place on Saturday, June 13 at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey.
All TWISTED SISTER shows this year will feature the core lineup of Dee Snider (vocals), Jay Jay French (guitar), Mark Mendoza (bass) and Eddie Ojeda (guitar), along with Portnoy.
During an appearance on the May 11 edition of Eddie Trunk's SiriusXM satellite radio show, "Eddie Trunk Live", French was asked how Portnoy came to be involved with TWISTED SISTER.
"That is a really great question," French responded. "Here is how that really went down. I was at the Starland [Ballroom in Sayreveille, New Jersey on March 21] waiting to go on stage with ADRENALINE MOB [as a tribute to Pero], and Mike was there as well. And the two of us were just kind of sitting in the dressing room and shaking our heads, because, don't forget, it was only a day [after A.J. died] — it was the next day. So we were both kind of shaking our heads in disbelief. And he turned to me and he said, 'By the way, I just want you to know, my schedule happens to be clear after mid-May, and if you want me to do it, I'm there.' And I kind of looked at him and I went, 'Wow, that's quite an amazing offer.' He's such a great drummer; he's so legendary."
He continued: "A.J. and Mike, I guess, kind of were interchangeable within the ADRENALINE MOB situation. And most people don't understand how great, technically, A.J. was; he was a spectacular drummer. They had enormous respect for each other; they were brothers, in a way. They really were. And he just said, 'If you want me, I'll be happy to do it.' And I kind of told the guys in the band, and everyone was, like, 'Wow! Really? Wow! That's amazing.' So that's kind of how it transpired."
French also spoke about how the fact that Portnoy was a longtime fan of TWISTED SISTER factored into their decision to work together.
"I'll tell you how much of a fan [Mike] is," French said. "I mean, he is such a fanboy. He came to rehearsal and handed me cassettes he made off the air of our famous shows that were broadcast back in the day, from Hammerheads, on WBAB, WLIR, live in Detroit… He had stuff that I didn't even remembed that we did. And he had 'em, and he had 'em labeled. And he said, 'I just found them.' He goes, 'I want you to know. This is from my personal collection.' And what I said to him was, 'How does it feel to play with a band that you snuck in to see back in the day?' And he said, 'It's really… It's quite amazing.' So, I think, if I look at it through his eyes, if he was 15 or 16 and someone said to him, 'One day you'll be playing with them,' I don't think he would ever think that would happen. So I think that that's something great for him, and, of course, for us, it's an honor. So it goes both ways."
Pero died at the age of 55 while on tour with the band ADRENALINE MOB. After members of that group failed to rouse him on their tour bus on March 20, he was taken to a Poughkeepsie, New York hospital and pronounced dead.
TWISTED SISTER rose to prominence from the New York club scene in the early 1980s. Their biggest album, 1984's "Stay Hungry", contained the hits "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock".
In addition to touring with TWISTED SISTER and ADRENALINE MOB, Pero also recently played with former and current members of IRON MAIDEN and DISTURBED in a band called THE FOUNDRY. He also hosted drum clinics and seminars.