Remember the ’80’s heavy metal music scene – big hair, bigger sound … and spandex. Bands like Motley Crue, Poison and Ozzy Osbourne were rocking very hard around the world.
Dee Snider was fronting Twisted Sister. He was also alongside Frank Zappa challenging the Parents Music Resource Centre who wanted to put ‘warning stickers’ on records to “protect the children.”
Since 1997, he’s hosted the weekly metal radio show House of Hair.
Dee Snider was also in Winnipeg this week singing along with tribute/cover band Snake Oil as they covered Twisted Sister’s songs (among other tunes). Snake Oil’s management company, The Howard Pitch Entertainment Company, Inc., had the brilliant idea to invite Mr. Snider to sing with the band for a show.
Howard Pitch made the call, Dee agreed and they set up a show at The Burt entitled “Snake Oil Gets Twisted With Dee Snider”.
Now Snake Oil don’t just cover bands. They have a few singers who not only do a great job imitating the vocal performances to a tee but also their appearance and mannerisms as well. The musicians backing them are also very tight.
As well as covering the above mentioned ’80’s bands, they also covered some of the hard rockers from the ’70’s.
The evening started off with a couple Kiss songs (which I unfortunately missed as I arrived late; I guess that’s one aspect they didn’t imitate well as a lot of these bands used to be notorious for starting late…Oh well). I also missed the first of two Scorpions tunes they did.
I arrived during “Rock You Like a Hurricane” and having seen the Scorpions many times in their prime I knew that I was in for a great time on this night. These guys were awesome.
Then Def Leppard’s ‘Joe Elliot’ hit the stage proclaiming “Let’s Get Rocked”. He even invited a young fan on stage. I must say, the fans got rocked all right. The place was hopping. It got even sweeter with the song “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.
They tackled a couple Poison songs next, “Unskinny Bop” and “Talk Dirty To Me”. The crowd was loving it.
Guitarist Jiz then did a smoking version of Eddie Van Halen’s awesome solo “Eruption” from Van Halen’s debut album before ‘David Lee Roth’, always the ladies man, sang about his school boy fantasy on “Hot For Teacher”.
After a short intermission, ‘Ozzy Osbourne’ joined the band for “I Don’t Know” and “No More Tears”. And while Ozzy has been known to pour buckets of water on the audience, he only splashed a bottle of water on the crowd. Fortunately, no bats were harmed during the show.
The audience was absolutely revved up for Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart” as they walked (and rocked) down “The Wildside”.
The main attraction of the evening, Dee Snider, with his glorious blonde curly locks, then graced the stage as the intro to their video “I Wanna Rock” (remember that video, where the father goes into his rocker son’s room berating him and asking “What do you wanna do with your life?”) played over the speakers.
Then another guy came onto the stage, went up to the ’80’s Dee and told him to take a hike. This was the real Dee Snider.
The very fit singer belted out that glorious rock anthem while the very excited and pumped up audience sang along.
Dee spotted a young girl near the front of the stage and asked where her parents were. They were right beside her. He told them that bringing your child to a concert in some states in the US is a form of child abuse…“but we’re not there.”
He then sang one of his “favourite Twisted Sister songs,” “You Can’t Stop Rock’n’Roll” and with bands like Snake Oil keeping these bands alive, the title track from TS’s 1983 album is somewhat of a prophetic statement.
By the third song, “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, the fans seemed to be elevated to a higher realm as Dee held the mic out to the audience who shouted out the chorus of the song.
‘Alice Cooper’ was joined by a couple of his demon friends and a skeleton for “House of Fire” and “School’s Out” (yet another great rebellious rock’n’roll anthem).
‘Freddie Mercury’ was brought back to life for “We Will Rock You” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” which had everyone singing along. My gosh, these guys are pretty incredible to be doing songs like these.
The biggest surprise was the encore when Dee joined the band for what he termed “one of the greatest rock’n’roll anthems,” ACDC’s “Highway to Hell”. Wow, this guy’s pipes are amazing.
What a great blast from the past, knock your socks off evening.
A true confirmation of Dee’s t-shirt “Rock’n’Roll Ain’t Dead.” Far from it. Alive and kicking.
Having seen these bands in their prime (some of them many times), I must say their performances brought back some great memories. Very professional musicians (and obviously big fans of the bands whose music they covered).
Now there’s a certain electrical energy vibe at these metal shows (and I’m not just talking about the mega watts and volume being pumped out of the speakers…and man it was loud). The fans get excited about the bands who in turn get fired up from the fans’ reaction.
I think it’s great that bands like Snake Oil are keeping the metal genre alive. I would highly recommend checking these guys out. Check out their website at snakeoilrock.com
- Kiss – Detroit Rock City
- Kiss – Shout It Out Loud
- Scorpions – Big City Nights
- Scorpions – Rock You Like A Hurricane
- Def Leppard – Let’s Get Rocked
- Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar On Me
- Poison – Unskinny Bop
- Poison – Talk Dirty To Me
- Van Halen – Eruption
- Van Halen – Hot For Teacher
- Ozzy Osbourne – I Don’t Know
- Ozzy Osbourne – No More Tears
- Motley Crue – Kickstart My Heart
- Motley Crue – Wildside
- Twisted Sister (With Dee Snider) – I Wanna Rock
- Twisted Sister (w/DS) – You Can’t Stop Rock’n’Roll
- Twisted Sister (w/DS)- We’re Not Gonna Take
- Alice Cooper – House of Fire
- Alice Cooper – School’s Out
- Queen – We Will Rock You
- Queen Bohemian Rhapsody
- ACDC – (Dee singing) Highway to Hell