Halloween Velvet Sessions at the Hard Rock Hotel

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Last night’s Halloween version of the Velvet Sessions, featuring Twisted Sister, was a far different experience. The lobby of the Orlando Hard Rock Hotel was decorated in extreme rock 'n' roll Halloween style, which attracted a large crowd of rather scary characters. From pimps to witches and goblins to a rather disturbing version of the Where’s Waldo character, no celebrity or character seemed to be missing. I even came across a Unabomber-looking guy, who I’m not entirely sure was wearing a costume. Combined with free alcohol and liberal security, it was nearly a scene right out of a Rob Zombie movie. One family from Idaho or Wisconsin wandered into the lobby by mistake, then immediately beat a quick exit out the front doors.


When Dee and boys from Twisted Sister finally took the stage in full Halloween makeup, the level of madness and mayhem clicked up a few notches. Launching directly into an audience participation chant of Twisted Fucking Sister, Dee quickly made sure that any stray families still in the lobby where headed for the door. Twisted Sister gave their fans exactly what they were waiting for, complete and utter chaos at a volume that would have made Joey Ramone cringe. No fancy light show, no gimmicks, no choreographed dance moves, just loud, screaming, unrepentant rock 'n' rock. For someone who has witnessed too many dancer/singers performing to backing tracks, this was a soul-cleansing experience. I guess now I can stand covering the next Back Street Boy reunion show. I wonder if my buddy ever did get those tattoos.

The last time that I saw Dee Snider was during breakfast at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. While I was forced to make small talk with some Backstreet Boy (don’t ask me which one), Dee discussed high finance with my wife, who is a bank vice-president. Lacking Dee’s usual makeup and rampant abuse of the English language, breakfast was a less-than-surreal affair. I spent most of the time asking Lance or Kirk or Brad or whatever his name was, why he was wearing fake tattoo sleeves, instead of getting the real thing. He finally got tired of my badgering and left me to enjoy my coffee, while Dee went off to cook omelets or something.

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