George Gakis And The Troublemakers
Principal Club Theatre, Thessaloniki, Greece
What a luck to be able to see Judas Priest and Twisted Sister for the first time in my hometown within a week. And if in Judas Priest the crowd was pathetic, this time I had the luck to witness more than a thousand crazy maniacs welcoming Twisted Sister in Thessaloniki the way they deserved, in such a welcome that made the band member wonder why they hadn’t come so far and the promise that they will come as soon as they can in the future, rather happy from what they had seen for about ninety minutes and after fourteen legendary songs that have marked a more than three decades career that established them as one of the best live bands ever. For sure, this was the best gig ever to take place in the city of Thessaloniki and we’ll remember it until the day we close our eyes.
George Gakis alongside his troublemakers was more than a warm up to the gods that followed later. Playing thirteen songs if I counted right, with six songs of his own and seven covers from legendary bands, including Bon Jovi’s ”Have A Nice Day”, Deep Purple’s ”Perfect Strangers” and Whitesnake’s ”Fool For Your Loving”. In perfect shape, Gakis told us about his upcoming album with participations from very respected members of the rock society, such as Joe Lynn Turner and Bobby Rondinelli and it will be out until the end of this year or the beginning of 2012. A great show by a very known and respected artist of our country, which I can see every day live. All the times I’ve seen him I’ve had more than fun and this happened now. Rock on George until the end. We’re all with you!
The mighty Twisted Sister, I mean…WOW! ”What You Don’t Know Sure Can Hurt You” starts the holocaust and whoever hadn’t seen them live already understood it would be the gig of his lifetime. Dee Snider in perfect shape, moving all across the stage like a 20 year old maniac and proving why some values never get ravaged by the test of time. A.J. Pero and Jay Jay Frence with hair cut but with leashes left loose, supported by Eddie Ojeda and Mark ”The Animal” Mendoza, to which everybody wished happy birthday, and the members of the band dedicated him many songs. ”The Kids Are Back” and they will never abandon ship until the last one is drowned. Time passes by and hits follow one another in tremendous response, followed by stagedives (!) and frenzy combined with multiple orgasms.
More legendary tracks follow such as ”Stay Hungry”, ”Captain Howdy” (badass to death), ”You Can’t Stop Rock’n’Roll”, ”The Fire Still Burns” (it surely does for them), ”We’re Not Gonna Take It” (Absolute pandemonium with the band members not believing their eyes), ”The Price” (eternal anthem, especially for people in love), ”Under The Blade” (which sounds ten times heavier live), ”Burn In Hell” (creepy as hell itself) followed by a drum solo by Pero, a cover of ”Whole Lotta Rosie” by AC/DC (that’s life baby!) and of course ”I Wanna Rock” closing the main set, before the encore with ”Come Out And Play” and ”S.M.F”. Many moments could stand out as the best ones, but the sum is what counted more.
Still until now, I can see people not having took over this whole experience. The ones having seen the band claim that in festivals they are amazing but inside small clubs, they are a battering ram crushing everything that stands in its way. No painting, no bullshit talking, just pure hard rocking heavy metal performance by five individuals who were born and gifted to make people happy. We will never be able to see something like that, at least soon enough. It’s about time starting respecting and appreciating certain moments in life, because if we take them for granted, we’ll lose the whole point of having fun. If they played half an hour more we’d all travel the Rubicon with no return. Thank goodness, they decided they should go home eventually. Thank you all five gentlemen, we are at your side until your honest retirement one day. This was real and it happend in 2011. Still unfuckingbelievable…
Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras