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Mystic Lake Casino, Prior Lake, MN, U.S.A
Dee Snider & Dokken, Bret Michaels & Jack Russell's Great White

24th October 2017

jeff kunze
Words and Pictures: Jeff Kunze

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Mystic Lake Casino hosted another stellar Rock, Brats, and Beer event, the two-day event that featuring Dee Snider and Dokken on day one and Bret Michaels and Jack Russell's Great White on day two.

Dokken was the first to hit the stage and cranked into the surprising opener 'Don't Close Your Eyes'. A great song often overlooked on the iconic 'Tooth And Nail' album.

Along with original members Don Dokken and "Wild" Mick Brown on drums, Jon Levin (guitar) and Chris McCarvill (bass) fill out the roster. The band was in good spirits as Don joked and told stories about some of the songs as they made their way through some of the classics.

An added dynamic I had never seen before was Don playing guitar, most notably on 'Breaking The Chains', giving it a bigger sound. Another surprise was 'Maddest Hatter' off the 1999 release 'Erase The Slate' which is criminally overlooked.

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Vocally, Don was solid, and both Brown and McCarvill were brilliant in providing the backing vocals. John Levin handles the difficult task of playing some of the greatest riffs and solos that the metal genre has to offer and does a fantastic job.

HIGHLIGHT SONGS: 'Too High To Fly', Maddest Hatter', 'Don't Close Your Eyes'

The one and only Dee Snider headlined day one. With Twisted Sister now in the rearview mirror, Dee has set forth on a difficult task of trying to step out of the huge shadow of Twisted Sister and become a solo artist in today's musical landscape.

He released a new album called 'We Are The Ones', and is determined to play that material as opposed to a nostalgic set. Swimming in complete freedom Dee opened with 'We Are The Ones', which is an up-tempo rocker that sounded good.

The set hit on many songs of that record including 'Crazy For Nothing', 'Close To You', and 'Rule The World'.

Dee was his usual larger than life personality and still is one of the great frontmen in the business. A funny moment during set was when Don Dokken walked on the stage. Dee, wearing sunglasses, couldn't tell who it was and darn near pushed him off into the wings of the stage. He was told whom he just shoved and quickly got Don back out there.

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The band consisted of Tanya O Callaghan (bass), Robbie Angelucci (guitar), and Mike Dupke (drums) and they played off Dee's antics and energy. Although the set was high in new material and covers like 'Head Like A Hole', there was plenty of time for those Twisted Sister anthems.

'Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll', 'Kids Are Back', and 'We're Not Gonna Take It' raised the fans decibel level. There is no better fan participation song than 'I Wanna Rock'. Every fist goes into the air in perfect unison and everybody knows that magic word…ROCK!

A fun cover of Lit's 'My Own Worst Enemy' closed the show. Dee Snider never disappoints and is always worth seeing.

HIGHLIGHT SONGS: 'Burn In Hell', 'I Wanna Rock', 'The Price'

Jack Russell's Great White would start day two. Despite cool temperatures and rain, the band came out determined to put on a great show. Jack sounded fantastic as they zipped through 'All Over Now', 'Desert Moon', and 'Mista Bone'.

The band featuring Tony Montana and Robby Lochner on guitar, Dan McNay (bass), and Dicki Fliszar (drums) were fun and energetic, and that enthusiasm swept over the crowd.

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Jack joked he lost half his vocabulary as his middle finger was broken and wrapped in a heavy bandage. He kept the fans engaged and the band he has surrounded himself with was impressive.

One song off the new album 'He Saw It Comin'' called 'My Addiction' found its way into the set and sounded good but it was the hits people were waiting for. 'Rock Me', 'Lady Red Light' and the haunting ballad 'Save Your Love' got people singing.

No mystery with the closer, 'Once Bitten Twice Shy', and fans ate it up despite the sky opening up with a dousing rain. The last thing I remember Jack saying was "It's only water..."

HIGHLIGHT SONGS: 'All Over Now', 'Lady Red Light', 'Desert Moon'

Bret Michaels would close out the festivities. He is an entertainer and knows how to get people wrapped into his party.

Thankfully the rain slowed down, and the band ripped through all the Poison hits. Opening with 'Talk Dirty To Me', the cavalcade of sing-along songs kept flowing all the way through to the cover of 'Rock and Roll All Nite' that closed the set.

Bret's band features Pete Evick (guitar), Mike Bailey (drums), Rob Jozwiak (keyboards), and from Cinderella fame, Eric Brittingham on bass. Everyone one of them brings energy and fun to the stage that sweeps over the audience. A cover of 'Sweet Home Alabama' always goes over well and Saturday night was no different.

A high energy set that delivered the songs people were there to hear.

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HIGHLIGHT SONGS: 'Look What The Cat Dragged In', 'Something To Believe In', 'Talk Dirty To Me'

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