I had the opportunity to see one of my all time favorite artists, Alice Cooper, in concert on October 17, 2009 in Wendover, Nevada. I’ve been a fan of Alice Cooper since I was 6 years old. I would go cruising around with my older brother Craig in his car listening to the “School’s Out” 8-track. In fact the song “School’s Out” is the first song I can remember wanting to hear over and over and over. I would beg my brother to play it while we were driving and he’d always put it on for me.
I’ve only seen him Alice Cooper live once before and that was during the “Constrictor” tour in the 80’s. I remember how amazed I was with the incredible stage show he put on. I was also struck with how fantastic his voice sounded live. That 80’s Alice Cooper concert is one of the concerts that I’ve been to that really sticks out from the crowd. I’ve been to a lot of shows over the years but I still remember almost all of that concert.
So I was pretty stoked to see Alice Cooper again after 20 years or so. Let me tell you, he is still simply incredible to watch onstage! The name of this current tour is the Alice Cooper “Theatre Of Death” tour. Let me tell you, there is a lot of death in this show. Alice is 61 years old and I bet death crosses his mind sometimes and this show is really centered around “horror” type deaths. Impaling, beheading, hanging and such. I’m telling you, I counted at least 7 deaths that happened onstage with Alice himself being killed 3 times alone. It was quite fascinating how these deaths were incorporated into the show with the music.
Now before you think this is just a macabre show about simulated deaths, it’s not. It’s really about the music and it always has been. The show supports the great music that Alice Cooper has recorded over the years. As expected, Alice’s live band was simply divine. The band consisted of Keri Kelli – Guitar, Damon Johnson – Guitar, Chuck Garric – Bass and Jimmy Degrasso – Drums. These guys were totally airtight and played perfectly in sync with each other all night long. The guitar harmonies were just perfect and the instrumental sections of the show were truly a pleasure to listen to. Alice has really put a great band together with these guys.
So the music was there, it was perfect and would have been enough on it’s own. But Alice Cooper is famous for his amazing stage shows. He didn’t disappoint. Each song had it’s own mini rock-opera with a drama played out onstage, usually ending with someone onstage dying. Several of Alice’s minions bought the farm and some poor stagehand got impaled with a microphone stand. Not to say that Alice didn’t suffer a similar fate several times over. When Alice is injected with a giant hypodermic needle he gets some pretty poisonous medicine of his own too.
All through the show there’s a girl dressed as a nurse who tortures Alice. Of course, Alice tortures her right back and there’s a well done murder scene where Alice does the poor lass in by strangulation before singing his ballad “Only Women Bleed”. It was a pretty creepy sequence but in a wild rock-n-roll sort of way.
Alice’s voice is older but he can still belt it out and command the stage. I personally love Alice’s voice because it is so unique in the world of rock. He can really sing and he can narrate as well. He does a great job interacting with the crowd. During the song “Dirty Diamonds” Alice threw diamond necklaces into the audience. He also threw Billion dollar bills into the audience. He tossed great big balloons filled with glitter into the audience and popped them with his sword as the audience flung them back at the stage. I’m telling you, the whole show was very interactive!
To sum it all up, if you haven’t seen Alice Cooper live then you haven’t seen one of the best shows in all of Rock-N-Roll. The man is a classic and his style is just awesome. He looks so cool onstage and he’s truly in full Alice Cooper character while he’s onstage. Highlights for me were “Ballad Of Dwight Fry”, “Under My Wheels”, “Billion Dollar Babies”, “Wicked Young Man”, “Vengeance Is Mine” and of course all the instrumentals. So get to a show on Alice Coopers “Theatre Of Death” tour. You won’t be sorry you did!