I love Alice Cooper, From the Inside was the first album I ever bought and is still a favourite today. The only Scottish show he’s done that I’ve missed in 30 years is the one he played on the night Holly was born in ’07, so I can kinda see where he’s going as well as where he’s been.
In recent years the theatrics have been toned down, far fewer extras on stage to interact with and cause mayhem, favourites being the West Side Story-esque gang fights and a giant spiders web with girls in spider costumes playing on it. But Alice has always had the songs to make up for it, stick him and a decent backing band in a club and you’ve still got a winner.
Last night was different though, a basic-ish show but with a strong start playing great tunes with a voice that sounded much stronger than on recent tours. It was all going well, although I get annoyed when he shortens songs and does medleys, until the drum solo slowed things down and he did four covers in a row.
Yes, it’s Halloween and he paying tribute to dead rock stars with big gravestones and singing their songs (The Doors, Hendrix, Lennon, The Who), but I don’t give a shit about that stuff, I want to hear Alice tunes. Those four covers could have been four more classics or even just the epic Halo of Flies on its own (from Killer, original calender sleeve below, I’m such a collector geek).
Is he bored playing his own songs? He does seem very relaxed on stage, there’s no danger in him now, he’s still playing the role of the stage Alice, but its like he’s in on his own joke these days.
When they band went back to the Alice back catalogue they did catch up again and it was a great finish with Schools Out complete with bubble blowing machines and giant balloons thrown into the crowd. There were moments of genius, musically as well as theatrically, playing the originally keyboard heavy The Man Behind The Mask – Friday the 13th soundtrack tune, with his three guitarists was pure magic and the giant Alicestein Monster lurching around the stage was pure pantomime.
The backing band are all excellent, there were laughs and smiles all night, it looks like they enjoy playing together and seem to mostly get along, something that’s hard to fake. Having three lead guitarists suits Alice’s multilayered songs and the old stuff sounded great. Great to see that blonde lassie still there, great player but the worst sound of the three guitarists, very thin and trebly.
Anyway, it was a good night, I might just have to come to terms with the fact that Alice is in his 60’s and he’s never going to be as edgy as he was and he can’t really be arsed with all the theatrics. The stage invading photographer was merely dragged away by a machete wielding Jason Voorhees, where once Alice stuck a micstand through his chest and left him hanging from it bleeding in the middle of the stage.
What the hell, I still love Alice Cooper.