Alice Cooper Still Rules

It is no secret that Alice Cooper is the greatest artist in the history of the universe and will never be surpassed. I was fortunate to take in his July 4 show and once again, he showed all why he is the greatest artist in the history of the universe.

I walk in and take my seat next to some crusty old guy who must have had fleas or something as I got really itchy soon after sitting down. Anyway, soon after that, the opening act came out. I don't remember who they were but when they first started playing I thought Alice's roadies had just picked up the instruments and started fucking around. All that was coming from the speakers was shitty noise.

Let's see, you had Beer Gut, who was the front man, Matchstick and Beaniebrain on the guitars with Matchstick also doing backup vocals, Drummer, and Keyboard Guy. I can't tell you how shit the first "song" was, and Matchstick was leaping around like a retard, so much so that he snapped the strap on his guitar. I would have shouted out "Hey Moron. Why not try actually playing it more than jumping around like a moron with it" but he wouldn't have heard it over the shitty noise they were producing. The second song was slightly less shit but then they started getting better and actually playing some decent hard, loud music.

That was, until they let Beaniebrain at the microphone. Suddenly they were every bit as shit as they were when they first started. Anyway, then Beer Gut took over once again for a song taking the piss out of all this Australian/American/Swedish Idol bullshit so I give them credit for that. Finally they were off and the real show started.

This one was a lot less theatrical than his Brutal Planet show and this was evident from the start. Last time, we have the Controller warning us to flee while we can from the "sadistic megalomaniac, Alice Cooper" just before the thumping strains of Brutal Planet kick in as Alice dressed as some sort of industrial style Samurai slowly ascends the stairs into view.

This time there was some smoke, some swirling lights and bam! There's Alice leaping right into Department of Youth and No More Mr Nice Guy. Also last time, Alice is killed about halfway through then is brought back to life Frankenstein-style and came roaring out to No More Mr Nice Guy before launching into much of his classic material. This time he is killed at the end and comes back to finish off the concert.

Less theatrical but no less of the awesome shows he always puts one.

After the opening two classics we were treated to a new song Dirty Diamonds, during which Alice made much of the crowd go ape shit by throwing "diamond" necklaces into the audience. As loud as things were at this point, it got much louder when the opening drum riff for Billion Dollar Babies started. Be My Lover, Lost in America, and Woman of Mass Distraction followed.

I thought the roar for Billion Dollar Babies was a mighty one but it was nothing in comparison to the roar that went up when Alice launched into Eighteen. From there it was another newie, Between High School and Old School, and much like with Eighteen, Alice Cooper is the only 57 year old who can sing teen angst songs like these and still capture the original feeling while revelling in the absurdity of a 57 year old man singing teen angst songs.

New song What Do You Want From Me came next followed by Is It My Body and The Black Widow, during which Alice disappeared off stage for a bit. Back he came with Gimme, one of my favourites from his Brutal Planet album, and Awakening before back to classics with Steven, Only Women Bleed, and straight jackets for the Ballad of Dwight Fry.

Killer was next with the decapitation on the guillotine and the celebratory I Love The Dead. Then the resurrection and School's Out to finish. Of course that is never really the end for we still had the encore.

The band came back and started with Poison which, while not "classic" Alice, you will always hear at a concert. Then came I Wish I Was Born In Beverly Hills, with Alice's very attractive daughter strutting around the stage dressed as Paris Hilton, before rocking out to what Alice has described as "Garage Band Rock 101" with Under My Wheels.

Truly a great song to finish on with the experience in the band of Eric Singer, Ryan Roxie, Damon Johnson and Chuck Garrick. There is a lot of experience in that lot and I like to look at that song as a back to basics lesson for all (including the warm up act.) These guys were spot on during the whole show, with a particularly awesome drum solo by Singer.

It was loud, hard, and every bit the Alice Cooper experience we expect.

Thanks to Patrick over at It's A Matter Of Opinion for the full set list.

(cross-posted at The Asylum)

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