Archive for the ‘Alice Cooper’ Category

Alice Cooper (and Motley Crue) Newcastle Arena 2nd November 2015

Alice Cooper (and Motley Crue) 2nd November 2015
FullSizeRender(3)I haven’t been too well this week. I’ve had a head cold, but I still couldn’t resist going to see Alice Cooper. Alice is currently special guest on the Motley Crue farewell tour which called at Newcastle Arena on Monday. I made a last minute decision to go along to see the old rock schocker. Its almost 40 years since I first saw Alice on the Welcome to my Nightmare tour, and I remain a fan. So I stopped feeling sorry for myself, forgot my cold and drove through to Newcastle for the show. I parked the car and wandered around the outside of the arena, hoping to score a cheap ticket. A friendly guy sold me a £45 standing ticket for £30: Result. I wandered around the floor area, but soon realised I needed to sit, so retreated to an empty seat in the front tier just to the left of the stage. First up was a thrash rap band called The One Hundred from London. They warmed the crowd up well, and were very LOUD. There was then a short wait before Alice took to the stage at around 7.45pm. Alice_Cooper_2015The familiar creepy Vincent Price intro for “The Black Widow” came over the PA: “….I feel that man has ruled this world as a stumbling dimented child-king long enough! And as his empire crumbles, my precious Black Widow shall rise as his most fitting successor!” Alice looked and sounded great; he has a cool rocking band which features three lead guitarists. Next up was “No More Mr. Nice Guy” quickly followed by two of my favourites: “Under My Wheels” and “I’m Eighteen”. Both are classic rock songs and still sound excellent. It’s difficult to believe that “Eighteen” was written 45 years ago. You might think it wierd seeing a 67 year old Alice sing about being “Eighteen and I don’t know what I want … I’m a boy and I’m a man” but it worked. And it still sounded great. Those dark chords came slamming out, Alice’s vocal was as strong as ever, and he led the audience through that anthemic chorus “I’m eighteen and I like it!” Wonderful!
Alice’s band are straight out of the school for heavy metal. There’s lots of leather and ripped faded denims, and three excellent metal guitar heroes in the form of axe woman Nita Strauss, and axe men Ryan Roxie (who has been in the Alice band for 20 years) and Tommy Henriksen. Bassist Chuck Garric has been with Alice for over 10 years and drummer Glen Sobel was recently placed 1st runner up in DRUM Magazine’s Poll in both the Rising Star and Rock/Metal categories. These guy play great and do justice to all those classic Alice songs.
FullSizeRender(4)For “Billion Dollar Babies” Alice threw fist fulls of billion dollar notes out to the crowd (wish I’d caught one), and in “Dirty Diamonds” handfuls of necklaces flew out to luck people in the front rows. I had wondered whether the show would be as theatrical as in the past, given the special guest status of Alice’s performance. But I should have known that you can’t really have Alice Cooper without theatre. I am pleased to report that poor Alice still gets himself into the usual macabre scrapes. The guillotine made an appearance …. off came our hero’s head, and a massive boa constrictor nearly strangled him. One minute Alice was in a straight-jacket; the tortured victim of a psychotic nurse and next a giant Frankenstein monster lumbered around the stage. Just like old times. The final song just had to be everyone’s favourite teenage rebellion anthem “School’s Out.” Excellent! We all sang along.
I stayed for part of Motley Crüe’s set which started off as powerful and OTT as you’d expect. The crowd were well up for the glam metal pioneers and gave them a hero’s welcome. But my cold started to get the better of me, so I made my way home; I really must be starting to feel my age.
Alice is THE MAN.
Alice Cooper setlist: Vincent Price Intro; The Black Widow; No More Mr. Nice Guy; Under My Wheels; I’m Eighteen; Billion Dollar Babies; Poison; Dirty Diamonds; Go to Hell; Feed My Frankenstein; Ballad of Dwight Fry; I Love the Dead; School’s Out
Many thanks to Ralph Arvesen for allowing use of his picture of Alice Cooper live in 2015 which is licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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Alice Cooper Newcastle Arena 2005

Alice Cooper Newcastle Arena 2005
Dirty Diamonds tour
Support from Twisted Sister
It was 17 years until I saw Alice Cooper again, some 7 years ago at Newcastle Arena. Support came from mad glam rockers Twisted Sister, led by crazy maniac Dee Snider. I’d seen Twisted Sister in the early 80s at Newcastle Mayfair; they are always good for a laugh, and play some nifty metal. This gig used around a third of the arena, which allows for a (slightly) larger crowd than the City Hall, but also guarantees a much more stale and cold atmosphere. Alice’s set included all the favourites and a few tracks from his new album ‘Dirty Diamonds’. The usual stage theatrics featured large, with our hero pulling the usual tricks out of the bag, wriggling his way out of a straitjacket, losing his head at the guillotine and then emerging alive again from a coffin. The show now features his beautiful daughter Cailco Cooper, who kills her dad as part of the fun. Setlist: Department of Youth; No More Mr. Nice Guy; Dirty Diamonds; Billion Dollar Babies; Be My Lover; Lost in America; I Never Cry; Woman of Mass Distraction; I’m Eighteen; Between High School & Old School; Sunset Babies (All Got Rabies); Is It My Body; Go to Hell; Black Widow; Gimme; Feed My Frankenstein; Welcome to My Nightmare; The Awakening; Steven; Only Women Bleed; Ballad of Dwight Fry; Killer; I Love the Dead; School’s Out. Encore: Poison; Wish I Were Born in Beverly Hills; Under My Wheels

Alice Cooper Newcastle 1986 and 1988

Alice Cooper Newcastle 1986 and 1988
It was around ten years till I saw Alice Cooper again. He visited the UK in 1982, but for some reason I didn’t make a show on that tour. However he was back again in 1986, and paid his fist visit to Newcastle. After experiencing the splendour of the “Welcome to my Nightmare” tour, I was looking forward to this gig. Support came from Alien Sex Fiend, a deathrock band formed at the Batcave club in London. Alice was promoting the Constrictor lp, which was his 16th(!) album, and the tour was named “The Nightmare Returns”. It was seen as a return to form, if perhaps a little more heavy metal than previous outings. The show was as theatrical as ever, with Frankenstein making an appearance for the song “Teenage Frankenstein”. The set contained a selection of all the classic Alice tracks. Setlist: Welcome to My Nightmare; Billion Dollar Babies; No More Mr. Nice Guy; Be My Lover; I’m Eighteen; The World Needs Guts; Give It Up; Cold Ethyl; Only Women Bleed; Go to Hell; Ballad of Dwight Fry; Teenage Frankenstein; Sick Things; I Love the Dead; School’s Out. Encore: Elected; Under My Wheels. Seem to recall that I went to the gig with my mate Norm and that we went down to Tiffanies (it may have been another club) afterwards and saw We’ve Got A Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It!! Alice was back in Newcastle two years later; this time for a two night stay at the City Hall. Support this time came from heavy metal act Chrome Molly, and Alice’s new album was Raise Your Fist and Yell. I found the following interesting snippet on the sickthingsuk site: “During the first night at Newcastle City Hall 8th April, 1988, Alice accidentally threw one of the dancers whips [during Go To Hell] up into the balcony and was caught, much to the delight of a female member of the audience (Steve Olley, January 2009).” The set was quite similar to Alice’s previous visit, and this time the show featured Freddie Kreuger appeared in the show!

Alice Cooper Liverpool Empire 1975

Alice Cooper Liverpool Empire 1975
Welcome to my Nightmare tour
Support Heavy Metal Kids
This was the first time that I saw Alice Cooper. A group of us went to the gig in a couple of cars, all of us exciting at the prospect of seeing the king of shock rock. We’ll heard the singles, seen him perform “School’s Out” on Top of the Pops and read about the outlandish stage shows in the NME and Sounds. This was our chance to see Alice in the flesh in his ghoulish horror show which featured snakes, an execution and babies being sliced up. It was Alice’s first concert in the north of England; he had previously only played in London and Glasgow. Support came from Heavy Metal Kids, with Gary Holton on top form, giving his usual super cocky cockney act. We had seats right down at the front and all thought the gig was tremendous. There had been some luke warm reviews of the “Welcome to my Nightmare” album, largely because Alice had lost all of the original band members, and was now, in effect, a solo artist, rather than Alice Cooper the band. However, we needn’t have worried, as this was Alice Cooper at his theatrical best, fronting a stage show that was at times just astounding, and, for its time, unbelievable in places. The show started with the taped voice of Vincent Price booming over the PA system, followed by wonderfully choreographed dancers, who seemed to appear out of nowhere from a giant projection screen, which was the size of the stage. Next Alice suddenly appeared singing the opening lines of the title track. Alice had a giant toy box, and from that jumped devils, bats, and a bunch of skeletons who delivered a nifty dance routine complete with top hats and canes. There was a massive graveyard scene with Alice creeping through the gravestones, dancing demons, giant spiders for “Black Widow” and a cyclops during “Department Of Youth”. And he played School’s Out! Just Wonderful! Setlist: Welcome To My Nightmare, Years Ago, No More Mr Nice Guy, Years Ago, Billion Dollar Babies, Years Ago, I’m Eighteen, Some Folks, Cold Ethyl, Only Women Bleed, Devil’s Food, The Black Widow, Steven, Welcome To My Nightmare (reprise), The Awakening, Escape, School’s Out, Department of Youth