Alice Cooper (and Motley Crue) 2nd November 2015
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. The 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.
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
Archive for the ‘Motley Crue’ Category
Alice Cooper (and Motley Crue) 2nd November 2015
Mötley Crüe Theatre of Pain tour Newcastle City Hall 1986
Think big, loud, outrageous, OTT, heavy rock. Think glam, pyrotechnics, Kiss meets The Stooges and you are starting to get it. Mötley Crüe brought the “Theatre of Pain” to Newcastle and just blew us all away 🙂 .
Mötley Crüe are an American heavy metal band who formed in California in 1980. The group was founded by bass guitarist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, who were soon joined by fellow mad compatriots lead guitarist Mick Mars and lead singer Vince Neil. Mötley Crüe have been described as “the world’s most notorious rock band” (Wikipedia). They are also one of the best-selling groups of all time, having sold 80 million albums (Wow!). I first came across Mötley Crüe when I saw them playing way down the bill at Donington Monsters of Rock in 1984. By 1986 they were touring to support their third album “Theatre of Pain”, and these guys were massive. I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to enjoy their outrageous stage show, but I knew that I just had to go along and see if they were as loud and crazy as I had read. The show was actually great fun, if a little tongue in cheek, and the music wasn’t too bad either.
The stage set was magnificent. Drummer Tommy Lee towered above us all on a drum riser which revolved through 360 degrees (don’t ask me how that worked 🙂 ?!). Guitarist Mick Mars and bassist Nikki Sixx prowled around the stage, both every bit heavy metal rock gods. And singer and total madman Vince Neil sang his heart out. The audience, well Vince told us many times that we were all “MotherF***ers”, and the Newcastle metal crowd didn’t argue with that; they just lapped it up. A night of total over the top madness! Plus these guys did a great version of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter”; check it out on YouTube. I’ve been trying to work out who the support act was that night, and based on what I can find out there, it seems that the great Cheap Trick played on the UK dates. My memory lets me down again, as I have no recollection at all of seeing Cheap Trick that night. I am sure if they had been support I would have gone along early to see them; maybe I did and have forgotten all about it, which is increasingly likely….
Setlist: Looks That Kill; Use It or Lose It; Shout at the Devil; Fight for Your Rights; Home Sweet Home; Red Hot; Keep Your Eye on the Money; Louder Than Hell; Too Young to Fall in Love; Knock ’em Dead, Kid; Live Wire; Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room (Brownsville Station. Great choice for a cover!); Helter Skelter (The Beatles! Another great choice); Jailhouse Rock (Elvis!)
Posted by vintagerock in AC/DC, Black Crowes, Metallica, Motley Crue, Queensryche, Uncategorized. Tagged: blues, concert, concerts, folk, gig, gigs, heavy metal, music, pop, prog rock, punk, R&B, rock, rock n roll. 8 comments
Monsters of Rock, Donington Park, 17 august 1991
Line up: AC/DC; Metallica; Mötley Crüe; Queensryche; The Black Crowes
This is the last of my ramblings on AC/DC and it brings me up to date with my concert memories of the band. The 1991 Monsters of Rock festival was the last time Iwas to see the band for almost 20 years; as the next AC/DC concert I attended was at Manchester MEN Arena in 2009. It was also the last time I attended a Monsters of Rock festival. That particular my daughter was getting into rock music, and her and her friends were big fans of Mettalica, and that was our primary reason for attending. So I drove her and two friends to the festival. Highlights for me were The Black Crowes, Metallica and AC/DC. I don’t remember much about the other bands.
Metallica had just released their “Black” Metallica album, which had been heavily played in our house. I hadn’t rated the band up until then, although I had seen them at an earlier Monsters of Rock in 1985, but that lp got me into them. My favourite track was Enter Sandman, which was the opening song at Donington that year. Metallica were at the top of their game at that time, paying some of the best heavy rock of the time. We made sure that we arrived in time to see The Black Crowes, as I’d heard a lot about them. I remember being impressed by them, particularly by their cover of Otis Redding’s Hard to Handle. My friend John lives in the US and is a massive Black Crowes fan, and he keeps me up to date on them. I really must get to see them again some day soon. AC/DC closed the day with a set which closed with one of the biggest firework displayed I’ve ever seen. I then spent some time finding the others, which was not easy in a crowd of 60,000+ people all of whom were aiming for the exits, and then we drove back home. AC/DC setlist: Thunderstruck; Shoot to Thrill; Back in Black; Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be; Heatseeker; Fire Your Guns; Jailbreak; The Jack; Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap; Moneytalks; Hells Bells; High Voltage; Whole Lotta Rosie; You Shook Me All Night Long; T.N.T.; Let There Be Rock Encore: Highway to Hell; For Those About to Rock (We Salute You). I’ll move on from AC/DC now, and will ponder on which concerts to reflect on this coming week. Back tomorrow.
Posted by vintagerock in AC/DC, Accept, Gary Moore, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, Uncategorized, Van Halen, Y&T. Tagged: blues, concert, concerts, folk, gig, gigs, heavy metal, music, pop, prog rock, punk, R&B, rock, rock n roll. 2 comments
AC/DC at Monsters of Rock Donington Park; 18 August 1984
Line up: AC/DC; Van Halen; Ozzy Osbourne; Gary Moore; Mötley Crüe; Y & T; Accept
This was probably the best Monsters of Rock festival that I attended. I’d won tickets in the local newspaper (note “complementary” stamp on ticket at left), which was a positive to start with, so my mate and I went along free of charge for once! The weather was great, hot and dry, and the line-up was as strong as you could get in terms of heavy rock in the mid 80s. The bottle fights really took off this year, as I recall, with bottles of piss being lobbed across the crowd throughout the day. I have never been one for trying to get to the front at such events, and staying near the back of the crowd was definitely wise on this particular day.
I don’t remember much about Accept or Y&T. Motley Crue were OK, but didn’t have the scale of theatre and excess that I would see on their Theatre of Pain tour the following year (review to follow at some point). Gary Moore played some great blues guitar, as always. Ozzy was at the top of his game during this period in my view. At this time he was playing Mr Crowley, Crazy Train, along with Sabbath classics Iron Man and Paranoid. Van Halen were OK but, for me, had already lost some of the power and hunger they had in the early days when they supported Sabbath on their 1978 tour and on their first UK headline tour shortly after that (review to follow). As I recall there was a lot of talk about Van Halen blowing AC/DC off the stage, which just didn’t happen at all in my view. AC/DC were, as always, excellent and brought a great day to a close. AC/DC setlist: Guns for Hire; Shoot to Thrill; Sin City; Back in Black; Bad Boy Boogie; Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution; Flick of the Switch; Hells Bells; The Jack; Have a Drink on Me; Highway to Hell; Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap; Whole Lotta Rosie; Let There Be Rock; Encore: T.N.T.; For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)