This past Tuesday, a glorious day in Beantown, fans of the legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper flocked to Leader Bank Pavilion to hear his greatest hits and choice selections from his recent album Detroit Stories that was released earlier this year. Not one to play it down, the theatrical extravaganza that Cooper has consistently offered up on each tour continues to grow, engage and impress. Backing the Coop is a stellar band that includes Chuck Garric (bass, vocals), Ryan Roxie (guitar, vocals), Nita Strauss (guitar, vocals), Tommy Henrikson (guitar, vocals), and Glen Sobel (drums. percussion). Alice and this lineup have been recording and performing together for several years and their chemistry on stage is undeniable. With over twenty songs during the night’s set, Cooper and Co. did not disappoint.
After the “Years Ago” and “Nightmare Castle” taped intro, the enormous curtain that was suspended in front of the stage fell and Alice Cooper slithered out, center stage and immediately put the audience under his spell. Bathed in the sole spotlight, Coop ominously glared at the audience while the band roared into “Feed My Frankenstein”. Nita “Hurricane” Strauss lived up to her nickname as she spun around the stage riffing away on her axe. Garric, Roxie and Henrikson did the same as they greeted the audience, while Sobel humbly sat immersed in fog behind his kit, bashing away on the skins. “Nice Guy” kept the audience engaged and singing along. A cover of Lou Reed’s “Rock & Roll” was a real treat! The band’s take on the classic was much heavier, less jangly and much more in your face than the original. Reed himself, would have loved hearing and seeing it performed live.
Other highlights included “Go Man Go”, a new track from Detroit Stories, which was fire! The collective band looked like they were enjoying the song as much as the audience. The 70’s classic “Eighteen” and the late eighties MTV hit “Poison”, two set staples, had Coop’s multi-generational fans rockin’ together before fan-favorite “Babies” put the six-string triple threat into overdrive. Cooper, replete in a red velvet jacket with coattails, taunted the front row with his signature sword. A plethora of Coop Bucks fell from the rafters and a giant baby scampered around stage right before being goaded off by Alice and his menacing sword. The rock, the roll and the macabre continued while the band bludgeoned through “Roses”, “Steven” and “Dead Babies” with Coop donning a straitjacket and coddling a baby doll.
The trademark guillotine gag had all eyes transfixed on Cooper as he was led to his “demise”. Even though so many had seen this act before, the audience ate it up! As Coop’s head was lopped and the held aloft, the band launched into the sing-along “I Love the Dead”. The decapitation bit, which never gets old, would be sorely missed if not included. “Dead” was followed by “Escape” which found Cooper, sans straitjacket, busting out of an upright coffin – much to the fans’ delight. “Teenage Frankenstein”, which included a wardrobe change for Coop and having the ten-foot monster set loose wrapped up the initial set before the encore of “School’s Out/Another Brick In The Wall”. Fans were once again barraged by props that were dropped overhead. Giant balloons, of different colors were sent out over the crowd as the band rolled through the raucous finale. Now, with all said and done, the Godfather of Shock Rock, has
once again proven that he hasn’t missed a beat and that his legendary performances are still appreciated after five decades and counting. Let’s all hope that there’s more to come!
Mr. Alice cooper is a rock legend. I’ve been a fan since the eighth grade 1973. I own a copy of all his albums. simply put he’s an Icon. He is the greatest vaudeville rock act of all time. He is second to none.
I’ve seen him in concert, and will see him again in Toronto Canada March 26, 2022. !00% This man will not disappoint.
excellent review and comments.