With a career spanning five decades, Alice Cooper is often referred to as the “Godfather of Shock Rock”. An Alice Cooper performance is just as theatrical as it is musical. Stories of the macabre unfold dramatically, lyrically and instrumentally, in grandiose fashion. I saw Alice Cooper for the first time in 1990 on the “Trash” tour. This month, I saw him for the third time at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Alice snarls out hit after evergreen hit, with a phenomenally tight, powerhouse band paving his dark path… and it’s every bit as good as it was 26 years ago.
Alice opened the show with 1975’s “Black Widow”. Most of the performance covered classic Alice hits, such as “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, “Under My Wheels”, “Billion Dollar Babies”, “Is It My Body”, “Feed My Frankenstein” and “Only Women Bleed”. Later chart-toppers like “Poison” also made it to the setlist.
Fan favorite, “I Love the Dead” led into a medley of covers in honor of Keith Moon, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and Lemmy Kilmister. With extreme precision and spectacular form, Alice and his band whipped out The Who’s “Pinball Wizard”, Bowie’s “Suffragette City”, the Hendirx classic “Fire”, and Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades”.
The show closed with the Alice Cooper trifecta: “I’m Eighteen”, “School’s Out”, and an encore performance of “Elected” (complete with election year-appropriate enhancements).
There wasn’t a lot of chatter between songs throughout the show…There rarely is much babble at an Alice show. What you can consistently expect at the show is over-the-top insanity – serious, top-quality performance in every way. Alice is supported by Chuck Garric on bass, Glen Sobel on drums, and Ryan Roxie, Tommy Henriksen and Nita Strauss on guitar.