Artist: Alice Cooper with Airbourne & MC50
Date: February 18th 2020
Venue: Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
Reviewer: Hayley Treadwell
Photographer: Hang Me On Your Wall Photography
So you are in a band? So you think you are pretty good? You have the show, the moves and the songs? Go see Alice Cooper and then re-answer those questions for me. Whats not to love about Alice Cooper. You do not come to Alice Cooper to see a show. You come to see an event. Alice Cooper is an event like no other. Part rock show, part vaudeville, part horror movie, 100% Fun.
But let’s go back to our openers MC50, who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of MC5 Formed in the 60’s MC5, Wayne Kramer keeps the spirit of the original band alive with a fresh approach and line up including Billy Gould (Faith No More), Brendan Canty (Fugazi), Marcus Durant (Zen Guerrilla), and Kim Thayil (Soundgarden). They got the the evening off to a loud and loose start.
Australia’s own Airbourne were next. Think part AC/DC, Part Energiser Bunny. No part of the stage and it seems the arena is off limits to the band. They have taken hard rock from Victoria to the world. They are a stadium ready band, and the big stages are where they belong. They take no prisoners and are the perfect band to warm the crowd for the likes of Alice Cooper.
Alice’s Nightmare Castle is the perfect set for Alice and his band. Kicking into “Feed My Frankenstein”, Coop took command of centre stage and the top of the castle. Of course his Frankenstien came out to visit during the solo, which saw Ryan Roxie and Nita Strauss take centre stage, showing why they are just 2 of the 6 world class musicians on stage. “No More Mr Nice Guy” , “Bed Of Nails” and “Raped and Freezin” followed quickly which saw Roxie, Strauss, bassist Chuck Garric and guitarist Tommy Henriksen cover the stage and engage with the crowd as the perfect accompaniment to Alice and the songs.
The newest album “Paranormal” was represented in the set with “Fallen In Love”, which is always hard to do when you have such a wealth of hits to pick from, but Alice always seems to put one or two in to celebrate his current work. As with any Alice Cooper tour, your senses are over loaded. Tonight, besides the Frankenstein, you had the Giant Babies, Serial Killers, Straight Jackets, The Guillotine with its very own Guillotine Queen played by none other than Alice’s wife Cheryl Cooper. But you also get the songs. There is barely a break in the set.
Some great solo spots for drummer Glen Sobel, who made a drum solo entertaining but also not long winded. He showed his skills, showed them well, and shred queen Nita Strauss, who between these Australian live shows and the televised Fire Fight charity event is influences many young girls around the world to not only pick up the guitar but to just be proud of who they are and not accept any less. She is a fantastic role model for young women around the world.
As always one of the highlights of the show for me is “I Love The Dead” where the band take over without Alice. Lead by Bassist Chuck Garric the band push the Brisbane crowd to sing above them, and the crowd gives back. Garric’s commanding stage presence, attack on the bass and amazing vocals have many believing he is channelling Lemmy Kilmister, and while that is a cool tribute to both men Chuck just delivers and has been doing so since 2003.
It was great hearing songs like “Roses On White Lace” from the “Raise Your Fist And Yell” as part of the set along with the hits you get on most Alice Cooper Tours. “(He’s Back) The Man Behind The Mask” was also an awesome addition to the set. Of course when you have songs like “Poison”, “Department Of Youth” and “Schools Out”, the lesser known songs sometimes get overlooked, so its a treat that the set does get some cool switch ups between the tours.
Alice does not act like a man in his 70s. He does not seem to know what slowing down is. You can still see he has a passion and love of performing live and writing new music. Hey young band that I mentioned earlier. You still should kneel at the alter of the mighty Alice Cooper, because judging from last night, He is not going anywhere, anytime soon.