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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Alice Cooper - Glasgow Armadillo - 31/10/11

Every once in a while a gig comes along that towers over every other show in quality, passion and sheer rock and roll exuberance.
A performances that shoots straight into your personal top ten list of all time.
A show that will forever be classed as never to be forgotten, and Alice Coopers Halloween show in Glasgow was without a shred of doubt one of those rare beasts.
A colossus standing on the shoulder of giants in gig history.
If I was to spew every single superlative that came to mind onto the page, then they still wouldn't come close to describing how good a show this was.
Alice Cooper is the font from where much of modern day rock and roll derives from. He's the shock rocker who delivered the goods time after time. The man who has rode out every single 'latest thing' that the world of music has had to offer since the seventies.
From the moment that the the band confidently strode onto the stage - with Alice towering over them in his Black Widow get up - they grabbed everyone and held them in the palm of their hands from start to finish.
The classic tracks, old favourites, some surprises and material from 'Welcome 2 my Nightmare' came hard and fast.
There was barely room in the set to catch a breath.
Even through the extended drum and bass solo, that's eased in to allow Alice a moment to get a second wind and snatch a costume change, the levels of excitement didn't diminish.
There's some sort of misconception that Alice Cooper is simply a rock god, but while that may seem like high praise in itself it actually defines him in a little box that he doesn't fit into at all because he is much more than that.
There's the public perception, the singer songwriter and this guy in front of us. The performer.
The show that has come to Glasgow isn't months in the panning. It's decades.
Years and years of striding across stages and honing his ability to engage with a crowd.
It flows so freely now that he can command attention from the flick of a wrist, the slash of a rapier through the air, or a cock of his top hat bedecked head.
His legend may well have been partially been built on theatrics, but it is also held together by solid songwriting and musicianship of the highest standard.
Even so over the last few years the theatrics have started to take more and more of a back-seat and I doubt anyone has even noticed as the actual show still rocks.
Black Widow gave everyone the blast of classic Cooper that was needed to get the ball rolling, and while people were still reeling from that Brutal Planet delivered a coup de grace before giving way to the quadruple attack of I'm Eighteen, Under My Wheels, Billion Dollar Babies and No More Mr Nice Guy.
Four songs that nail the crowd.
Alice looks as if he is enjoying himself, as are the band. He's at the lip of the stage gesturing in contempt as the songs demand, acting out the phrasing and making real eye contact with the sick things who are happy to worship at his feet.
Hey Stoopid is rolled out for the fans of the hair metal years, but like much of what this line up do it
marches to a slightly different beat. It's less shiny and polished, more grimy with a serving of fuck you on the side.
Is It My Body perfectly follows it and sets the scene for the rhythm section to stretch there muscles and show off a bit during Halo Of Flies.
Once Alice is back they storm into I'll Bite Your Face off, the only song they play from Welcome 2 My Nightmare.
It's well received and maybe they should consider rolling out some more from the album in future gigs.
It's obvious that for every more recent song that they play Alice knows that he will have to give out some more golden oldies to appease the crowd so it was no surprise that he followed it with Muscle of Love, Only Women Bleed (That had a spectacular guitar solo from Orianthi) and Cold Ethyl.
Every one of those perfectly executed.
Feed My Frankenstein had the obligatory theatrics that everyone has come to expect, but Clones (We're all) that followed it was the one song that blind-sided me. Sans keyboards and laden with chunky guitars it takes on a whole new, and better, persona.
From it being a song that very few Alice Cooper fans would feature on a mix tape it became somewhat of a bonafide classic with this bolshier approach to it.
Similarly Poison, my least favourite Coop hit, has a lot more to offer live, or maybe by this point I had capitulated and lost all critical capabilities.
Another song from Brutal Planet, 'Wicked Young Man' kept the already frantic pace up with Alice marching about playing the authoritarian leathern encased commandant to the hilt.
A partial snippet of I Love the Dead had the crowd slavering at the bit for more and Schools Out, with the addition of some of Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick In The Wall' was the perfect response to the baying audience, and that was it, but it wasn't.
No one was going to let Alice go that easily and within minutes he was back to finish the night on a rousing run through of Elected that included the obligatory oversized balloons full of confetti and a shower of ticker tape.
In hindsight I think it would be a safe bet to lay claim that this was the best Halloween celebration that I have ever participated in.
No one does Halloween like Alice Cooper and his band and it was a real privilege to be involved with it.
Here's looking forward to the next tour.
So bring it on Coop 'cause we're already waiting.


  1. It was fecking brilliant, the best halloween i have ever had. I have never thought i would have got to seen alice cooper but being at the front of the stage just touching dicents away from him was just i cant even think of words to decsrible the feeling. I be first in line to get ma tickets for his next tour, so bring it on.

  2. Having been a alice cooper fan for about 35 years, this was my first live concert. All I can say, I was bowled over. He was superb. A real treat. I will be there next time.

  3. That's the third time that I've seen him anonymous, and the best. The theatrics seem to be cut back and Alice and his band are proving they don't need them.
    Next time he comes give us a shout and we can meet up for a pint as there is no doubt that we will be back.