I saw Alice Cooper just last year opening for Iron Maiden and it was a blast watching the Rob Zombies of the 1970s, chopping off heads and drinking blood to the howls of outrage from the Conservative mainstream he now holds so dear.
Of course there is a reason why that first rush of songs were so successful, they were major acts of rebellion. “School’s Out” might have been high camp but it didn’t feel like it.
Now some 40 years later, Cooper is still out there and caked in black and white makeup he looks much the same with all the old set pieces still there and the songs still spinning us round and round: “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, “I’m Eighteen”, “Billion Dollar Babies”, “Only Women Bleed”. The list is endless and timeless. and Alice fronting a hard rock group is the same as he ever was, ready to tee off on us, ready to split his infinitives.
In 2011 Cooper released his 26th album and sure it wasn’t all that but still, give him props for stamina and Iron Maiden are a terrific live band so give him more props for holding his own. Last year I wrote: “The good news is that Alice’s greatest hits filled setlist could’ve come at just about any post- Welcome To My Nightmare period, the bad news is so could the special effects and the good news is that the cheesiness of Cooper’s special effects are part of the charm.”
But there was another problem, I was sitting in nosebleeds and I love Cooper enough to want to try it up close. So I’ll be there and I recommend yourself you treat yourself to some cheese on July 18th at the Beacon.