Written by Joy Houle, Photos by Jim Gilbert
Before Alice Cooper even took the stage at Turning Stone, fans were on their feet. They expected the show to be jam packed with entertainment and wanted to see every second of the performance.
The sold out show on Monday, October 21 drew a diverse group to Verona, from tweens to those in their 60s who came to see Cooper’s brilliantly choreographed production. The show started with “Hello Hooray” (1972) and Cooper set against a backdrop of raining fire. The first act featured ten songs including old favorites “No More Mr. Nice Guy” (1972) and “Department of Youth” (1975). About half of the songs performed date from the 1970s but that didn’t bother the fans.
The guts and gore that brought Cooper his fame were very much part of the show, especially during the second act. Things that most people squirm about: snakes wrapped around a neck, an electric chair, a guillotine, a straight jacket, were what the crowd loved best. The elaborate stage sets are reminiscent of a really good Broadway show, only better because Cooper incorporates smoke and pyrotechnics. The costumes were dynamic and fit in perfectly with the whole aura of grotesque nightmare and the abnormal. Cooper had total control of the stage at all times; he and his band were totally in sync.
One advantage to being on the short side is that with a full house standing in front of me, I couldn’t always see everything. Which meant — I could hear better. What I heard was a surprisingly strong voice — from the first note to the last. Not only was Cooper very much on his game, but every member of his band is super talented. This team of performers was top notch. And the third act heightened that.
Act 3 began with Alice rising from the dead in the same graveyard where his “dead, drunk friends” are buried. He brought those “friends” to life when he performed “Break on Through” (Jim Morrison), “Revolution” (John Lennon), “Foxy Lady” (Jimi Hendrix), and “My Generation” (Keith Moon). The stage backdrop, featuring gigantic tombstones for each Rock n Roll icon, along with Cooper’s amazingly perfect cover was an electrifying tribute.
Cooper finished the show with three hits, “I’m Eighteen” (1970), “Poison” (1989), and “School’s Out” (1972), loads of energy, awesome pyrotechnics, and confetti. At no time did the fans in front of me take their seats, and they were right, every bit of the show was worth seeing.
Part 1: Hello Hooray, House of Fire, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Under My Wheels, I’ll Bite Your Face Off, Billion Dollar Babies, Caffeine, Department of Youth, Hey Stoopid, Dirty Diamonds
Part 2: Welcome to my Nightmare, Go to Hell, Man Behind the Mask, Feed my Frankenstein, Dwight Fry, Killer/ I Love the Dead
Part 3: Break on Through, Revolution, Foxy Lady, My Generation, I’m Eighteen, Poison
Encore: School’s Out