Alice Cooper is an icon among legends. That’s right he’s a legend even among his own lofty brethren. Last night the 64-year-old lord of shock rock returned to Boise (long overdue we might add) for a packed show at the new Revolution Concert House.
Cooper is a rarefied breed of rockstar. He gave birth to a genre that opened doors for the likes of Kiss, New York Dolls, and all the bands that would come later like Marilyn Manson, Motley Crue, and just about any artist who puts theater into their stage performances.
While most might be wondering when Cooper might settle down, it’s clear from last night’s concert he has no intention of hitting the brakes anytime soon. Armed with one of the best bands in the business, and a crowd fired up by fiery opening act Halestorm, Cooper took the stage in a shower of raining sparks to his classic cover of Judy Collin’s “Hello Hooray”. For the next 90 minutes, and two dozen songs, Cooper and company delivered a tight set of classic Alice as well as newer material, and even a surprise tribute to some fellow legends.
Unlike so many aging rock stars, Cooper’s voice remains as indelible as ever, and he is grounded to his fans. His show offered a retrospective of his career hits, while adding enough depth to appease the entire crowd.
From his most recent album, “Welcome 2 My Nightmare”, the band performed the hits “I’ll Bite Your Face Off”, “The Congregation” and “Caffeine”. On the latter, Cooper yielded a coffee mug the size of Rhode Island emblazoned with the song’s title.
Epic anthems like “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, “Be My Lover” and “Billion Dollar Baby” peppered the first half of the set. During latter Cooper wielded a sword full of dollar bills imprinted with his face, which he cast into the crowd.
Ending the first half of the show were mid-career hits, “Dirty Diamonds” and “Hey Stupid”. Then Alice would return, after one of his numerous outfit changes for seminal songs from his mid-70s concept albums. These included “Welcome to My Nightmare”, “Devil’s Food”, and “Go to Hell”. In the midst of which
In between those hits the band performed songs like “Ballad of Dwight Fry” (In the midst of which Alice found himself in a red straight jacket), and the trademark anthem, “I’m Eighteen”, both of which hail back to the 1970 album, “Love It to Death”. Also from 1971 they performed the classic “Under My Wheels” from the album “Killer”.
Skipping all of his late 70s work, Cooper jumped ahead to his late 80s return with “He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)” from “Constrictor” (1986), and “Poison” from his 1989 “comeback” album, “Trash”. The latter was the set’s final song.
“Feed My Frankenstein” represents his only work from the 90s (along with the aforementioned “Hey Stupid”). Cooper brought out the night’s largest prop, a massive upright laboratory table where he is fastened, electrocuted and turned into a towering monster.
After banishing Frankenstein, the group returned for a four song salute to past heroes featuring covers of The Doors’ “Break on Through to the Other Side”, The Beatles’ “Revolution”, “Foxy Lady” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and “My Generation” by The Who. On the Hendrix track, new guitarist Orianthi (who previously toured with Michael Jackson and Carrie Underwood) stepped up for some of her best shredding of the evening.
Joining Orianthi in Cooper’s rock solid line-up are long time drummer Glen Sobel, bassist Chuck Garric, and guitarist Ryan Roxie. New addition, guitarist Tommy Henriksen completed the line-up.
Closing the night out, Cooper returned for one song, his seminal anthem, “School’s Out”. The band updated this rendition to include an interlude of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall, Pt. 2”. After all, “we don’t need no education…”.
The entire show was a massive success and about as perfect a rock and roll event as one could hope for.
For Boise fans who missed the concert, there is still hope he may return. Cooper once said of retirement: “I look at Mick Jagger and he’s six years older than me, so I figure, when he retires, I have six more years. I will not let him beat me when it comes to longevity.”
Notable hits not performed included: “Elected”, “Is It My Body”, and “Only Women Bleed”.
Music is the universal language, speak it loudly!
Rustyn Rose is a veteran music journalist who owns and operates Metalholic Magazine and Metalholic Radio.