Alice Cooper is a dinosaur, a relic, right? At retirement age (the guy’s 65 years old for crying out loud), he is a has been that to more than a few young folk these days actually is a never was. So, a Cooper concert basically is a non-event, wouldn’t you think? Wrong. Tickets for his upcoming July 15th show in Minneapolis at the State Theatre sold like tomorrows news. They were snatched up so quickly–for a Monday evening, the worst night of the week for business–the promoter tacked on a July 14th show.
Who knew? After all these years, the old geezer is still going strong and, in fact, has new product on the market. In 2010, he put out an EP, Alice Does Alice. It did well enough that the next year he released his 36th album–for anybody who’s counting that’s three dozen over six decades–Welcome 2 My Nightmare. That’s not a typo: this, in a savvy move (the man is nothing has always been a smart marketer) is a sequel to his 1975 hit Welcome to My Nightmare, the solo debut after parting from Alice Cooper the band and becoming Alice Cooper the man. As the first one was a concept album about a kid named Steven going through a hellish mind trip from which he can not escape, this one is another foray into tortured imaginings. And did pretty damned good on the Billboard charts, especially for an old-timer, reaching the top 30 at No. 22.
If you’re a trivia nut, incidentals for the new album are fairly interesting. For “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” Alice meets Satan, a guide to Hell performed by singer-rapper Ke$ha (she’s also on “What Baby Wants”). the music video version showcases a bunch live performances, including Johnny Depp playing guitar. John 5 of Marilyn Manson, David Lee Roth and Rob Zombie (who guests on “The Congregation”) does a solo for “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever”. Vince Gill (yes, that Vince Gill, one and the same) plays lead guitar on “A Runaway Train.” Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and Michael Bruce, all from the original Alice Cooper band, are on-hand for three of the thirteen songs.
It’d be a surprise if the concert doesn’t have on the set list “School’s Out” and “I’m Eighteen.” Killer cuts even music lovers who didn’t even particularly care for Alice Cooper couldn’t help digging when those songs came on the radio. They had an irresistibly raw, state-of-the-commercial-art recorded energy that couldn’t help catching the ear.
Whatever he decides to play, from whichever albums, the place doubtless will be a couple hours of pure pandemonium as fans, new and old alike, lose their minds to the music. Both nights. Not too shabby for a dinosaur. Not bad at all.
Correction: When first published, this post erroneously stated that Alice Cooper the band was named after Cooper’s character, and that Alice Cooper is not the singer’s real name. In fact, the former Vincent Furnier claimed the band’s name for his own personal name after leaving the band, ultimately changing his name legally. These errors have been corrected.
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