REVIEW: Alice Cooper creeped out Airway Heights in all the best ways on Sunday night

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Alice Cooper headlined this season’s first outdoor summer concert at Northern Quest on Sunday night. Photo by Dan Nailen

I’m not going to say that Alice Cooper made a deal with the devil to still be so spry and rocking at 69 years old — as we all know by now, the man’s an avowed Christian — but there’s something unnatural about how much raucous fun the man still has on stage, nearly 50 years after first hitting the public eye.

Sunday night, Cooper kicked off Northern Quest’s Outdoor Summer Concerts series with a setlist that leaned hard on his ’70s-era classics like Welcome to My Nightmare and Billion Dollar Babies. In the process, he showed why he’s considered a garage-rock pioneer, while still offering up the theatrics one has come to expect from an Alice Cooper show.

A live boa constrictor for “Welcome to My Nightmare.” A Frankenstein monster for “Feed My Frankenstein.” Alice in a straightjacket for “The Ballad of Dwight Fry.” Alice beheaded with a guillotine just before “Killer/I Love The Dead.” All the eye-candy greatest hits were there, and entertaining for sure.

I’ll admit that for years, before ever seeing Alice Cooper perform, I thought the theatrics were the ONLY reason to go to an Alice Cooper show. But that’s not the case, as he emphatically proved Sunday night with a barreling performance that touched on punk, metal, blues and Tin Pan Alley balladry over the course of about 20 songs. An Alice Cooper show is inherently musical — and much more so than many of the heavy metal bands he’s toured with since his ’80s comeback with songs like “Poison.”

That tune that came about halfway through the show after an extended guitar solo by Nita Strauss, one of three guitarists in the band (alongside Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henriksen) who collectively gave the show all the muscle any rock fan could ask for. Cooper bragged about his band’s excellence when we talked with him, and he was right; they are musically excellent and visually appealing as part of the Alice Cooper spectacle.

Cooper launched the show in a shower of sparks and the band was on fire from the jump on opener “Brutal Planet” and its follow-up of “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Under My Wheels.” From there, the energy rarely flagged even for ballads like “Only Women Bleed.” “Lost in America” offered a New York Dolls-style blast of garage rock, and anthems like “Billion Dollar Babies” and “I’m Eighteen” remain live favorites for good reason.

While Cooper didn’t chat a lot with the crowd, his show and the strength of his tunes combined to make him, still, a must-see. Opener Dokken was much more chatty with the early arriving audience, with founding members Don Dokken and drummer Mick Brown cracking constant jokes about their age and “misbehaving in the ’80s.”

Dokken also fought through a hot evening sun and seated, somewhat lethargic early audience to deliver a solid hour of their ’80s hits like “The Hunter,” “Dream Warriors,” “Kiss of Death,” “Breaking the Chains” and “In My Dreams.”

Alice Cooper Reunites Original Band for 2017 UK Tour

Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce and Neal Smith will tour UK with Alice in November 2017

On May 14th, 2017 following Alice Cooper’s customary execution via guillotine on stage at his Nashville concert, fans were treated to something rarely seen since 1973. The stage went dark and original band members, bassist Dennis Dunaway, guitarist Michael Bruce and drummer

Neal Smith reunited to perform a five song mini-set of their classic hits with Alice.

This followed the recent announcement that his forthcoming album – Paranormal, out July 28th on earMUSIC – will include two new recordings written and recorded by the original line-up (“Genuine American Girl and “You And All Of Your Friends”).

Now, Alice announces that the three members of the original Alice Cooper band will join him on tour in the UK, returning to these shores 46 years after they first shocked and enthralled us on their historic 1971 tour.

In Nashville, they were joined by current band member Ryan Roxie filling in for the late Glen Buxton on guitar. The band ripped through “I’m 18,” “No More Mr Nice Guy,” “Muscle of Love,” “Billion Dollar Babies” and then closed with “School’s Out,” bringing back current band members – drummer Glen Sobel, bassist Chuck Garric, and guitarists Nita Strauss and Tommy Henriksen for a grand finale.

Original Alice Cooper Band Reunites in Nashville, TN. Photo by Kyler Clark – CerealKyler Photography

And they enjoyed it so much that they decided to bring the show to the UK.

Alice says, “When the original band broke up in 1975, there was no bad blood. There were no lawsuits — we had just burned out the creative process. We had gone to high school together and had recorded something like five Platinum albums in a row. We were never out of sight of each other for 10 years. Everybody just went their own way. Neal, Dennis and I always stayed in touch. Mike disappeared for a while and Glen Buxton passed away in 1997, which was a big blow.

“But last year Neal called me up and said, ‘I have a couple of songs.’ I said great, bring ‘em over. Then he said Mike was stopping by, so I had them come to my house and we just worked on a few things for a week. Then Dennis called up and said, I got a couple songs. So, I thought, hey let’s do this! When you listen to the record, it just fits right in.”

The next logical step is to rekindle their friendship, doing what they do best – performing as one the greatest live rock bands in history.

Original Alice Cooper Band Reunites in Nashville, TN. Photo by Kyler Clark – CerealKyler Photography

For more information visit

Alice Cooper, plus The Mission and The Tubes presented by AEG live in the UK, November 2017:

11th – Leeds – First Direct Arena
12th – Glasgow – The SSE Hydro
14th – Birmingham – Barclaycard Arena
15th – Manchester – Manchester Arena
16th – London – The SSE Arena, Wembley
General admission ticket prices*
*excluding VIP packages
Alice is offering several VIP packages at, including meet and greet and a backstage tour.
AEG Live are offering pre-show packages, available at:

REVIEW: Mankato Free Press - Alice Cooper's a Delightful Nightmare

SOURCE – Mankato Free Press

By Trey Mewes,

MANKATO — Watching a performer like Alice Cooper is almost like watching a fantastic magician mesmerize the crowd.

What Cooper did onstage Friday night at Vetter Stone Amphitheater certainly felt like magic. The 69-year-old rock icon moved like he was 30 years younger. He commanded the stage effortlessly, like he was pulling a rabbit out of a hat (or stabbing a ballerina, as Cooper did at one point). And he did it all in the span of an hour and a half.

Cooper, who is touring the world throughout the rest of the year, has been a giant of rock and roll and a pioneer since the 1960s. While he may or may not have invented shock rock as a musical subgenre, there’s no denying he popularized it. He’s a forefather of hard rock hard rock and heavy metal who influenced the evolution of rock and pop concerts into theatrical spectacles.

In other words, there’s almost no way he’s going to have a bad show.

I don’t know if Cooper has off-days like the rest of us anymore; he certainly didn’t show it in Mankato. Case in point: His microphone died at one point in the middle of “Welcome to my Nightmare,” one of his hits from the 1970s. If Cooper could tell, he didn’t sell it; the crowd and his band filled in the vocals for 15 to 20 seconds while he strutted about the stage singing and waiting for the mike to kick back on.

Compare that to Metallica’s frustration at the Grammy Awards earlier this year when frontman James Hetfield’s microphone went out. Clearly different stakes, but Cooper masked his technical errors with his performance to the point where I’m not sure many people even noticed.

Even if his band had screwed up, the crowd likely wouldn’t have cared. They were on their feet practically the whole time. One man couldn’t stop raving over seeing Alice Cooper’s “Billion Dollar Babies” tour in 1973, and Cooper’s wiggly hips sent women of all ages into hysterics at different points throughout the night.

Even Cooper’s famous python seemed to love the rocker, though the snake didn’t seem particularly pleased to be onstage.

All the pageantry you’d expect was on display. Cooper changed into numerous costumes after almost every number, his band’s backgrounds changed just as rapidly, and there were gags and pyrotechnics aplenty.

Cooper whipped around crutches, canes, riding crops, rapiers filled with money, knives and more with aplomb. He tangoed with life-sized dolls and “murdered” its real-life ballerina counterpart on “Only Women Bleed.” He turned into a 20-foot tall Frankenstein’s monster on “Feed My Frankenstein” with the help of a giant gurney and a spectacular fireworks show. He broke out of a straight jacket and got his head chopped off in “The Ballad of Dwight Fry” and part of “Killer.”

Cooper even brought out a katana during the encore, “School’s Out.” I don’t know why Cooper had a katana onstage. I’m not sure how it fit with the rest of the show. It honestly looked like something I could buy from a cheap Asian goods shop in the Cities. But that doesn’t matter, because Alice Cooper wielded a katana onstage during “School’s Out” while confetti, streamers and giant balloons shot out into the crowd.

“School’s Out” was, obviously, the highlight of the night, and Cooper even threw in a dash of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall pt. 2” for good measure.

There’s no doubt Cooper played to his core audience on Friday. On the same day he teased an upcoming album and released a new track, “Paranoiac Personality,” Cooper’s set list was predominantly made up of the ’70s tracks that made him a household name — the newest track his band played was “Woman of Mass Distraction” from 2005’s “Dirty Diamonds” record.

That doesn’t mean Coooper skimped out on the metal sound that heralded his late-’80s and ’90s comeback, however. Cooper’s set likely surprised some of his older fans with a heavier, almost industrial sound at some points.

Guitarist Nina Strauss’s impressive solo led into an incredible rendition of “Poison,” one of Cooper’s later hits and a personal favorite. Everyone in the band showed off during “Halo of Flies,” which even included a spirited, satisfying solo from drummer Glen Sobel.

Yet there was no doubt who the star was. Cooper owned the stage at Vetter Stone, and his presence made the night all the more magical.

Set list:

1. Brutal Planet

2. No More Mr. Nice Guy

3. Under My Wheels

4. Lost in America

5. Pain

6. Welcome to my Nightmare

7. Billion Dollar Babies

8. The World Needs Guts

9. Woman of Mass Distraction

10. Poison (with a guitar solo lead-in)

11. Halo of Flies

12. Feed My Frankenstein

13. Only Women Bleed

14. Escape

15. Ballad of Dwight Fry

16. Killer

17. I Love the Dead

18. I’m Eighteen


19. School’s Out (including parts of “Another Brick in the Wall pt. 2” by Pink Floyd)

Cover Art Released For New Alice Cooper Album PARANORMAL

Can’t wait for the new album “PARANORMAL” to come out! I’m excited to unveil the new album’s cover, featuring photos by Rob Fenn. The new single “PARANOIC PERSONALITY” is out on June 9th, and the full album is out July 28th! Paranormal will be released by earMUSIC as a Double CD Digipak, Double LP, a Limited Box Set, and in digital formats.

There are 12 tracks that were recorded in Nashville with my long-time collaborator Bob Ezrin and features a very special bonus CD — a mini-album consisting of three brand new songs written and recorded together with original Alice Cooper band members Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, Michael Bruce, alongside carefully selected live recordings.

Paranormal also features special guest appearances by U2‘s Larry Mullen Jr., ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons, and Deep Purple‘s Roger Glover.


Alice Cooper will be performing at the Mother of All Rock Festival in Monterrey on October 7!  This will be a GREAT show, look at this bill!  Tickets are on sale June 5 – Get em HERE

Bandit Brings The Light To Epic Alice Cooper Reunion Concert


Photo by Kyler Clark / @CerealKyler Photography

Bandit Lites provided the lighting for the surprise reunion show for Alice Cooper’s original band.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – Fans of rock legend Alice Cooper know there are some aspects to his live shows that they can expect, including a macabre performance of horror theatrics; however, following Alice Cooper’s customary execution via guillotine at his most recent Nashville concert, fans were treated to something rarely seen since 1975. The stage went dark, and the original band, including bassist Dennis Dunaway, guitarist Michael Bruce and drummer Neal Smith reunited with Alice for five classic songs, including “Billion Dollar Babies” and “I’m Eighteen.”

Bandit Lites has been proud to provide the lighting for Alice Cooper for nearly two decades, including his current production of Spend the Night with Alice Cooper which features a lighting design by Joel Reiff and production direction from Alice’s longtime manager Shep Gordon, a person of rock mythos in his own right, as noted by Tour Manager David Davidian.

Photo by Kyler Clark / @CerealKyler Photography

“Alice and Shep are rock legends in the true sense of the word, but having saidthat, they are also so current and so savvy about the presentation of their show that we in the rest of the team simply help them to see their ideas visualized,” said Davidian adding, “I am thrilled to be a part of this team. My first exposure to Alice was as an audience member buying a ticket for the 1972 Killer Tour at the Boston Music Hall, which both floored me and scarred me as a youth.”

“Shep is one of the few managers that not only is keyed in to the lighting, but is brilliant at envisioning the entire production,” Reiff said. “Good thing he doesn’t know how to program a console, or I might be slumming it.”

While Reiff is quick to point out that he did not invent the wheel regarding lighting, he certainly “knows how the wheel works” with Martin MAC Viper Profiles providing punch, movement and gobo looks, and Martin MAC Auras giving the majority of the foundation looks, with some on the floor and a couple to wash the massive backdrop of Alice’s striking, charcoal-lined eyes.

Bandit Lites also supplied cyc lights for miscellaneous drops, Solaris Flares for punch and effect, Martin MAC Atomic strobes, Nitro 510C, Color Kinetics Color Blaze 72, Color Dashes and a grand MA 2 lite console for control, while  additional lighting support for Reiff comes from Bandit Lites tech, Chas Albea, who Reiff says consistently goes above and beyond.

Photo by Kyler Clark / @CerealKyler Photography

“Not only is he a part of Alice’s show onstage, he’s the lone Bandit guy out here, meaning he sets up the rig, fixes whatever breaks and deals with whatever changes are thrown at him. All which makes running the show a hell of a lot easier when you’re not worrying about anything aside from, “How is this gonna look?” or “Will I have time to switch the pictures of my horses on the console before doors open?”’

With the show not only consisting of a rock concert but also theatrical stunts, Reiff uses the lighting to direct the spectacle, be it guitar leads, heads being chopped off, Alice being electrocuted or bound in a straitjacket.

“The thrill for me is getting to run lights for songs I grew up on,” Reiff added. “I choose the color palette and looks and whatever flash and trash gets thrown in, but it really all has to come down to the music. Don’t distract from the song! Hopefully, enhance it a little with some eye candy but we don’t want any tails wagging the dog.”

“Joel’s eye for structural design, his color palates and graphic choices as a lighting designer are perfection,” said Davidian. “He is also a meticulous and fast programmer, which are two talents that are rare to find in one person. I am a lightning designer myself, I know what I am looking at, and I am constantly impressed with Joel’s work. Joel does a beautiful job and Alice’s lighting is standout good, thanks to both Shep and Joel.”

With the special addition of the original band members, Reiff had one additional direction from Shep: Make sure they are all bright and can be seen at all times.

Photo by Kyler Clark / @CerealKyler Photography

“They added “Muscle of Love”, a great song that was a thrill to finally hear live,” Reiff said. “All I did for the original band show was make sure to follow whatever arrangement changes were made, follow the music, and enjoy the ride.”

What makes the production particularly special, is not only the history on stage, but also off the stage, as David Davidian observed saying, “Mike Strickland and Bandit Lites have been friends of mine since 1973 and both the equipment and the people they have sent to me have always been top notch. I have done many tours as a Lighting Designer with Bandit, as well as my current position as Tour Manager; they always take great care of the artist and the lighting designer of the show, their technical support of the tour is impeccable, and they are invested in the show creatively.”

“Simply a team of legendary professionals working with a band of legendary professionals,” added Bandit’s Vice-President Mike Golden. “What more could you ask for?”

Production support for Alice Cooper includes Producer Bob Ezrin, Tour Director Toby Mamis, Production Manager Cesare Sabatini, Alice’s Assistant Kyler Clark and Alice’s wife, Sheryl Cooper as Nurse Sheryl and Broken Ballerina.

(Photos by Kyler Clark of CerealKyler Photography)

About Bandit Lites, Inc.

Bandit Lites is a global leader in the entertainment lighting marketplace.  From touring productions to fixed installations, Bandit Lites has a full staff of highly trained professionals to deal with all types of lighting needs. Bandit’s global presence will insure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you.  More information available at