REGINA, SK: NOVEMBER 07, 2013
(Original article by Christopher Tessmer, posted to leaderpost.com)
Celebrating his 50th anniversary in music, legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper wowed an enthusiastic crowd Thursday night at the Conexus Arts Centre.
Known for theatrics that predate modern shock rockers like Marilyn Manson, and even David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character, Cooper opened up his tickle trunk of horror on this evening and left the crowd completely satiated.
While the theatre was filled significantly less than capacity, with nearly 10 rows of empty floor seating and the balconies near-empty, the Michigan-born singer and his band took the stage under a shower of sparks. Initially dressed in a red and black vertically striped suit with tails, the gaunt showman ignored the underwhelming attendance and treated his adoring audience to hit after hit and a nearly non-stop spectacle.
Although the sound guy struggled with reigning in the proper levels for the first couple songs, things finally took off as the boisterous crowd sang along to the anthemic chorus of his 1973 smash No More Mr. Nice Guy.
The show really started to hit its stride as the more theatrical portion of the show commenced during Welcome to My Nightmare. Though Cooper had swung faux money into the crowd during Billion Dollar Babies, and threw plastic pearls out during Dirty Diamonds, the macabre stage show the rocker is famous for had now truly began.
As the band played He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask) a hooded prowler kidnapped a girl on the stage and threw her over his shoulder, only for her to break free backstage and then be chased again by him across the stage with a knife in his hand. Continuing with Feed My Frankenstein, Cooper was strapped to a vertical operating table near the end of the song, only to be covered with fog as sparks flew as a switch was thrown to electrify the table. With Cooper having disappeared, the band was joined by a 15-foot Frankenstein who paraded across the stage floor.
Amid Cooper’s character seemingly starting to lose it, the 65-year old entertainer was put into a straitjacket by a psychotic nurse (played by his real-life wife Sheryl) who danced around the stage as he sang Ballad of Dwight Fry. Temporarily out of his restraints, he attacks two hospital workers before being subdued and led to the guillotine where he is beheaded as blood sprays onstage and what is to be believed is Cooper’s head is paraded around by the guillotine operator.
Now dead, Cooper is brought to a Hollywood Cemetery where an ominous voice tells the crowd that the rocker will spend eternity with his dead friends