Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
When it comes to Alice Cooper, there are two indisputable facts. 1.) His Miliii-wau-kee cameo in Wayne’s World was one of the best and most memorable cameos of all time; and 2.) The man knows how to put on one hell of a live show.
Neither of those facts were tested last night on Cooper’s Dallas stop on the Raise the Dead tour at Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie. But what was surprising was just how fresh the show could still feel after all these years, in all its campy, over-the-top glory.
Because Cooper has always secretly been the polite, albeit mascara-laden, rocker, he opened the show very shortly after the 8 p.m. start time. (Don’t want to keep the fine paying folks waiting, do we?) From the moment the aging shock-rocker stepped onstage, it was obvious that not much has changed him, and especially his vocal abilities, over the years.
He jumped right into classic rock staples like “No More Mr. Nice Guy” with the ease of a seasoned vet. At 66, his voice still sounds eerily similar to what it did on those old albums. It almost feels unnatural.
When you really think about it, Cooper has been scaring children (and conservative parents) for so long, it doesn’t seem plausible that he’d still be up there, kicking goth-rock’s ass. But somehow, he does it. And he does it quite well.
Cooper plowed through the first half of the set with staples like “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” while snapping bullwhips and grimacing menacingly as the audience, generation after generation of Alice Cooper fans, all watched intently.
While I am admittedly not a die-hard Cooper fan, I have to give it to him: He certainly knows how to put on a show for his fans. After all, putting on a “show” has always been at the heart of what he does. And interestingly, the musicianship in Cooper’s shows is on par with the camp.
There were incredible drum solos and rockin’ guitar riffs layered in with those giant, novelty-sized coffee cups, and the aging rocker perpetually pumped his fist, vacillating between singing and hate-flirting with the audience.
He even gets killed a few times during the show — a part the very enthusiastic Cooper fan next to me kept waiting for. Repeatedly.
“Oh, man. I think he’s gonna get killed now. Ooh — he’s totally gonna get killed now,” proclaimed my seat mate. “See the giant guillotine? Cooper gets killed about three times in each show. Check it out!” he urged, gleefully.
And indeed he was right. Cooper was, in fact, preparing himself to be beheaded, with the help of a blood-thirsty nurse. His severed head was carried around stage like a campy trophy, and the whole thing was gory and awesome.
READ THE FULL REVIEW AT DALLAS OBSERVER