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Celebrating 46 years of KILLER 🐍 what's your favorite song on the album?

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I used to be such a sweet, sweet thing..

SOURCE – Mankato Free Press

By Trey Mewes, tmewes@mankatofreepress.com

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

Encore

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

2 comments to REVIEW: Mankato Free Press – Alice Cooper’s a Delightful Nightmare

  • Mary Stewart

    I was 15 when I saw Alice Cooper. It was my 2nd concert. I remember him walking amongst the crowd at the Denver Coliseum. With his top hat and unique style he couldn’t be missed.
    Of all the musicians I’ve had the privilege of seeing, none have topped the entertainment value of that night.
    Come this Monday night, my son and I will catch him at Denver’s Paramount Theater. It is the perfect venue for experiencing the theatrical genius of the one and only, great,Alice Cooper.
    You owe it to yourself to attend.
    Thank you 99.5 fm the Mountain for this opportunity. You are an awesome station with awesome contests.

  • glenda b

    Who says you can’t go back to when you were eighteen again (41 years later). The show was awesome in 1976 and 2017.