REVIEW - Alice Cooper Casts Spell On ACL Live In Austin

SOURCE:
Texas Rock Report
By: 

AUSTIN, TX – February 12, 2015  The sky was like a framed piece of black velvet art, the temps were 1970’s-era cool and on this weeknight, the line was wrapped around the building and buzzing as if school was just let out for Summer (or Winter in this case). Alice Cooper is one of the most recognizable rock icons of all time. His songs features hook-laden framework, anthematic craftsmanship and are finished with theatrical adornments.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is embarking on the latest leg of the Raise The Dead tour and chose Austin as the spot where he would film his very first live streaming Pay-Per-View special. This meant camera crews and cranes were among the bystanders in the packed Moody Theater. An uneasiness of the PPV recording serving as a distractive disservice could be felt but it wasn’t, if anything it fueled the band more to display more grandiose stage gestures which added to the festivities.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper performs in concert at ACL Live on February 12, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Photo © Manuel Nauta

The crowds aesthetics ranged from top-hat Steampunks to rail-thin tattooed rockers to high-heeled video vixens to loose-fit dad-jeans and band tees ensembles. A few rock n’ roll looking Stephen King-doppelgangers could be seen lurking on the concourse as well. The median age was smack-dab in the middle of age. The libation most imbibed was aluminium pints of Bud-heavy and rum mixed with carbonated sweet-colas.

A drop-down curtain with a graphic of Cooper’s trademark eyes was draped over the stage. Once the fabric fell, all concertgoers rose to their feets–some hand-clapping, others hands unable to because they were preoccupied iPhone filming the event, so instead they screamed–and all showered Cooper with adulation as him and his six-piece band played “Hello Hooray”.

Nita Strauss (L) and Alice Cooper

Nita Strauss (L) and Alice Cooper perform in concert at ACL Live on February 12, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Photo © Manuel Nauta

Pyrotechnics white-washed the stage and out came the ringmaster as he crooned apropos lyrics like “Hello! Hooray! Let the show begin/I’ve been ready Ready as this audience that’s coming here to dream/Loving every second, every moment, every scream”. The choir obliged the instructions.

House of Fire” displayed the most 80’s moment of the night as the arena/glam rock harmonies ignited the room. The three guitarists (Ryan Roxie, Nita Strauss, Tommy Henriksen), bassist (Chuck Garrick) and drummer (Glen Sobel) had disparate looks from one another but had one thing in common, prolific musicianship. Cooper’s vocals in the number were crisp and dusted with gravel and precious crystals.

A Pavlovian response ensued after the first lick of “No More Mr. Nice Guy”–the crowd was salivating. Cooper strutted around the stage complete with a cane and settled into his showman role as his signature voice did the manual labor.  During the chorus, Cooper pointed the mic out towards the onlookers, letting them do the heavy-lifting during the air falsetto runs that ended each stanza.

Ryan Roxie (L) and Alice Cooper

Ryan Roxie (L) and Alice Cooper perform in concert at ACL Live on February 12, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Photo © Manuel Nauta

Cooper played the part of conductor for “Under My Wheels” as he non-verbally instructed the guitarists to out-shredder each other. The ending was chaotic and had a “Twist and Shout” Beatles-esque ending to it. More on the lads from Liverpool later. During “I’ll Bite Your Face Off”, the bass parts tenderized said faces prior to mastication and Coopers biting vibrato did the chewing.

Billion Dollar Babies”, originally a duet with Donovan, saw the frontman working with a fencing-sword that had billion dollar novelty currency lining it which he shook off for front row souvenirs. The vocals we’re a bit more complex, with the hypnotic, syncopated pre-choruses and wails. The lead singer pulled it off without a hitch. For the 2011 release “Caffeine”, Cooper earnestly gushed about the temporary energy boost that is Caffeine. I wondered if this was an ode/analogy to a former exotic dancer with the same moniker as the songs title that the troubadour may have had designs on, but alas, the over-sized coffee mug he had on stage, and the fact that he’s older, made me realize he genuinely loves java.

Lost In America” jolted the venue. Every lyric was echoed and all escaped to that point in life where having a job to pay for a car to get a girl was of the utmost importance. The angst was palpable and hook could have kept looping the rest of the night and no one would have minded. “Hey Stoopid” was timeless and dated–in an sonically nostalgic sense. The harmonies were seamless but each singers timbre managed to stick out.

The show to this point was much more playful than anyone could expect.

 The dynamic and rawkus “Dirty Diamonds” harkened to the sense of urgency that Sabbath’s “Paranoid” and boasted bass and drum solos that stole the show up until that point.  The dark and funky “Welcome To My Nightmare” saw Cooper wearing a live boa constrictor as a scarf. The tune is so rich and dense and translates well live from the layered original recordings.

Nita Strauss

Nita Strauss performs in concert with Alice Cooper at ACL Live on February 12, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Photo © Manuel Nauta

The theatrics went into high gear at this point. Aural senses were still stimulated but for the next ten songs, the visual components were at the forefront.  “Go to Hell” had some sadomasochism undertones during the performance.  Penned for an installment of the Friday The 13th horror film series, “He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)” saw Cooper adding dramatic affectations to phrases while a girl on stage was kidnapped by hockey-mask donning Jason. The girl ended up returning to the stage and then stabbed Cooper. It was all part of the show folks.

Feed My Frankenstein” was goosebump inducing from the first note of the battle hymn. Cooper was then strapped into a guerne, electrocuted and through the smoke, emerged as a 15 foot version of himself. The admission paying villagers were ready to riot–metaphorically speaking of course.  “Ballad of Dwight Fry” was the soundtrack to the story that was told onstage between an undead psycho nurse and Cooper. A snippet of “Killer” played, then off with Cooper’s prosthetic head. Blood sprayed and the band kicked into a truncated (pun intended) and epic version of “I Love The Dead”.

Now that the character of Alice Cooper was dead, a disembodied voice asked over the loudspeaker “what are you going to do Alice, raise the dead?” Cue tombstones with the name of late-great rockers and the covers of their songs.

Renditions of Jim Morrison and The Doors “Break On Through (To The Other Side)”, John Lennon and The Beatles “Revolution”, Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady”, and Keith Moon and The Who’s “My Generation” keep upping the ante and saw the room go all in on creating a once in lifetime moment. It brought everyone together and made for reflective and cathartic thoughts after the natural high subsided on the way home.

The arrangements in “I’m Eighteen” were as complex as the woodworking going on with the guitarists and their fretboards. “Poison” felt like the highwater mark of the night. There was an authentic sexual energy and a desperation in Cooper’s voice as if he was singing for the antidote.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper performs in concert at ACL Live on February 12, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Photo © Manuel Nauta

After the quickest band off stage, encore transition ever, the group went into the night’s coup de grace “School’s Out”. The dirty opening riff turned the theater into a rock pen of filth. Then when the iconic drum pattern hits with the pre-chorus, nary a cubic inch of person that wasn’t frenzied. During the multi-part rhapsody, the band played a few bars of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In Wall”. Synergy, standing ovations, band intros (which happened to be the only time Cooper addressed the crowd with banter) and an extended outro later–it was all said, and done.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper performs in concert at ACL Live on February 12, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Photo © Manuel Nauta

After the house music kicked on and the florescent lights illuminated the seats, Cooper’s set was over. As patrons started heading for the exits there was a reverberating feeling that something special happened. It was magic.  No not occult-like, sacrifice-a-blue-eyed-virgin magic–well I mean there was some of that too–rather the, “this speaks to me at an age where no one gets me” kind.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper performs in concert at ACL Live on February 12, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Photo © Manuel Nauta

The show was utterly rock n’ roll to the naked, untrained eye. However, now it was clear that the in-your-face, showmanship misdirection was merely a slight of hand illusion to keep you distracted from the trick that was really going; the crowd was turned into their younger selves right before my organs of vision, for at least a night anyways. Not sure Cooper’s aim was to leave us giddy and glowing, but that’s just what the macabre man in black did.

Review by Donny Rodriguez

Rock in Rio Announces Debut of HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES

vampiresthinRock in Rio announces another attraction

The Supergroup, featuring Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry plays on the same night as Queens of the Stone Age and System of a Down

Rio de Janeiro, February 11, 2015 – The organizers of Rock in Rio have just announced that Hollywood Vampires will be playing at the Main Stage of the Brazilian edition of the festival, which takes place at the City of Rock, on September 18, 19, 20, 24, 25, 26 and 27. The band, featuring rock icon Alice Cooper, American Actor, Producer and Musician Johnny Depp and Joe Perry, lead guitarist for Aerosmith will play on the same night as Queens of the Stone Age and System of a Down.

Alice Cooper, a pioneer of hard rock with a theatrical touch, began his solo career at the end of the 1970s, with classic albums like “Welcome To My Nightmare”, ”Lace and Whiskey”, “From the Inside” and Constrictor”.

A gifted actor, with over 50 films throughout his career, Johnny Depp actually started his career as musician and is a renowned rock enthusiast. His musical ability has already been proven and witnessed by artists including Marylyn Manson, Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) and Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), amongst others.

Joe Perry is considered one of the best guitarists of all times by Rolling Stone magazine and he is a Rock n’ Roll hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame recipient together with his partners in crime Aerosmith.

Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp have been partners for a while and now with Joe Perry also on Hollywood Vampires, they will “rock it out “ yet once again.

The sixth Brazilian edition of Rock in Rio will be hosted in the City of Rock, in Rio de Janeiro (Parque dos Atletas – Av. Salvador Allende, no number), on an area covering more than 150,000 m2. Initial attractions include Katy Perry, System Of A Down, Queens of the Stone Age and A-Ha, playing on the Main Stage, and John Legend, confirmed for the Sunset Stage.

ALICE COOPER REVIEW – San Antonio Express

Alice Cooper Blows The Majestic To Pieces

SOURCE & ORIGINAL POST:  SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS
HECTOR SALDANA

Thumbing his nose at authority, convention and Father Time, Alice Cooper still can’t think of a word that rhymes.
Which was absolutely fine for 1,800 fans at Majestic Theatre on Wednesday.

The ‘70s and ‘80s shock rocker turned on at least one teen cholo with a bandana draped over his eyes, sexed-up women in heavy goth makeup and several aging fans sporting a calaveras look worthy of Day of the Dead.

Gerard Velasco, 18, was among the fired-up crowd, calling Alice Cooper’s music “a breath of fresh air,” compared to the current scene. He was accompanied by his dad, who never saw Cooper back in the day.

Photo By BILLY CALZADA/San Antonio Express-News. Alice Cooper performs during his “Raise the Dead” tour at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015.

The younger Velasco would never have taken such an opportunity for granted. “It would have been fantastic to be there in the ‘70s,” he said. “It would have been great to be there.”

What did he think about it? “It’s everything I imagined. It all just fits together,” Velasco said.

Cooper actually left little to imagination, delivering his trademark theatrics in full make-up and costumes. He opened with “Hello, Hooray” and “House of Fire,” all of it fueled by three electric guitars, bass and drums.

The multi-generational audience was on its feet from beginning to end. If ZZ Top is ageless (the bearded trio played the venue last month), then Cooper is eternal and making the argument that his ‘70s pop metal — which influenced glam, big-hair rock, goth and even some of the punk movement — trumps the blues when it comes to commercial appeal.

“No More Mr. Nice Guy” came early, setting the stage for Cooper’s tongue in cheek gore, from “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” to “Billion Dollar Babies.”

It’s impossible to prove, but a quick survey of the audience downstairs and up top, seemed to indicate that (per capita) there were more smiles than usual. That’s because Cooper, 67, is highly entertaining, energetic and buffered by cool pyrotechnics.

But he’s no clown. More than 20 years ago (and 20 years past his heyday), Cooper was singing “Lost in America,” with prophetic lines such as “I can’t go to school ‘cause I ain’t got a gun.” Then there’s “Hey Stoopid,” which can be seen as Sid Vicious’ epitaph or a remake of Paul Revere & the Raiders’ “Kicks.”

One of the rue highlights was “Welcome to My Nightmare” with the star of the show sporting a real, live boa constrictor wrapped around his neck and right arm. He kissed it a couple of times, too. That went the same for his bullwhips and walking sticks.

Cooper promised that the “Raise the Dead Tour” would live up to its name, and he honored four of his favorite friends from the wasted old days — Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Keith Moon. His band dusted off the Doors’ “Break on Through,” the Beatles’ “Revolution,” Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and the Who’s “My Generation.”

Nostalgic, yes. But Cooper’s been doing these songs since he was a teen and he sang them with joy.

Cooper closed his 23-song set with “I’m Eighteen,” “Poison” and “School’s Out.” There are plenty that prefer his “Feed My Frankenstein” and “I Love the Dead” reputation but it’s “School’s Out,” which taps into (and updates) the attitude of Chuck Berry’s “School Days” and which can still speak to the pogo-dancing teens at the Majestic on Wednesday.

School’s been blown to pieces.

 

Watch Alice Cooper Austin, TX Gig Live HERE!

The concert will debut and air live at http://alicecooper.cleeng.com on February 12th at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT. Join the crowds, invite over some friends, and TURN IT UP! This concert is part of Alice’s Raise The Dead Tour, and a unique chance to see Alice Cooper rock the stage from the comfort of your home. The concert is being distributed in High Definition, with high quality stereo sound. The show will air live and will also be available on replays for 24 hours, for worldwide viewing.

Note: The quality of the streamdepends upon your internet connection, bandwidth and processing speed. Read the FAQs at http://alicecooper.cleeng.com for further details and test your connection.

REVIEW: Dallas Observer

SOURCE:  Dallas Observer
By Angelica Leicht

Alice Cooper
Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Alice_Cooper_Karlo_X_Ramos_1.jpg

Photo by Karlo X. Ramos

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.

Alice_Cooper_Karlo_X_Ramos_2.jpg

Photo by Karlo X. Ramos

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Photo by Karlo X. Ramos

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

REVIEW: Tulsa World

ORIGINAL SOURCE:
By STEVEN RECKINGER
World Scene Writer

Alice Cooper_01

It’s been said that rock and roll never dies. But in Alice Cooper’s case, it manages to die every chance it gets, only to return to life better than ever.

The father of shock rock returned to the Brady Theater on Saturday for another dose of hard rock music and grisly theatrics during his “Raise the Dead” tour.

Performing in front of a packed house, Alice Cooper showed he’s not ready to quit just yet. He turned 67 on Wednesday, but it’s difficult to see how age is slowing him down. The song list contained a wide range of hits from his early albums of the ‘70s to his most recent works.

Some of his most-recognized songs, like “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and “Eighteen” were expected to make the line-up, but there were a few songs that were a welcome surprise such as “Lost in America” from 1995’s “The Last Temptation” and “He’s Back” from 1986’s “Constrictor.”

Although most of the fans go see Alice for him, the rest of the band members put on a spectacular show all their own. The three guitarists played off of one another creatively. The Los-Angeles-born Nita Strauss demonstrated an artistic flair that brilliantly complemented Alice’s vocals.

The bassist and drummer were given a nice opportunity to perform for the crowd in a combined solo effort during the song “Dirty Diamonds.” The raw energy of the musicians mixed with Alice’s charisma fit so well together.

The horror-inspired theatrics have always been a large part of Alice Cooper’s shows. Although the Brady Theater lacks the room on stage for extravagant displays, Alice made the space he had work effectively. During the song “Feed My Frankenstein,” a large container was wheeled on stage where Alice was placed inside, only to merge as a grotesque tall Frankenstein-like monster to finish off the number.

Another dramatic performance during “Ballad of Dwight Fry” sees Alice in a straightjacket, singing about his experience in an insane asylum while a crazed nurse continues to mock him. The song finishes with one of Alice’s theatrical staples: his head meeting a ghastly demise with the edge of a guillotine’s blade. Moments like these make Alice Cooper’s concerts more than standard rock acts.

Toward the end of the show, just before the encore, Alice pays a fitting tribute to some of the rock legends of old. The band performed slightly faster renditions of The Doors’ “Break on Through to the Other Side,” the Beatles’ “Revolution,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady,” topping it off with The Who’s “My Generation.” These covers reflect one of the real meanings behind the “Raise the Dead” tour, paying respect to all those who greatly inspired him.

The teenage anthem “School’s Out” finished the concert with dynamic presentation. Flashing lights, machines spraying hundreds of bubbles across the stage, confetti falling from the ceiling, and large balloons bouncing off the crowd as Alice pops them one at a time with a sword. Merging the lyrical content of “School’s Out” with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” seemed like a fitting combination.

All in all, the whole experience proved to be a fun, engaging evening with Alice Cooper. With his wicked sense of humor and his knack for the devilishly strange, Alice made sure there’s still plenty of life left in him. Or is it death?