For the second time in three years and second time in my life, I got to see the legend himself, Alice Cooper.
The hall of Famer played at the Hard Rock Live Orlando, which is part of Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Typically a great place to go do a walkabout; however, this night was one of the worst nights, from the standpoint of weather, that can be had in Florida. That is to say, cold and rainy.
The show was the complete opposite. It was a high-energy affair that had the crowd on its feet all night. A crowd that included many families. One, right behind me, even brought a stuffed animal for their child. It was adorable to see the families and kids enjoying some good time rock n roll.
Nightmare Castle spilled into Feed My Frankenstein, setting the stage for an intense 24-song setlist. Alice does not talk to the crowd until the very end. This style sets up a wonderful onslaught of songs, one after another, at a breakneck pace.
The setlist was heavy on the past, such as No More Mr. Nice Guy, while not ignoring the present, Go Man Go, from his latest album, Detroit Stories. Eighteen, followed by Poison, then Billion Dollar Babies, was a fantastically enjoyable one, two, three punch.
Of course, there is nothing like hearing the school bell beginning of the encore, School's Out. The song is extended to include Pink Floyds' Brick in the Wall lyrics "We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom, teacher, leave them kids alone." Awesomely done.
Alice recently turned 74 years old. It is understandable that he takes a good 15 minutes off during the show while the band jams.
The band does a great job. Nita Strauss, lead/rhythm guitar, has some Paul Stanley-esque moves (She played in the house band for the Stanley/Simmons owned AFL team, LA KISS.) The rest of the lineup is Ryan Roxie lead/rhythm guitar, Chuck Garric on bass, Tommy Henriksen rhythm/lead guitar, and Glen Sobel on drums. Yes, that is correct, three guitar players. It makes for a solid wall of sound.
The stage set and show antics are visually pleasing. Unless you are squeamish, then the guillotine scene isn't for you. Just look away. :)
I urge any rock fan or any music fan who likes to see the best of the best to get out to see him on this Detroit Stories tour.
Bonus: Buckcherry is going to open some dates on the tour, as is Ace Frehley.
R- Nita Strauss
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