The world of shock-rock is always evolving. Everyone is trying to be the next shocking band. Who can do more on stage to shock the audience? There is Ghost, and Wednesday 13, and GWAR. Before that, there was Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. Let’s face it, shock-rock can be traced back to one single person, Alice Cooper. Which puts the genre of shock-rock in an even more unique place, as there is three generations of that style preforming for fans all over, right now.
At 69 years old, Alice is still rocking and shocking crowds. Even better, he is doing it to three generations of fans. I had the opportunity to, as Alice puts it, “Spend a Night with Alice Cooper.” This is not my first time spending a night with Alice. I have seen him several times dating back to the early 90’s.
He recently played at Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah. It is a classic theater where I have seen such masterpieces as RENT and Les Misérables. It seemed like the perfect place to see a show full of theatrics. It started with sparks dropping from the ceiling and the song “Brutal Planet,” a song that describes the climate in which we live in today. Alice then followed up with classic “Alice” songs, “No more Mr. Nice Guy” and “Under my Wheels.”
It was after this he dug up a little known gem from 1980’s Flush the Fashion. “Pain,” a song I have never heard live, was a great addition to the set list. As the evening went on Alice played classics he once played on the Muppet Show, like, “Welcome to my Nightmare,” a song he sang while a boa constrictor hung around his neck. Needing to keep the crown of shock-rock godfather, Alice played old favorites that had parents in the 70’s cringing, such as, “Cold Ethyl,” a song about a dead loved one being stored in a fridge. “If I live to be 97, you’ll still be waiting in refrigerator heaven,” Alice sang as he flung around a life-sized doll on stage.
Then, Alice being a multi-generational star, played a couple songs for the Generation X crowd. “Feed my Frankenstein,” a Wayne’s World classic, and “Poison,” the song that woke-up Gen X to Alice. It was shortly after this things started to get interesting. The true theatrical nature of the Alice Cooper show began.
Singing “Only Women Bleed,” Alice theatrically murdered a girl on stage and tried to hide while singing, “Escape.” He is eventually caught and put in a straight jacket while he sang one of my favorite songs, “The Ballad of Dwight Fry.”
He eventually escapes the straight jacket, kills the nurse, and….. Wait, I can’t spoil the story for you. If you want to know what happens then you will have to go spend an evening with Alice Cooper yourself.
I can tell you that if you have never seen Alice this is your one chance to be able to tell your kids, “I saw the man who started this whole shock-rock thing.” Believe me, there will be many that come after, but there will only ever be one Alice.