“Have sick, twisted nightmares,” said Alice Cooper as his rock and roll horror show came to a close at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park on Sept. 6. Devilish dreams surely awaited all who were in attendance as the legendary shock rocker used his time on stage to conjure murderous monsters, fire-filled skies and supernatural scares all set to the soundtrack of his greatest hits of yesterday and today.
The title-track of Brutal Planet kicked-off the show with a blaze before Cooper went into his quintessential song of rebellion, “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” the title of which was proudly displayed on the back of his black leather jacket. The slinky bassline and irresistible melody of the new tune, “Paranoiac Personality” – featured on Cooper’s recently released 27th studio album Paranormal – proved that the vaudevillain is still as passionate about songwriting as he is about performing after over 50 years of rock superstardom.
Cooper served as a sinister ringleader throughout the night while his band delivered an incredible barrage of face-melting guitar solos and bone shaking drum breaks. Guitarist, Nita Strauss, continued to top herself with each instrumental interlude from unleashing a wailing lead in “Woman of Mass Distraction” to fiercely dueling guitars with Tommy Henriksen and Ryan Roxie during the climax of “Feed My Frankenstein.” The rhythm section – comprised of drummer Glen Sobel and bassist Chuck Garric – also dropped monstrous musical attacks during the Hey Stoopid hit, which climaxed with a giant, mutated Cooper emerging from an electrifying experiment.
The theatrics of the night were beyond top tier combining fun and fear at every opportunity. Cooper’s onstage box of tricks even produced devilish dancers, one of whom met her fate at the hands of the frontman’s sharp blade. Even Cooper himself could not beat the executioner’s will as he soon found himself shackled in a guillotine awaiting justice for his murderous mischief. After the sentence was served, Cooper was resurrected, ready to lead fans in a massive sing-a-long of “I’m Eighteen.”
As the final bell tolled across the Amphitheatre, fans knew that the sound could only mean one thing. Cooper ended his set with a triumphant rendition of “School’s Out,” adding a snippet of “Another Brick in the Wall” for good measure.
The Edgar Winter Band opened-up the evening of rock and roll by taking fans on a “Free Ride” and Deep Purple closed things out with a solid set featuring “Highway Star,” “Strange Kind of Woman,” “Perfect Strangers” and more. Check out photos from the amazing night of live music below and head over to AliceCooper.com to see upcoming tour dates.
(Photos by Laurie Fanelli)