School’s out for summer so, naturally, Alice Cooper was in Tinley Park to celebrate the seasonal freedom from pencils, books and teachers’ dirty looks, bringing his rock spectacle known as the Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back tour to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre on Sunday, July 21. Halestorm and Motionless in White completed the face-melting triple bill which had Chicago fans head-banging, cheering and hurling hand horns into the sky throughout the night.
Motionless in White kicked things off with a trio of heavy hitters in “Rats,” “Unstoppable” and “Everybody Sells Cocaine.” Fans of the five piece loved every note and soon the group captivated the attention of even the most aloof members of the crowd.
The band’s front man, Chris “Motionless” Cerulli, pointed out the audience’s growing enthusiasm, adding that it’s cool to have fun during the opening act.
“Spoiler alert. By the time the show ends, you’re going to f*cking love it,” he said, referring to the group’s set, as the band dove into “Brand New Numb” off their 2019 album, Disguise.
When Motionless in White’s set came to a bombastic close with “Voices,” Cerulli’s prophecy had come true.
Halestorm took the stage next, rocking a no-backing tracks allowed set which included “Love Bites (So Do I),” “Do Not Disturb” and a goosebumps-inducing rendition of “Familiar Taste of Poison” during which lead guitarist Joe Hottinger and front woman Lzzy Hale found ample opportunities to shred.
Hale connected with the crowd, saying that the “boss man” Alice Cooper helped her realize, back in the day, that “it’s okay to be yourself.”
“When I was 11 years old, my favorite album was Love It to Death by Alice Cooper,” she said noting that she soon knew that she was not like other girls. “There wouldn’t be a ‘Mz Hyde’ without Alice Cooper.”
Drummer Arejay Hale brought The Strange Case Of… single to an epic climax with a hard and fast solo that continued to build until it seemed he was hitting each drum at once. The only way to top it was to break out “big *ss drum sticks” in honor of his love of Chicago’s “big *ss deep dish pizza.”
If Halestorm’s set was big, Alice Cooper’s was gargantuan in its musicianship, showmanship and stage design, which featured a multi-story layout and a collection of torture devices that sprayed confetti and Cooper cash – during “Billion Dollar Babies” – and held back monsters – in “Feed my Frankenstein.”
“I’m Eighteen” found lead guitarists Ryan Roxie and Nita Strauss – the latter of whom proved her rock Goddess credentials with a sprawling yet intricate solo deeper in the set – going head to head and riff for riff as the crowd sang at the top of their lungs. Cooper got up close and personal with fans as he sang “Poison,” taking time out to muss the hair of particularly venomous members of the audience.
There is a fine line fusing the terrifying with the terrifically fun, and Alice Cooper, Halestorm and Motionless in White provided fans with the chance to reside in that crazy crossroads if only for a night.
Alice Cooper, Halestorm and Motionless in White will continue to tour across the U.S. through Aug. 16. Check out photos from the Tinley Park show below and information about tickets and more can be found at Alicecooper.com.
(Photos by Laurie Fanelli)