Alice Cooper came to Cincinnati, Ohio’s Taft Theater for a fun night of rock & roll, & mayhem. Opening up the show was UK rockers Livan. I had not heard anything about an opening act for Alice Cooper, so I was somewhat surprised that there was an opening band.
Livan describes themselves as Industrial, Pop, Punk. I would describe them as Alternative, Punk with some Classic Rock thrown in for good measure. I wasn’t familiar with the band’s music, but they put on a pretty good show. Lead singer, Livan came out in face paint, and a leather skirt, while the guitar player graced a top hat. Their performance was somewhat theatrical in nature, and was a good fit as an opener for Alice Cooper. I was impressed by their performance, and hope I get to see this band again. If you visit Livan’s website, you can get a free download of their song “Undead”, and some free wallpapers too.
Alice Cooper took the stage around 8:30 P.M. and it was clear the band was going to rock our faces off. Alice’s band was sporting a few changes since the last time I saw them. His current band line up has Orianthi, Tommy Henricksen & Steve Hunter on guitar, Chuck Garric on bass, and Glen Sobel (Ex-Beautiful Creatures) on drums. This band was super tight and Alice Cooper’s songs have never sounded better. This was my first time seeing many of his new members play live, and I thought everyone was great. I loved getting to see Orianthi play. There are not enough women that rock out like this. She is an extremely talented guitarist who fits this band perfectly.
Alice’s show included many of the normal theatrics including the guillotine, swords, snakes, and my new favorite, the 10 foot “FrankenAlice” which he brought to life during the song “Feed My Frankenstein”, and of course the flag waving in the show closer “Elected”.
Alice Cooper’s set list included the songs:
“Black Widow”, “Brutal Planet”, “I’m Eighteen”, “Under My Wheels”, “Billion Dollar Babies”, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, “Hey Stoopid”, “Is it My Body”, “Halo of Flies”, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off”, “Muscle of Love”, “Only Women Bleed”, “Cold Ethyl”, “Feed My Frankenstein”, “Clones”, “Poison”, “Wicked Young Man”, “Killer”, “I Love The Dead”, “School’s Out/Another Brick in the Wall”, and “Elected”.
The only way this show could have been better is if more songs were in the set. I love Welcome 2 My Nightmare, and one song from that CD is not enough in my opinion. I would love to hear “Vengeance is Mine”, “Chop, Chop, Chop” and “Bye Bye Baby” and probably another ten or twenty songs that is not in the Alice Cooper set, but I will take what I can get.
Alice Cooper always delivers a great live performance. He is the ultimate performer, and the show on this evening was great as always. I can’t wait to see them play again!
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Some things get better with age. With Vincent Furnier aka Alice Cooper (who turned 63 in February) this is truly the case. With Alice Cooper’s latest effort, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, Alice has turned in one of his most creative pieces of work yet.
Producer Bob Ezrin came up with the idea for Alice to do the sequel to Welcome to My Nightmare. I don’t know if anyone could have guessed what Alice would come up with after that. Alice Cooper brought in several of his old bandmates including Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, Steve Hunter, and Dick Wagner, as well as a cast of many others to help create a brand new nightmare, which to my ears is one Alice Cooper’s finest works to date.
Welcome 2 My Nightmare somehow manages to recapture that classic 70’s sound of the original, without sounding dated. Welcome 2 My Nightmare incorporates the sounds of classic and hard rock, and little bit of disco. It is hard to compare it to the monsterous album Welcome to My Nightmare, which spawned such great songs like “Cold Ethyl”, “Only Women Bleed” and “Welcome to My Nightmare”. You won’t find Vincent Price (God rest his soul) narratives on Welcome 2 My Nightmare either, but you are going to find a whole bunch of new tunes that you will be sure to love.
There are several songs on Welcome 2 My Nightmare which could easily be worked in to Alice’s live set for years to come. This album is so strong that he could probably do a tour playing the entire album live. The album isn’t perfect, but it is pretty close to it. I could have lived without the auto tune effect on Alice’s vocals on the opening cut “I Am Made of You”. Luckily, this is the only song plagued by that ill-used effect. (Note: To all artists and producers of rock music, Auto Tune is NEVER ok to use in rock music; No one wants to hear that crap.) “I Am Made To You” is a pretty strong opener, and a really good song. Bob Ezrin should have known better than to use those effects in my opinion.
While Alice Cooper’s previous effort Along Came a Spider was an outstanding effort, it pales in comparison to the creative and enthusiastic offering Welcome 2 My Nightmare from the Alice Cooper and company. There are many classic moments, and too many cool tunes to mention on this CD. Some of my favorites are the catchy “Caffeine”, to the Vaudeville fun of “Last Man on Earth”, and the cool rocker “I’ll Bit Your Face Off”. I will be playing this one a ton for years to come.
Voting is now closed, throw away your unused ballots, Welcome 2 My Nightmare will be the easy choice for album of the year in 2011. Highly Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
1. I Am Made of You
3. The Nightmare Returns
4. A Runaway Train
5. Last Man on Earth
6. The Congregation
7. I’ll Bite Your Face Off
8. Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever
9. Ghouls Gone Wild
10. Something To Remember
11. When Hell Comes Home
12. What Baby Wants
13. I Gotta Get Outta Here
14. The Underture
Alice Cooper – Vocals, Harmonica
Michael Bruce – Guitars, keyboards, backing vocals on “A Runaway Train”, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” and “When Hell Comes Home”
Dennis Dunaway – Bass, backing vocals on “A Runaway Train”, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” and “When Hell Comes Home”
Neal Smith – Drums, percussion, backing vocals on “A Runaway Train”, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off” and “When Hell Comes Home”
Damon Johnson – guitar on “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”
Keri Kelli – guitar on “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”
Jimmy DeGrasso – drums on “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”
Steve Hunter – guitars on “Something To Remember Me By”, “When Hell Comes Home” and “What Baby Wants”
Keith Nelson – Guitars, backing vocals on “Caffeine”
Desmond Child – Co-songwriter
Dick Wagner – Co-songwriter / Lead guitar on “The Underture”
Rob Zombie – Backing vocals on “The Congregation”
John 5 – guitar on “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever”
Tommy Denander – Guitars on “I Am Made of You”
Vince Gill – Lead guitar on “A Runaway Train” and “Gotta Get Outta Here”
Chuck Garric – Bass
Jeremy Rubolino – Co-songwriter
Ke$ha – Guest vocals on “What Baby Wants”
Piggy D – Co-songwriter, and bass on “Last Man On Earth”
David Spreng – Co-songwriter and drums on “Last Man On Earth”
Kip Winger – backing vocals on “Ghouls Gone Wild” & “The Congregation”
Patterson Hood – guitar on “Gotta Get Outta Here”