Alice Cooper's Theatre of Death
Last Thursday Alice Cooper revived The Theatre of Death Show at the Gibson Ampitheater as part of The Gruesome Twosome Return. Usually you want to see a band at the end of a tour when they are really tight. But right out of the gate this band is practiced and on the mark all the way. Solos were so intense it seemed like they were doing demos at NAMM. The only glitch was the one guitar player who kept bumping into the giant letter "A".
Cooper opened up with "School's Out" and kept his greatest hits coming. I admire him for stubbornly continuing to sing the sensitive guy song, "Only Women Bleed", his "Beth". Concerns that the set would be cut short were alleviated by promises Cooper would get his full 80 minutes, and he took full advantage. There was even a quickie encore of "Elected".
Nurse Rosetta was there to torment him, ninjas attacked, and he pulled out the usual stunts. The crowd strained to see how he does the guillotine trick, and held their breath as he was hanged. The hanging trick is the only one that has ever gone wrong, with nearly fatal consequences. He threw out beads, "Billion Dollar Babies" dollars and other trinkets. He no longer throws out larger party favors, like his cane, perhaps as a result of fights breaking out.
Noticeable differences in the show involved a more elaborate strangling of Nurse Rosetta, Alice's daughter costumed as a giant rat, and much to our excitement, the giant cyclops from "Welcome to my Nightmare", hyping the crowd up for the promised Welcome to my Nightmare II, to be produced by Bob Ezrin. All in all, the crowd was left sweaty and satisfied. Vincent Furnier may have found religion and BBQ, but the character of Alice Cooper remains the devious, psychotic and lascivious villain we all know and love.