Back in February of this year my brother Todd was in Colorado skiing with his family when one night the phone rang and Todd asked me one simple question. “I got a line on front row tickets for Alice Cooper when he plays Thunder Bay in August!”
I had no idea Coop was coming to town as no announcement was made but somehow a few days before the official word came down that Alice was indeed playing our hometown Todd maneuvered quickly grabbed us two front row seats and….
Think about it for a second! There’s my Brother in another country and finds out that Coop is playing Tbay while I’m here in Tbay lazing around on my couch and have no idea! Never did ask him how that came about..
39 years of seeing live shows and I finally get Front Row! Even though it’s at our local Auditorium where the place is run by Stuffy Suits . I really hope the Coop demolishes the Auditorium!
Did He? Keep reading!
Before we proceed I have to Thank my Brother Todd and Adriana Coslett for additional photos to my Review! Thanks a bunch. I shot lots but I’m a hack with a camera so a few of my shots are here as well!
So Alice Cooper is 70 years young and talk about stamina! This is the second of three shows in three nights that the Coop is playing! Winnipeg-Thunder Bay- St Paul! Which acts still roll at this pace?
Exactly….no one or if they do not many!
Coop doesn’t fool around as opening track ‘Brutal Planet’ proves as Alice hits the stage amidst smoke and a wall of sparks! To say Alice doesn’t command the stage would be the understatement of the past 5 Decades of Cooper’s career!
All the tricks of Coops Live show were forefront throughout the night! Whether it was whipping Dollar bills at the crowd during ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ or getting sizzled halfway through ‘Feed my Frankenstein’ only for a 10 foot Coop to emerge and stalk the stage while the band played on til the end of the track.
Speaking of the band they were phenomenal! Just over Six Years ago I seen Alice open for ‘Iron Maiden’ in Wisconsin. This band has the exact same band members except for the Lady of the band, Guitarist Nita Strauss who ironically came to the Coop from an all female Iron Maiden tribute act!
The other two Guitarists Tommy Henriksen and Ryan Roxie along with Bassist Chuck Garric held down the fort musically along with Drummer Glen Sobel who is a show amongst himself!
Ryan Roxie handled a bunch of solos! Excellent Guitarist!
These guys are not just backing musicians no sir they are right up front with the Boss! Flinging out solo after solo with Nita getting her own solo time along with Glen on the drums!
See that’s the thing with Coop and if you have seen the Documentary ‘Hired Gun’ Coop demands the best out of his band and its also of note that Alice must be a Great Boss as you have never heard anyone diss there stint in the Cooper band. The fact that this lineup has been intact for numerous years is a sentiment in itself!
‘Poison’/’Cold Ethyl’ with more theatrics along with a recent track from last years fantastic release ‘Paranormal’ was the brilliant ‘Paranoiac Personality’ song.
Here is Alice in a Straight Jacket trying to get out of here in ‘Ballad of Dwight Fry’ which has to be one of my go to Alice Tunes Ever! The song is a well constructed song of a ballad that builds up right into the chorus!
More theatrics follow as a Looped out Nurse(Played by Alice’s wife) pokes and prods at Alice when the Guillotine appears and off Goes Alice’s head thanks to the chopping block! Bassist Garrick leads the crowd with a chant of ‘I Love The Dead’ while the band thunders on behind him while Coops head is on display by the Guillotine!
Love this stuff!
‘I’m Eighteen’ has Alice stumbling around with a cane and you forget that Alice is 70! Just like that his set is over!
But not before too long Alice emerges(gone is his back leather look in its place he’s dressed in white with blood all over the place!) and blasts out one track and that would be one of the Ultimate Rock Classics in Coop’s catalogue of rock and that would be ‘School’s Out’ which includes half way through a snippet of ‘Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ with huge balloons/confetti being tossed about the crowd. But before Alice splits for good as the song winds down he introduces each person in the band. He introduced Guitarist Tommy Henriksen as being from Thunder Bay. Hahaha…which brought a ton of laughs! I will go on record as this show was ‘LOUD!’
Just like that the show is over as Alice heads into the Tbay Night! As far as Thunder Bay concerts I have seen this has to be one of if not the best show I have ever seen in this town!
Let’s face facts here folk’s! Alice Cooper and his Wicked Band showed up! Played a fast paced high theatrical show filled with Props/Smoke/Pyro/Songs. Basically Alice schooled everyone on how to perform at a very high level and give a top-notch performance while leaving the Auditorium in a mess! Beautiful I say!
I told Todd on the way home that Coop doesn’t fool around with Bullshit Banter to the crowd! Todd replied that by the Coop not talking between songs cuts out about a half hour of the show. Instead of a 2 hour show with half an hour of “Hey Thunder Bay” Alice just hammers out tune after tune!
SUPER DUPER ALICE COOPER!
The Tunes That Blew out my Ears!
Brtual Planet/No More Mr Nice Guy/Under My Wheels/Billion Dollar Babies/Be My Lover/Lost in America/Serious/Fallen in Love/Woman of Mass Destruction/Poison/Halo of Flies/Feed My Frankenstein/Cold Ethyl/Only Woman Bleed/Paranoiac Personality/Ballad of Dwight Fry/Killer/I Love The Dead/I’m Eighteen.
Encore: School’s Out(Another Brick In The Wall snippet)
Left the show with $200 in Coop Currency and Two Guitar Pics along with a T-Shirt! Great Night!