Alice Cooper @ Alexandra Palace, London
Saturday 29th October 2011
Review & Photography by Michelle Murphy
There is no better way to spend Halloween then to celebrate it with the man himself – Alice Cooper!
Following last year’s outstanding Halloween gigs at London’s Roundhouse, which left fans gasping for more, Alice returns promising a night to remember, bigger and better than ever!
This was certainly no ordinary gig! The massive queues forming around the amazing Alexandra Place were treated to zombies and ghouls attacking them from the darkness.
Once inside, the smoke filled Victorian hall was decked out with cobwebs, haunting music and a large array of fascinating creatures of the night.
Fans were treated to puppet masters, zombies, dead school girls, psychotic twins, cannibals and Alice Coopers.
With my camera poised I was fair game at being attacked every which way I turned by various depraved zombies!
Advertised as one of the largest costume party with cash prizes, the fans came dressed to impress as thousands descended upon the palace.
The legendary punk rockers New York Dolls provided the support for the night’s gig!
The Dolls had somewhat of a fight on their hands as their gritty, dive bar sound loses its edge in the echoey Palace.
It is clear that the crowd were here for Alice and they took a while to warm to them, although towards the end they started to perk up and get excited.
The band were having an amazing time, laughing and joking with each other throughout the set.
The stage performance, although not massive, was reminiscent of Iggy pop.
While recent songs like ‘Cuz I Said So’ and ‘Kids Like You’ show how their writing has matured, it’s the classics – ‘Pills’, ‘Trash’, ‘Jet Boy’ and of course everybody’s favourite, ‘Personality Crisis’ that got the crowd going.
As the lights went down a voiceover of Vincent Price introduced the show. The curtain dropped to reveal Alice Cooper in all of his glory dressed in his Along Came A Spider outfit, centre stage on the top of a huge staircase enabling the whole of Alexandra Palace to see him, no matter where they stood. He kicked off with Black Widow, complete with sparklers in his hands!
Hit after hit followed with “Billion Dollar Babies”, “I’m Eighteen”, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, “Hey Stoopid” and “Poison”.
Alice delivered the goods throughout, his voice strong, the sound crystal clear and the band were smoking hot.
New guitarist Orianthi, who has previously played alongside Michael Jackson, was impressive throughout and her guitar solo which led into the classic ballad Only Women Bleed had the audience gripped.
Halo of files provided a chance for the bass solo followed by the dreaded drum solo, which although excellent, left the audience a little bored.
Almost no old favourite stone remains unturned – and you gotta love Alice for sporting a jacket with the legend ‘new song’ on the back when he cracks open latest single ‘I’ll Bite Your Face Off’.
Cooper had the audience eating out of his hands with theatrics and costume changes. Only Women Bleed had Alice singing along to “Cold Ethel” his toy doll, whilst chucking her frantically around the stage. Early in the show he brought his legendary snake on the stage wrapped around his neck.
Feed My Frankenstein saw a giant Frankenstein monster chase Alice away, and when the singer impaled a cheeky “press photographer” who had invaded the stage he was, of course, punished by having his head guillotined and then the executioner drinking his blood and spitting it out into the crowd.
The last song of the set, the cult classic “Schools Out” had the crowd shouting along while giant orange balls were realised into the audience, Alice took to the central podium with his sword and slashing them to cover everything with glitter.
The encore – Elected, had Alice don a ring masters coat and Top Hat carrying a huge Union Jack Flag and an England shirt. But wait, there’s more… a special Halloween guest appearance by Arthur Brown. He gave an energetic performance of this classic hit “fire”, complete with huge flames engulfing his head-dress.
The 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 Files (with Drum and Bass Solo)/I’ll Bite Your Face Off/Muscle of Love/Only Women Bleed (Orianthi Guitar Solo)/Cold Ethyl/Feed My Frankenstein/Clones (We’re All)/Poison/Wicked Young Man/Killer/I Love The Dead/School’s Out/Elected/Fire