Arriving at Wembley Park station with the American Football event at the stadium just next door is not something I would like to happen again: walking against the flow of thousand and thousand of sport fans leaving the 90,000 seats capacity of the stadium is quite an experience!
Wembley is already starting to fill out nicely with an excited buzz in the air as Duff McKagan’s Loaded take to the stage.
Being the first to kick start the night is always a hard job but Duff took to the stage with confidence and beaming smiles.
Loaded blasted out 40 minutes of pure Rock n Roll with a distinct settle sound, although not the strongest of his previous bands (Velvet Revolver and GnR do take some beating) it’s still a pleasure to watch.
The set consisted of songs from all 3 albums but it was the Guns n Roses cover of it’s so easy that really stood out tonight.
Next up were Ugly Kid Joe.
I was surprised to see them announced for Alice Coopers annual spook fest as this band are hardly the spookiest band out there but that’s not to say I was disappointed. I remember loving this band as a kid so I was very excited about seeing them, especially since I’ve heard good things about their live performances recently.
These guys were so much fun to watch as they bounded on stage with endless energy and infectious smiles. Whitfield Crane had the whole of Wembley eating out of the palm of his hand, if there ever was a front man Whitfield is it!
They played songs mostly from their most successful album “Americas least wanted” and their follow up album “Menace to sobriety”. As expected, ‘cats in the cradle’ and ‘everything about you’ were the crowd pleasers with arms waving and singing along at the top of there voices, but just as I thought it was over, Duff McKagan and Arya Goggin (Skindred’s drummer) came onstage to perform a fantastic rendition of Motorheads Ace Of Spades. UKJ have been away for well over 10 years but they have come back full force – I can’t wait to see them again!
On a side note I’ve got to mention the fantastic way I was treated by Ugly Kid Joe’s management for making this unforgettable. As a photographer the tour manager let me photograph the whole of their set from the side of the stage, a rare experience for a venue such as Wembley arena.
The change of stage props appear and gear for Alice Cooper’s show take no less than thirty minutes! In the meantime we are asked to judge the best Halloween costume competition, which is happening on stage in front of a massive dirty brown curtain.
Around ten people are presented and the overall winner, elected by the most screams in the audience is “zombie Jules Verne” with quite an impressive and original costume.
Lights off, the curtain come down as well as a waterfall of sparks.
Alice Cooper appears in the middle of it and starts singing the opening song “Hello Hooray”.
Now, what to say of Alice Cooper? Does he really need an introduction after more than forty years in the business?! The king of Shock Rock has just as much, and even more energy today than most of the bands around.
He is best known for putting on grandly theatrical concerts, and tonight is no exception to the rule. For the third year in a row, he organizes THE London UK Halloween party not to be missed.
This year he is joined on stage by Chuck Garric on bass guitar, Ryan Roxie ,Tommy Henriksen and the beautifully talented Orianthi on guitars, and Glen Sobel on drums.
As you would expect lots of props are used during the show, from fog machines, confetti, balloons, horror movie props, a straight jacket, whips, and the infamous boa constrictor were all present.The only missing element is the dear guillotine though.
The choice of songs for the setlist is brilliant, covering almost all eras, certainly the ones that matter, from “Poison”, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, “Welcome to My Nightmare”,” Feed My Frankenstein”, and the 1972 “School's Out” mixed with Pink Floyds “The Wall” closing the show.
The tribute to some of his late friends (i.e. John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix & Keith Moon) was a pretty awesome touch, with their names projected on the stage curtain behind the musicians.
This is played by a tight band, with a huge presence on stage and Alice knocking out hit after hit without taking a break for 80 minutes!
What a performer! What a show!
(Judy Collins cover)
House of Fire
No More Mr. Nice Guy
I'll Bite Your Face Off
Be My Lover
Billion Dollar Babies
Welcome to My Nightmare
Ballad of Dwight Fry
Go to Hell
He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)
Feed My Frankenstein
Break on Through (To the Other Side)
(The Doors cover)
(The Beatles cover)
(The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
(The Who cover)
Under My Wheels