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Alice Cooper - A Master Showman

My second visit to the House of Alice!

It is was kind of crazy, bizarre night in Cornwall and an awesome show - way better than Ottawa '88.

The Coop was killer tonight and his band kicked ass high and mighty. Any show that plays itself over in your head hours later, is one you will always remember.

The show was played almost in two parts. Alice the rocker kicked out close to a dozen tunes before the theatrics were rolled out. He hit No More Mr. Nice Guy on the second number
and by the time the show was an hour old he'd nailed Be My Lover, Billion Dollar Babies, Dirty Diamonds, I'm Eighteen,Woman of Mass Distraction, Is It My Body, and You Drive Me Nervous, to name but a few.

During "Babies", he teased the front rows with a sword of shishkebobbed dollar bills, which slashed and swayed over the crowds heads as they flittered off the blade to awaiting hands. In "Diamonds", he flung pearl necklaces to all corners of the floor. The 58 year old Cooper never uttered the words "I'm Eighteen" once during the song of the same name, instead pointing the mic at the rows to have it shouted back at him. The shock master toyed with notion of an aging rocker all through the song while ironically perched and hanging from a walking crutch. Alice looked anything but his age all evening, stalking the stage like a possessed madman, parading with a leather whip in hand and fists in the air.

A the midway point, Alice's excellent band (which included sometimes KISS drummer Eric Singer) took a breather in the form of the acoustic I Never Cry. With both guitarists strumming from stairs at the foot of the drumkit, it was the closest the night came to a tender moment.

The production then changed gears as Alice walked to center stage shaking maracas to open the funky and devilish Go To Hell! This would begin a song set documenting the Alice character's descent into Hades and the stage props began rolling out. Midway through the number, a dancer (Alice's daughter Calico) began sashaying a black cape to the beat of the song while enveloping and wraping around him, as if some form of exotic Grim reaper seduction. While dry ice billowed from every area of the stage, and with the cape completely hiding him, Alice disappeared into hell via a stage trap door. A series of songs detailing the descent played out while Calico Cooper stole the show with character embodiments, wild dancing, slapstick comedy, mock violence and subliminal torture. One by one, Only Women Bleed, The Awakening, Steven, Feed My Frankenstein, and Ballad of Dwight Fry told the tale while Cooper was led from straightjacket to guillotine. During the climax scene, the mistress of revenge lifts Alices head and prances the stage displaying it for all to see while the band flexed its muscles around an instrumental version of The Black Widow.

The band left the stage as Singer pounded out an impressive solo before the band rejoined him for the grand finale. The last notes echoed off the arena's walls and were about to fall silent when a school bell rang. On cue, Alice returned from the stage to pronouce Schools Out to the delight of the crowd. Cooper's 1972 hit, remains his signature tune.

The group took the stage for a three song encore of Poison, Wish I Were Born In Beverly Hills, which featured a great mock sendup and thrashing of Paris Hilton (played by Calico), before finally ending with Under My Wheels.

In true Cooper tradition, he asked the gathered crowd "What's My Name?', and a loudest shout of the night came back "Alice!" Cooper quickly introduced the band while getting the crowd to pour it on heavy for his daughter. In sly misfit fashion, the forever showman had one last word before leaving.

"Happy Halloween, you sick things!"