Alice Cooper’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy” Tour Review
Last night, my biggest and oldest idol, Alice Cooper put on a classic, vintage show at The Palace Theatre in Albany. It was my fifth time getting to see the legend, and every time is like the first- he always reels me in and amazes me with his talent and entertaining show without fail.
Alice Cooper shows always start right on time, which I greatly appreciate. There's nothing more annoying than tardy bands. At 8 pm sharp, the opening band, Livan went on stage. I was surprised to see a second band, because usually Alice goes solo. The only other time I saw Alice with an opening band was the first time in Poughkeepsie, and to be blunt, they weren't good. This time though, I was very impressed. Alice does a great job of showcasing unknown bands.
Livan hail from the United Kingdom, and consist of four men and a woman. They have been together since 2007 and have a very different sound and vibe that includes industrial gothic punk rock. Livan, the frontman came out dressed in a gothic kilt with plastic green and black scales, no shirt, suspenders, a black sleeveless vest and black lace-up boots. He was bald with a painted-on design on the left side of his face. They played for a half hour and their music was dark and fun. Livan had a lift where his microphone was that raised him up about 10 feet or so in the air, and his keyboard was also on it. The overhead lights constantly moved and changed colors which added to the set. The drummer was simply amazing- consistently doing drum stick tricks, twirling them, throwing and catching them and whirling his head around. The singer sang of "shiny leather boots," "rosy cheeks" and "kings and queens." His voice reminded me of a younger, deeper Cooper. Most of the songs were upbeat and fast, with a few mellower ones. Songs performed include "Undead," "King of the World" and "Black Cherry," which the guitarist wrote. During this song, there was a short musical interlude in which Livan banged on a big single drum and was backed by his band. Livan as a whole was just such a uniquely bazaar experience and it was like if the movie Rocky Horror Picture Show had a band, it would be Livan.
After the band was done, they departed into the lobby for pictures and CD signings. I got a signed CD
and got to meet Livan, the drummer and female guitarist. They were all super nice and down-to-earth and very willing to do signatures and pictures. Seven, the (very sexy!) drummer has been playing since high school and has only been with Livan since February, and despite being from Dallas, Texas seems to fit in very well. He was even in the lobby after Alice Cooper was done as well, talking to people and taking more pictures. The female guitarist hailed from Sweden. It was super exciting to meet the band and hope to see them again someday.
Alice Cooper (who is still graced by guitarist Orianthi's talented presence) went on stage at 9 pm and opened with "The Black Widow" that included a voice introduction by Vincet price. Cooper played the part well, as he wore his "black widow" spider coat with eight legs- two of which were his arms. The band continuously played song after song, including my favorite "I'm Eighteen," "Under My Wheels," "Billion Dollar Babies," which was accompanied by Cooper dollars on a sword being shaken onto the crowd," the tour title song "No More Mister Nice Guy" and "Hey Stoopid."
This is where the classic, old school Alice started to come out. For the first time in a long time (and the first time for me) he brought back his snake! Back in his early days Alice would frequently be joined on stage donning his snake around his neck. After his short appearance, there was a fantastic guitar and drum solo. His hands were moving so fast it looked as though he had four hands. That solo led into all of Cooper's musical backers showing off their talents to the crowd. Alice rejoined his band shortly after and went right into "I'll Bite Your Face Off," the first single from the newest album, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, the sequel to the 1975 original Nightmare album. "Muscle of Love" followed, as well as a solo from rocker girl Orianthi that led into the slow "Only Women Bleed," which left Alice with his dummy doll with whom he danced, sang to and kissed. The "No More Mr. Nice Guy" side of him quickly came out though, as right after he was seen kicking and spanking her and throwing her around stage. He treated her like a person, then like the rag doll she was, which is typical Alice behavior.
The Alice antics continued, as during "Feed My Frankenstein" a giant monster-man walked and danced
around on stage, which the crowd loved. "Poison" followed, as well as "Wicked Young Man," which brought a paparazzi man on stage trying to shoot pictures of Alice. Getting fed up, Alice stabbed and killed the man with his mic stand. Now, faced with the consequences of death, Alice is placed in a guillotine and decapitated. His head is taken out of the basket and glorified by the crowd who sing and chant to "I Love the Dead."
After a short musical intermission, Alice proudly comes back on stage with yet another outfit change to "School's Out," where the traditional big balloons are thrown out into the crowd. Alice stabs them one-by-one and colored confetti covers the first few rows of people. Also mixed in with the song was parts of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall." The band exited the stage, and reappeared minutes later and performed an encore to "Elected." Alice waved around an American flag and asked "why not me?" The crowd cheered and sang along.
As always, Alice Cooper but on an amazing show, and for the first time I really got to witness the vintage Alice that existed before my time. His band members weren't even born when he was first coming out, and now they play with him. That's pretty crazy. I can't wait for the next time I get to see him perform, and hopefully one day my dream of meeting him will come true.
Were you at the show? What did you think?