“We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy” …There ok I said it.  I can move on now.

Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas.  What a venue for a night of ghoulish guitar work, morbid melodies, vicious vocals and all round ghastly scenes.

Staring at the thin veil separating an eager crowd from the macabre depth of Coops imagination, I ponder the man himself.  Will he present post show with a chainsaw to sever my bleating head and complete a good night’s work?

I’ll try not to worry. And wait patiently to find out.

Out comes Australia’s own Orianthi. Loooong boots, longer coat and signature hat keeping hidden the source of the flowing blonde locks.  Shredding guitar style in the most casual of cool rocking manners. Awesome!!!

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Particularly as the introduction was veiled in an impressive shower of sparks, through which walks the master of nightmares himself.

Sporting a stylish suit of black with red stripes, or red suit with black stripes depending on your seat location.

First up ‘Hello Hooray’ with the fearsome chanting and singing from front line faithful.  Then ‘House of Fire’ much to the delight of the Trash vintage fans.

A storyline unfolds on stage as the audience are treated to a solid mix of old and new tracks. ‘Department of Youth’ crowd involvement shifted the casino a good 6 inches to the left.

Alice is put to a theatrical death most horrible, but resurrected to the music of… no prizes for guessing… ‘Feed My Frankenstein’ as a mammoth Alice puppet takes to the stage. 

While speaking with the occupant of the costume later I am assured that it’s “hot as a sumbitch in there”. I’m not sure of the metric equivalent for Australian readers but we can presume, north of warm.

I watch the alter ego and peruse the items around the stage pondering my age when Alice’s demons came to life. By the time I was 9 years old Alice had spent a decade of alcohol-fuelled touring and madness on the road. According to reports, in a moment of sobriety, Vince realized that Alice was the root of all the evil inside and the maniacal screaming pain laid out for all to witness on stage.

In 1977 the psychological abnormality suspected by many had was made manifest and saw Alice institutionalized.  

Following a period of ‘sanity’ Vince made the mistake of sipping wine from wife Sheryl’s glass and the Frankenstein, the evil persona Alice was, yet again awakened.

In 1983 after recording ‘Da Da’ he returned to phoenix in a horrific state…some say to die, but he did and did not.

But tonight and now eternities from the excesses of earlier touring success, alcoholism and insanity, I wondered if Alice was gone and Vince remained to play the role. Or perhaps vice versa. 

As the show continued it evolved more as contemporary theatre rather than a rock concert as, one by one tomb stones appeared bearing the names of past musical greats to the soundtrack of Alice and co-resurrected their music.

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We bear witness to Alice ‘Raising The Dead’ as Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon and John Lennon’s legacies are brought to the fore.

A few more tracks, the jacket from Wayne’s World, the snake makes his appearance and the show reaches its triumphant denouement.

Fortunately for me, my questions apropos the man and the beast, were near to being answered.

 

And there he was.  In legendary splendour, but without make up. Without Alice.  It was Vince that came through the green room door.  Polite and deeply apologetic for the delay post show. The man had just unleashed a show of such intense proportions and magnificence that the resounding cries for encore were still ringing in my ears, and he is apologizing…What a …dare I say it…gentleman.

Where do you start when visiting one of the world’s most underrated musical marvels?

A timeless phenomenon relentlessly unveiling such unprecedented theatrical performances and transforming that art to the rock stage.

As we discussed his years on the road he chuckled as he revealed that his wife and daughter were now both part of the show. He was seemingly filled with joy and incredulity that he was still summoning these enormous crowds and creating a legacy for his family.

We spoke of Australia and the possibility of a potential upcoming tour. He was unmistakably frank when he said “I want to see you when I get to Melbourne’’.  He is a man of such sincerity that I left fearing that I would disappoint him if we did not meet in Melbourne 2014 or maybe 2015.

But where was Alice Cooper?  Some playful banter and I attempted to extract the demon within, but to no avail.

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He certainly played the part for the pictures but that smile says it all.

You see Alice was not here at all. This articulate and tremendously pleasant man is Vince Furnier.  A deeply spiritual, poignant and moving man. Relatively softly spoken and probably the most genuine and forthright human being it has been my pleasure to meet.

My understanding is that when the curtains closed following the last song, Alice Cooper collapsed dead on the stage. Vince Furnier materialized as a phoenix from the ashes and walks back into a welcoming world. Thankfully the demons of the past seem to rest with Alice and leave Vince at peace.  That is until he takes the stage and Alice Cooper is again resurrected.  Then madness can prevail.  Nightmares become reality.  Alice Cooper stalks the hellish stage of horror and all can be right in the world.

(Review and photos by Casper)