Blog Post : Knebworth - July 30th Recap
Dateline: Knebworth, 30th July 2010
Correspondent: Andy Michael, cub reporter
Under a black, starry sky, Alice wrote a page in the history of Old Knebworth Park, scene of so many legendary past performances. From The Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin; from Queen and Oasis to Robbie Williams, Alice's performance 30th July 2010 at Sonisphere has already become part of that pantheon of memorable, landmark events.
It's nearly show time and I'm in a van with Chuck, Damon, Keri, Jimmy and Toby for the short drive from the dressing room compound to the stage. Before I've even got out of my seat, they're gone. They're in position and they're ready. As I mount the steps behind them, a sleek car pulls up silently. I know who's in it. Those milling about backstage do not, but they soon find out. The door opens, heads turn and in a flash, Alice Cooper has arrived. Not the one you might see on a talk show or at the mall. The other one - the one who steps out of the car and and vanishes into the dark, cavernous stage area, like an apparition.
Sitting on a flight case in the wings gives me a sweeping view of the massive crowd. I can see a Keri Kelli fan club banner down front. Beyond that, a sea of faces all the way up to the horizon. And possibly beyond Behind the curtain, Damon and Keri appear on their podiums, still as statues. Jimmy and Chuck stare straight ahead, flexed and ready. Alice is like a coiled spring. There's a pause - Alice's eyes almost burn holes in the curtain. Will this show ever start? Then, the bell rings, the curtain drops and they rip into "School's Out.” Knebworth is a mass of raised arms, the now mandatory swaying flags and the continous flares of thousands of cameras and mobile phones.
I can only remember brief flashes; Alice, somehow covering every inch of the stage, from left to right and back again. Several times, he's just inches away from me as he reaches out to the crowds jammed in at the sides. Hidden behind a Sonisphere back drop, I see what he sees; thousands of outstretched arms and delirious faces.
I hear Chuck and Jimmy give "From The Inside" the funk treatment. Not a hint of Alice's recent throat problem; his voice is clear and strong. The temperature suddenly drops and a cold wind blows across the stage during "Only Women Bleed." The fog envelops me and by the time it clears, Alice is on the gallows.
The show speeds by in what seems like seconds and I'm vaguely aware of a giant shape looming in the darkness behind the backdrop. I focus on the familiar shape of the cyclops, ready for it's return to front - line action. Tiffany whizzes past, beguiling and enticing the poor creature and as she leads it off - stage, it's so close I can touch it. We wondered where you'd been, but now you're back. The wind picks up speed again. Everything that's not nailed down is swaying. Tons of lights, scaffolding, giant speakers and the big screens are swinging from side to side above me but between them, Chuck and Jimmy have the floor nailed down.
When it's over, everyone knows it's a triumph. Alice, the band, Shep - they know magic when they feel it. They create it, it's what they 'do'. Nothing needs to be said. Quiet smiles, satisfaction and onto the next show for a repeat dose. If you were there, you'll recognise what I've described. If you weren't, you'll have your chance. Don't miss it.
Thanks to: Alice, Shep, Toby, Sharon, Jamie, the band, Tiffany, the crew, and Stuart Gailbraith.
- NEW SHOW ANNOUNCED! Bonner Springs, KS, June 27 May 20, 2013
- Alice chats on NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't... May 18, 2013
- June 14th Syracuse, NY show CANCELLED - Replaced with... May 16, 2013
- From Ultimate Classic Rock - 38 Years Ago: Alice Cooper... May 16, 2013