It’s October, a time when people think of things like Halloween, football, pumpkin pies, leaves turning color, candy, and, of course, Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie.
The two made a stop in St. Charles at the Family Arena on Thursday on the 2nd“Gruesome Twosome” Tour which featured the two co-headlining.
Cooper (who this past week was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) came out first acting like the Cooper of old. Running through a 20 song set list Cooper showed no need to ease into the show as he opened his set with his biggest hit “School’s Out”. Not feeling a need to slow down there he then launched into “No More Mr. Nice Guy” before stabbing a stagehand with a long staff during “Wicked Young Man”.
Cooper is well-known for his stage theatrics and shock-value he provides at his shows. The staged murder of a stagehand was a central theme to Cooper’s show throughout. After the stabbing Cooper was committed to an insane asylum where he was kept drugged up and hallucinated about his sexy nurse. This turned into obsession, and finally murder, as he strangled her with one of her own stockings. For this Cooper was sentenced and then hung onstage. Cooper remained in character even as the stagehands were wheeling the gallows offstage. This wasn’t a short scene as the story encompassed nine more songs, including; “Ballad of Dwight Fry”, “Go To Hell”, “Cold Ethyl”, “Poison”, “From the Inside”, “Nurse Rozetta”, Be My Lover”, “Only Woman Bleed/I Never Cry”, and “Black Widow Jam”.
It seemed fitting that he returned with “Vengeance” after the hanging. Cooper offered illusions as well during the song “Love the Dead” he was placed in a box upright with only his head sticking out and proceeded to be filleted with at least a dozen swords stabbing through the box and exiting the other side. For the rest of the set Cooper swung through other classics like “Billion Dollar Babies”, “Feed My Frankenstein”, “Under My Wheels” before ending with “I’m Eighteen”.
Cooper didn’t say much to the crowd during the show. Instead he just relied on his music to talk for him. For this 62 year old rocker there was no better way.
by Sean Derrick