Skip to site header. Skip to main site content.

May. 1, 2023

Alice Cooper Launches Too Close for Comfort Tour

via Ultimate Classic Rock

A brand new stage show allowed Alice Cooper to bring out some new toys, as he sings about in “School’s Out” – and to return to some old, well-loved tricks as well.

You can see exclusive photos and the full set list from last night’s show below.

The title of Too Close for Comfort Tour, which Cooper and his band premiered Friday night at the Soaring Eagle Casino Resort in Mount Pleasant, Mich., references the shock rocker’s first foray into extensive on-stage video production. Four high-definition panels at the rear of the stage brought fans closer than ever to every grimace and sneer, the details of makeup, the nuances of the costuming, the fleet fingering of guitarists Nita Strauss, Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henriksen.

It was particularly effective during “Snakebite,” which, appropriately, marked the return of the snake draped across Cooper’s shoulders for the first time in nearly a decade; the boa got as many close-ups as the singer, and looked calm but engaged under the spotlight. The screens also allowed Vincent Price to be seen as well as heard during “Black Widow.”

With its combination of live footage and prepared videos, often blended, it was a strikingly fresh way to experience the Cooper spectacle, which only made the fast-paced 95-minute, 22-song show more intriguing and enveloping.

It was also not as tightly scripted as some of his previous productions, although the familiar crime/punishment/redemption arc still played out. It was in many ways more of a rock band kind of concert, the focus more on the song and the playing (incredibly tight after a couple weeks of rehearsals, with a sound mix to match) than the theatrics – though, as you’d expect, there were still plenty of those.

Cooper’s wife Sheryl was on hand with her classically trained dance skills as the “Cold Ethyl” Cooper abused, and to serve as a blue-gowned and powder-wigged Marie Antiodeath, straight out of mid-19th century, who marched Cooper to the guillotine after “The Ballad of Dwight Fry.” The giant monster puppet prowled the stage during “Feed My Frankenstein,” and a crew member shot paper bills into the crowd during “Billion Dollar Babies.”

A ferocious “School’s Out” was accompanied by giant balloons that bounced around the ballroom, and for the lone encore, “Elected,” Cooper dressed as a horror movie Uncle Sam perched atop a tall podium, flanked by American flags and declaring, “Why not me?” – although during the final bows he cautioned, “Whatever you do, DON’T vote for me.”

The opening night set list mixed things up a bit as well. The show opened with a partial rendering of “Lock Me Up” from Raise Your Fist and Yell, the first time that song’s been worked into the show, before the band tore into “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” Hey Stoopid’s “Snakebite” made its first appearance since 1991, while “Welcome to My Nightmare” returned after a nearly six-year absence.

“I’m Eighteen,” “Under My Wheels,” “Be My Lover” and “Poison” were as bulletproof as ever, while the blues-tinged “Fallen In Love” opened with Cooper on harmonica jamming with Strauss and Roxie. “Lost in America,” still eerily topical nearly 30 years after its release, was given a torrid treatment, while deep cuts such as “Bed of Nails” and “Escape” were as potent as any of the big hits.

Friday’s show was the start of plenty of road work for Cooper this year, including dates with the Hollywood Vampires and co-billed with Rob Zombie during the summer. It was a powerful start, however, setting a high bar for what’s to come.

View the Gallery