Artist: Alice Cooper
Title: “Along Came A Spider”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 7/29/2008
Genre: Hard Rock
The man that is held single handedly responsible for being the focal point of almost anything shocking in Rock & Roll has returned with another sinister piece of music and this time around the one and only Alice Cooper finds himself as a serial killer in “Along Came A Spider”. Yes, his latest album essentially is a concept album and while it’s true that many of these kinds of albums are coming out fast and furious nowadays, its also true that Alice is not new to the idea and has done this on more than one occasion over the course of his career. The great thing about “ACAS” is that it still has a fresh Hard Rock angle to it, and calls to mind Alice Cooper of the early days and successfully works the crunching guitars with the macabre lyrics that the singer is laying down. For the album, Alice takes on the persona of a serial killer known as “The Spider” and the killers’ signature is wrapping his victims in silk once he has finished with them. He also removes a leg from each victim as a trophy. TV fans might realize this as something that you would want the guys on “Criminal Minds” to investigate or perhaps even our friends over on “CSI”. While it is a morbid premise to make an album about, we can all agree that society does find some fascination with serial murderers based on how many stories about them populate our mainstream media outlets. They’re on regular TV almost weekly and we also had popular movies featuring such monsters like Hannibal Lecter & Sweeney Todd to line out some examples. Either way, when its under Coopers direction the topic continues to remain as gripping and as frightening as it usually is.
Continue reading “Along Came A Spider” by Alice Cooper
Heaven and Hell have been kicking ass since the decision to reform the mark 2 version of Black Sabbath and now they would continue to smite the unbelievers with the Metal by taking both Queensryche and Alice Cooper on the road with them. We headed down to Jones Beach Ampitheatre to enjoy this one and those Metal heads who wish to learn more can click the logo to see our item on the main PiercingMetal.com site.
Artist: Heaven and Hell
Venue: Jones Beach Ampitheater (New York, NY)
Opener: Queensryche, Alice Cooper
Label: Rhino Entertainment
I honestly felt that I was present when Heavy Metal history was being made as Heaven and Hell first toured earlier this year and stopped at New York City’s own famed Radio City Music Hall. The show sold out in minutes and the entire event would be captured and released on individual DVD and CD’s and since then each of these items has become quite the blockbuster seller. The band then made sure to hit as many regions as possible and after NYC they would visit New Jersey with both Megadeth and Machinehead as tour support but soon each of those bands would need to adventure out on their own tours so if you caught one of those shows you were a lucky Metal head. This change in opener allowed HAH to set up an end of Summer appearance with the legendary Alice Cooper and the mighty Queensryche, and for this particular show we would travel out to the Jones Beach Amphitheatre in Wantagh, NY (or Long Island to many readers) to see what was happening. Here is how the night went down for those who were not present.
Continue reading Heaven and Hell @ Jones Beach Theater (9/8/2007)
Artist: Alice Cooper
Venue: Roseland Ballroom (New York, NY)
Opener: Wednesday 13
Label: New West Records
When I look back on my concert attendance over the past year it seems that I have not been to The Roseland Ballroom in quite a long time. Come to think of it there has not been a lot of Metal shows coming through town that have booked the venue and it seems as though anything worth attending has been at either B.B. King Blues Club, Irving Plaza or The Nokia Theatre anyway. It makes the rockers happy to know that no less than 4 major venues are at their immediate convenience and now we would all get the chance to enjoy someone who needed a place like Roseland, the Father Of Shock Rock – Alice Cooper!!!! I admit to being excited about this one, for while I have always enjoyed a major portion of his catalog, I had never seen him perform live outside of what was available on DVD. The show would take place very close to Halloween and I can think of no better time to enjoy a show like this. He would bring with him an opener of similar style and vibe, the Horror Rocker Wednesday 13. Here is what went down for the show.
Continue reading Alice Cooper @ Roseland Ballroom (10/21/2006)
Artist: Alice Cooper
Title: “The Nightmare Returns”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 8/14/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal
In 1986, Alice Cooper would reinvent and rise from the fallings he had found himself in the middle of. He was both unable to get attention for his latest music and also was recovering from the pains of alcohol addictions. Despite these turn of events Alice would rise like a phoenix and take hold of the power of Shock Rock that he helped create so many years ago once again. The DVD filmed in 1987 was shot on a very appropriate Halloween night in front of a sold-out crowd in Detroit. Alice’s return would also show a new and very Metal side to his brand of Rock for a change; this would be a welcome format for the classic numbers that suddenly seemed to have so much more attitude and life than they ever had before. The eerie opening of “Welcome To My Nightmare” would set the pace as Alice emerged from under the stage to a blast of Metal power from his new band. The legendary performer was smart to bring on a truly kick ass Metal band for this tour whose lineup consisted of the Rambo-esque Kane Roberts (lead guitar), Devlin 7 (rhythm), Kip Winger III (bass), Ken Mary (drums) and Paul Horrors (keyboards). Most know that Winger and Roberts went on to solo careers with Kip being the one who found the most success of the two. The Alice Cooper set for the show would be chocked full of fear-filled hits and over the top stage dramatics for every one of them. “Billion Dollar Babies” finds Alice performing with a baby doll on a sword as he throws play money around while “Only Women Bleed” finds him singing to an apparently lifeless dummy, which is not as it seems for the whole song. “I Love The Dead” is among the truly terrifying moments in the show as Alice meets the Grand Executioner and let’s just say heads will roll with this one. It is not a scene for the timid, and Alice and company pull it off without a margin of error. The overall choices in the songs for the show would satisfy the most ardent of Alice supporters, but better still serves as a great new take on his classics for those who might not have enough knowledge of his work. My personal favorites are too numerous to list, but the best example to describe this is as a live Greatest Hits concert video. Everything you expect and more is there to enjoy.
Continue reading “The Nightmare Returns” by Alice Cooper
Artist: Alice Cooper
Title: “Live At Montreux 2005”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 5/30/2006
Style: Hard Rock
Continuing with their collection of excellent concert films from the Montreux Jazz Festival, Eagle Vision gives us a 2005 performance from the legendary Alice Cooper. For over thirty years Alice Cooper has held the title as the “Godfather of Shock Rock” with bands such as KISS and Motley Crue following in his influential footsteps. For this concert Alice would be performing in support of his to be released “Dirty Diamonds” CD (of which several tracks are presented for the viewer to enjoy). However, like many Artists who place too much focus on a new release Alice and Company make sure to provide an absolutely heavy amount of classics from his extensive back catalog. Most of his hits are now legendary parts of Hard Rock music culture and I think even the most distant of music fans knows that “School’s Out” and “Billion Dollar Babies” are Cooper tracks. Fortunately these and many others are present but as you watch this concert there is a couple of things that stand out very quickly about the show. You’ll find that there is not much of an emphasis of the showman from the Nightmarish carnival that he usually brings around with him. The stage itself is not garish in design and no one is really in any sort of costume change except Cooper who has several during the performance while using a number of small props. He has a female dancer who also goes through a number of costume/character changes during the show and she does really well. It was a great difference to the Cooper experience for while its common knowledge about his level of visual talent and capacity, this showed that while it’s an important part of his show, it can be used minimally and still have a maximum impact on the audience. No matter what the reason for his changing the format from the way he used to you can count on Alice to lose his head for you as a viewer when it comes down to it. As an older fan of Cooper I lean to his classics, but was happy to see his newer material hold a heaviness that works very well.
Continue reading “Live At Montreux, 2005” by Alice Cooper