I wouldn’t have called myself a huge Alice Cooper fan, though I’ve always enjoyed both the music and man behind the makeup. Tonight, I became a fan.
I was first acquainted with his work in 1993’s "Dazed and Confused," and that soundtrack warmed me up to this ‘70s hard rock icon. I really do like classic rock, and Cooper has always seemed like a cool guy to me – his radio show, restaurant in Phoenix and decidedly unrocking love for golf, made me always want to see the legend in person.
Now, of course, I’m buddies with his bassist, Chuck Garric, who is the husband of OnMilwaukee.com blogger and my childhood friend, Lindsay Garric, so Sunday night’s Summerfest show made for perfect timing to see Cooper live.
Against the background of the beautiful BMO Harris Pavilion, Cooper and crew turned it up for a wind-blown crowd ready to hear his hits. It’s funny to think that in the ‘70s, Cooper – aka Vincent Damon Furnier – was considered scary. Funny, because he didn’t seem scary to me. Just good. And way ahead of his time.
Tonight, Cooper looked great for a guy who's ready to collect Social Security. The show was as theatrical as it was loud, too. I laughed when he wielded a sword, throwing money around during "Billion Dollar Baby," and when he busted out a giant coffee mug during "Caffeine."
But that was just the beginning.
Cooper brought out a live snake for "Devil's Food." He went into some sort of electric chair during "Frankenstein" and emerged as a giant monster. Then there was a straight jacket and a scary nurse and a guillotine. And a severed head.
I wish I remembered the '70s a little more. It must’ve been a lot of fun.
Of course, Cooper’s stage presence was backed by solid music, too. He surrounded himself with top-notch musicians who rocked out to an extended break down. His guitarist, 28-year-old Australian phenom, Orianthi, really shredded.
Cooper wrapped with "School's Out" that morphed into "Another Brick In The Wall." Nice.
A couple pyrotechnics led to a faux bloody crutched "Eighteen" for a one-song encore. And he did thank "Mily-wauk-ay," in reference to "Wayne’s World." Party on, Garth.
So, sure, this music sounded dated, because it is. But consider that "Welcome To My Nightmare" came out in 1975. It actually sounded a little '80s, but think about it: Cooper was a good 10 years before his time. And he's still going strong.
In the end, Cooper brought a super high energy, loud, pseudo gory and fun show. The crowd ate it up ... and so did I.
House of Fire
No More Nice Guy
Billion Dollar Babies
I’ll Bite Your Face Off
Is It My Body
Under My Wheels
Welcome to my Nightmare
Go To Hell
Feed My Frankenstein
Ballad of Dwight Fry
Killer School's Out
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Feb. 18, 2015
Doctors are very clear with their warnings that alcohol will not warm you up in the dead of winter. So, obviously, unless you have a Saint Bernard with a little flask of brandy, you should not drink to thaw yourself out during these subzero temperatures in Milwaukee right now. You may, however, drink to take your mind off winter. And it being Bar Month, we tracked down some excellent cocktail recipes from our sponsor brands.
Published Feb. 18, 2015
Karen Leahy, a CPA and Milwaukee native, doesn't really talk about her other career - something she's been doing straight through since the '80s. "I'd rather be known for brains than beauty," says Leahy, who is also a successful part-time model. "I should have been a boy," she says, nuzzling her dog in her chic Downtown condo. "I like cars, sports and sex."
Published Feb. 9, 2015
As we trudge through another winter, thinking we've got it the worst - and we hear about it the most on TV - industry insiders say that's not quite right. Everyone, everywhere complains about their city's weather and its weather coverage. Yet for the most part, every TV station reports on it the same way. Here's an in-depth look at the changing face of Milwaukee weather.
Published Feb. 3, 2015
There aren't many bars in Milwaukee where no money changes hands, you don't order your own drinks and all of the imbibing goes on in the middle of the day. But that's the world of Lisa Semerad, a bartender at the Miller Inn, the last stop on the Miller Brewery Tour at 4251 W. State St. Her customers are always in a great mood, and for Semerad, Miller is a family tradition. No wonder she loves her job.
Published Feb. 3, 2015
I remember helping a friend out in college after his grandmother died, and one of our tasks was going through her old photos and deciding what to keep and what to toss. This was a really sad task, and I felt like I was intruding on someone's life, throwing away memories that meant nothing to me. What will it be like for our generation?
Published Jan. 6, 2015
I remember back in college, I came to the realization that several different versions existed of me. Those different versions of me continue to this day, but nowhere are they more pronounced than on social media. I embraced Twitter long before Facebook and Instagram, but now active on all three, you'll experience a totally different Andy Tarnoff if you only look in one place.
Published Dec. 30, 2014
These year-end lists are always fun to write, because they are so open-ended. So bear with me if I skip the regular categories and think outside the box a little for this one.
Published Dec. 29, 2014
As you can imagine, it's not easy being a four-season bike shop in a state where it's possible to see snow on the ground for eight months out of the year. But Steve Whitford, co-owner of South Shore Cyclery in Cudahy, says he knows no other way.
Published Dec. 22, 2014
I remember vividly how hard school was. Not just the homework, but the routine of waking up early, navigating its social intricacies. Granted, my daughter is only in K5, but still, she works hard - so I like to reward her with plenty of family fun when seasonal school vacations come around.
Published Dec. 17, 2014
Yesterday, I walked around Packard Avenue in Cudahy for the first time in a long time. I mean, I drive through or around Cudahy all the time, but yesterday was different. I stopped to smell the roses. Every real Milwaukeeans should pay a visit to downtown Cudahy every now and then. It's like a window into our past, and it's still alive and kicking today.