At end of his final tune "Elected" Alice cooper introduced his band and then proclaimed himself "The next president of the United States -- Alice Cooper!" as he held aloft a U.S. flag. And why not? His friends have numbered Salvador Dali and Groucho Marx, and like them Cooper’s career has proven him to be true visionary.
On Tuesday night at the Riverside Theater Cooper and his band delivered a master course in the crossroads where hit singles meet hard rock. "No More Mister Nice Guy," "Under My Wheels," "Eighteen," "Welcome to My Nightmare," "Only Women Bleed," "Billion Dollar Babies" and "School’s Out" are woven into the fabric of anyone who grew up on ‘70s radio.
Fronting a band of heavy metal ghouls who weren’t even born when deeper cuts like "Desperado" and "Muscle of Love" spun around turntables, Cooper proved he could still take a joke and deliver the goods. He even sang "The Ballad of Dwight Frye," arguably his best tune, holding the mic while in a straight jacket.
Working the a post-apocalyptic stage set, Cooper pulled out all the stops: fog machines, strobe lights, dead babies, an abused mannequin that turned out to be his real-life daughter and back again, blood, money and diamonds tossed to the crowd.
Hell, even a drum solo that included both guitarists on snares -- everything except the boa constrictor and guillotine routines, although his daughter did pull the switch when dad’s head was in the hangman's noose. Never fear, he was back in time for the next number.
Even the newer tunes like "Poison" and "Lost in America" made the cut with an audience who stood for the entire show. Cooper may be pushing sixty years old and boast a 3 handicap on the golf course, but he shows no signs of slowing down.