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 Jan. 12, 2017
I'm very concerned about the problem of "fake news" and what it means for journalists, politicians and the media-consuming public. But, really, this isn't a new concern of mine. For many years, I've battled with the concept that the internet is always right.
Published Jan. 9, 2017
On Dec. 8, Larry Hansen was injured in a horrendous and freak accident by a presumed drunk driver. While working on his car in his Okauchee garage. Five surgeries and 42 pints of blood later, Hansen has lost a leg, has a broken back and faces more surgeries.
Published Dec. 20, 2016
Last week, I was bragging about the airfare deal of a century: a $66 round-trip ticket from Milwaukee to Ft. Myers. Yesterday, I was eating my words, since my flight home was delayed from Saturday to Monday, then cancelled completely on Monday, with no reasonable option on how to get home.
Published Dec. 8, 2016
Every few years, we remind you about Chief, the hard-rocking Milwaukee band that you should check out. Why? Not because frontman Chris Tischler compares Chief to Van Halen and Judas Priest, although that's a pretty good reason to give them a listen, since they're excellent musicians.
Published Dec. 5, 2016
I wasn't really in the market for a new TV, but like so many others, I got suckered into buying a huge one on Black Friday. I was lured by the low, low prices, but also the idea of having a super-sharp 65-inch television that would be ready for 4K.
Published Nov. 30, 2016
Margaret Gintoft knew there was a chance she'd run into a Clinton after jogging near her daughter's home in Chappaqua, N.Y. Last Sunday, Gintoft and her family were hiking in Rockefeller State Park when she saw the former president and former Secretary of State.
Published Nov. 28, 2016
With almost everything available on-demand online, cable and satellite TV are pretty archaic. Today, AT&T acknowledged this by unveiling DIRECTV Now, a streaming service that will go head-to-head with cable (and its own soon-to-be-discontinued U-Verse), for $35 a month.
Published Nov. 16, 2016
Even though Cedarburg is so close to Milwaukee, when you're in its little downtown, you feel far away. And, while plenty of Milwaukeeans visit the Stagecoach Inn Bed & Breakfast for a staycation, this charming old hotel attracts plenty of people from out of town, too.
Published Nov. 15, 2016
House of Harley-Davidson announced today the expansion of its territory with the purchase of Racine Harley-Davidson.
Published Nov. 9, 2016
In this darkest moment in modern U.S. history, I'm looking for a silver lining. This is the best I've got: The president is not a king. Donald Trump cannot tear up the Constitution and keep his job.