Alice Cooper’s Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back tour hit town last night promising Adelaidians a value for money rock extravaganza. It was an incredible show by the seventy two year old strong Alice Cooper back by one of the world’s best bands including the likes of Ryan Roxie, Chuck Garric, Tommy Henriksen, Glen Sobel and Nita Strauss. Hats off also to Alice Cooper who keeps coming back to Adelaide every tour when so many others don’t… thank you!
The night got off to a turbo charged opener with MC50. Wow! These guys were so good and considering the pedigree of the band they could of quite easily headlined their own gig somewhere else. MC50 is the supergroup led by MC5 founding guitarist Wayne Kramer and joined by guitarist Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), drummer Brendan Canty (Fugazi), bassist Billy Gould (Faith No More) and singer Marcus Durant (Zen Guerilla) who are bringing their Kick Out The Jams 50th Anniversary tour to Australia.
Walking on the stage to their creed “brothers and sisters, let me see your hands, the time has come for each and one of you to decide whether you are going to be the problem or are you going to be the solution, you must choose, it takes five seconds a decision, are you ready to testify?” What a ball tearer of an opener with Ramblin’ Rose followed by Kick Out The Jams and Tonight. The band were tight and looked they were having a whole bunch of fun playing these songs. The set was short and sweet but loaded with great songs including Call Me Animal, Motor City Burning and the politically fuelled Looking At You.
Warrnambool lads Airbourne have really stepped up their game and have evolved as a band being tour hardened with lengthy stints in Europe. Airbourne don’t compromise with their stage get up with their trademark Marshall amps lining the stage. I definitely needed new ears after their set. It was loud! The rocked! The crowd took a bit of convincing to stand up and get involved but by the end they eventually did. Their opening song seemed quite relevant, Ready To Rock, making a very bold statement of intent. The new album Boneshaker featured prominently with the inclusions of the title track and Burnout The Nitro.
Front man Joel O’Keeffe won the crowd over early saying it was great to be back in Adelaide rock city and to ‘stick it up ’em’ for anyone who rubbishes our city. Back In The Game was an absolute bruiser and Joel like the devil possessed jumped the stage and then over the barrier to go for a run through the crowd during Girls In Black. Given that Airbourne don’t get back to Adelaide all that often a longer set would have been premium but not to be. The air raid sirens that sounded through Live It Up combined some great lighting effects. Runnin’ Wild brought their set to end to which Joel closed by saying that “while you’re alive and while we’re still alive rock ‘n roll will never die”.
Alice Cooper! The Great Man! Legend! It is really hard to criticise this show as it was top shelf all the way. This was far more than a gig or a concert, this rock production entertained start to end. Incredible considering Cooper played 191 shows last year and looks to continue that again this year with more touring with his other band the Hollywood Vampires. The stage was styled as Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle. The majority of the set was plucked from the seventies and eighties despite releasing new music via the Breadcrumbs EP late last year. The power of his music lies in the fact that this still resonates even more today than it did ever before. On
It was full throttle and the band was let of the leash on Feed My Frankenstein, No More Mr Nice Guy and Bed Of Nails. Cooper merges from Nightmare Castle sporting a top hat and twirling a cane. The set sailed along at pace with no real banter with the crowd until right at the end. The production was well put together and moving in to the Arena enhanced the experience.
There was plenty of choreographed theatrical live horror elements that when joined together is something only Cooper could pull off. Most notable was the large baby flitting around the stage waving Cooper’s decapitated head. There was even a surprise appearance from Jason of Friday the 13th to butcher two, who seemed like complete randoms, ‘actors’ who appeared as selfie-taking women at the Nightmare Castle. It is always a highlight to see Cooper’s ghost bride (wife Sheryl Goddard) become an important part of the show.
The show is filled with anthems from the likes of Eighteen to Billion Dollar Babies to Poison. There’s plenty more for the highlights reel including the likes of Dead Babies and Teenage Frankenstein. It all sounds a bit macabre but the crowd loved it and Cooper relished in the adulation.
At the start of the encore an Australian flag hung from Nightmare Castle to plenty of appreciation. Sporting a Port Power guernsey there were two epic songs left. The crowd found plenty of voice on Department Of Youth followed by School’s Out which morphed in to Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 as well the first time he spoke to thank Adelaide and to introduce his band. The balls filled with confetti added plenty of excitement for what was a great show.
Alice Cooper you’ve done it again! Awesome show with great support from Airbourne and MC50. Let’s hope we can do it again sometime soon.
Live Review By Rob Lyon