Alice Cooper – Live @ Trusts Event Centre, Auckland 2020
Alice Cooper and Band show how it’s done. Classic Rock can be the coolest genre to enjoy live. With twin guitars, great drumming, thrilling bass lines, awesome vocals, lights, backdrops and so on. Even better if the artist or band has some good old classic songs to bring back memories and to sing as loud as you can with other happy punters.
WORDS BY GEOFF BROWN | PHOTOS BY DAVID WATSON
It was with all this in mind that I was rather excited about listening to Alice Cooper and his band at the Trust Events centre in the bogan capital of NZ.
As soon as the main curtain dropped and the lights came on, I was hooked. Tight chords ripped through the building and in walked the master at the top of his game.
The MC50 and Airbourne
Three guitarists alongside the bass ripped the stage apart over the night, with frequent swapping of solos, jamming, and movement. These four must-have carved up a few kilometres over the course of the evening.
Recently identified as one of the best new guitarists on the planet, Nita Strauss was impressive. Her soloing was classy and tight, complimenting the experience and swagger of journeyman Ryan Roxie and versatile Tommy Henrikson. Alice Cooper has found with this group of shredders, a team to add real value, points of difference and polish to his wide selection of hits. Glen Sobel on drums is awesome. Tight precise, clean and a brute all in one big kit. Chuck Garric’s bass lines thumped along with the band in unison, so in harmony with each other it made the music itself a massive highlight of the night.
Then there is Alice himself. The theatre he brings and the originality he offers probably hasn’t changed in decades, but he does it with such fun and coolness.
His vocals really don’t need to work hard with the tones and levels required in the songs he has crafted, so even today his singing fits and is still really enjoyable.
The songs, well; Billion Dollar babies was mind-blowing. It was just like holding the classic album’s gatefold cover in your hands and watching it come to life. So cool. Under my Wheels is one of the best road trip songs still, but live, was really enjoyable. No more Mr Nice Guy, Feed my Frankenstein, Bed of Nails, Poison… Song after song just rolled into each other. Man behind the mask was super heavy, dark and left me hanging for air afterwards.
The guillotine, big blown up babies, Frankenstein and heaps of extras provided variety and colour. The theatrical was really fascinating as obviously the master of shock rock knows how to entertain with more than just singing songs.
Probably the highlight for me was the inevitable encore.’ Schools out’. Boy, this was so good. The riffs and solo’s were sublime. The crowd were so into it. You could see why Rock n Roll is so much fun.
Guest guitarist for the final number was Davy Johnstone from Elton John’s band, so with 4 guitarists now ploughing into this classic rock gem, it made for an incredible listen and ultimate finish to a really good night.
Alice is in good health. I reckon he will tour again. When he comes back to our shores, if you missed this concert, get along to the next one.
This is evidence that the good old rockers that are still going can still nail it. Especially if you are wise and crafty like Alice Cooper and employ classy musicians around you. Us punters are definitely getting our moneys worth.