Sitting atop author’s bucket list, Alice Cooper rises to occasion

By MIKE CHAIKEN
EDITIONS EDITOR
If you cover and photograph rock shows, you’re bound to have acts on your “bucket list.”
And on Aug. 16, I had a chance to check off another rocker from my list.
Alice Cooper.
Alice Cooper is the special guest on Motley Crue’s final tour, “All Bad Things Must Come to An End,” which stopped at the Mohegan Sun Arena
Although the Crue are hanging it up, there is no such hint coming from Alice Cooper’s camp. And given the Aug. 16 performance, there seems to be no reason for the Grand Guignol of metal to slip quietly into retirement.
Alice, backed by a stellar band, might have had a shorter set than he would have as a headliner. But he showed no reluctance in offering up a headliner quality performance in the middle slot between the Crue and openers The Cringe.
The set featured a plethora of hits from throughout Alice’s storied career. Opening up with the creepy, “The Black Widow” (complete with introductory narration from Vincent Price) and reaching into the big hits such as “School’s Out,” “Under My Wheels,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” and “Poison” Alice demonstrated what a hit making machine he was and how unique his perspective on rock and roll is.
For this show, Alice also was not afraid to pull out his trademark theatrics. From “The Ballad of Dwight Fry,” which was sung in a straight jacket as the singer was taunted by a demonic nurse, to “Feed My Frankenstein,” which found Alice bound to a table and electrocuted, Alice wasn’t above reaching into his shock rock box of tricks— even if he wasn’t he wasn’t at the top of the night’s bill.
(Lest you think Alice was trying to upstage the headliners, truth be told, Motley Crue and Alice are no strangers. Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx both helped Alice on the recording of his 1991 album “Hey Stoopid.”)
And although most of the theatrics were not new to Alice’s repertoire—such as his beheading during “I Love the Dead”—he still presents them with giddy verve.
Alice’s show also was boosted by a fabulous band. Bassist Chuck Garric, guitarist Ryan Roxie, guitarist Nita Strauss, guitarist Tommy Hendricksen, and drummer Glen Sobel (and Alice Cooper’s original bassist Dennis Dunaway) all crackled with energy. They gave a modern day sheen to Alice’s classic tracks.
Alice may have a life time of rocking under his belt. But the Aug. 16 Mohegan Sun Arena show indicated that he is still at the top of his game.
And as one of the rock singers on my bucket list, Alice Cooper surely didn’t disappoint.
I give Alice Cooper’s performance at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Aug. 16, 4 out of 4 stars. The man still has it.
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As for The Cringe from New York, who preceded Alice on the Motley Crue tour, they gave offered up a gritty, 1970s flavored style of Gotham rock, circa the 1970s. They offered a perfect warm up for the headliners and Cooper.
Alice Cooper, and Motley Crue, return to Connecticut on Oct. 16 when they perform at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.
I give Alice Cooper at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Aug. 16 four out of four stars.
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver. com.

Alice Cooper’s band in action at the Aug. 16 show opening for Motley Crue at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (MIKE CHAIKEN PHOTO)

Alice Cooper’s band in action at the Aug. 16 show opening for Motley Crue at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (MIKE CHAIKEN PHOTO)

Alice Cooper in action at the Mohegan Sun on Aug. 16. (MIKE CHAIKEN PHOTO)

Alice Cooper in action at the Mohegan Sun on Aug. 16. (MIKE CHAIKEN PHOTO)

The Cringe opened for Motley Crue and Alice Cooper on Aug. 16 at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (MIKE CHAIKEN PHOTO)

The Cringe opened for Motley Crue and Alice Cooper on Aug. 16 at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (MIKE CHAIKEN PHOTO)