Alice Cooper

with Billy Thorpe

Friday night at the Silverdome; 2300 eager fans turned up to see Alice Cooper and support act, Billy Thorpe, perform.


The show began at 7.30pm. Billy Thorpe came out and started off with a song from his new album, Tangier, which no one was familiar with. I thought it was a poor song to start the show off with. The song went for at least 15 minutes and seemed to go on forever. Don't get me wrong the song sounded good, but wasn't suited for the opening number, the crowd weren't very responsive to it.


The second number was a real mix of influences including blues, rock, to an Arabic type of sound, an awesome guitar solo by Billy, a few rap verses in there, which I thought sounded horrible, but apart from that it sounded good and made me want to dance, but it was also far too long.


By the third song I was hoping for an old familiar song, but I still didn't get one. He played a song called, ‘Since You've Been Gone'. This number was more stripped back, having softer guitars, an organ and harmonised vocals. It was a nice relaxed song, which showcased his vocal abilities very nicely, with a few guitar and organ solos thrown in.


There was hardly any crowd participation until finally after the third song when Billy started talking. He yelled out, "Launceston!" very loudly, the man beside me jumped and I couldn't help but laugh. Billy then talked about his new album and his website and even threw in a joke about Ian Thorpe which got a laugh from the crowd. He then proceeded with the show. He introduced the next song, ‘Rock Me All Night', from 1972 and the crowd seemed to be more excited.


During the last song, ‘Most People I Know (Think That I'm Crazy)', a few people went up to the front of the stage and started dancing together, then a group of 10 or so people ran up to the stage and they all started head banging to the music, it looked quite funny.


During the break in between Billy Thorpe and Alice Cooper, the crowd gathered around the stage waiting to see the first glimpse of Alice. This forced everyone who was seated on the floor to stand up so they could see.


Finally drums start beating and we all hear, Hey, Hey, Hey… then Alice came walking down the staircase to a massive amount of cheering from the excited crowd. Alice struts across the stage singing, ‘No More Mr Nice Guy', whilst waving around his cane to the audience.


Alice seemed to have props for every song. He was taunting and throwing out diamonds necklaces to the crowd in one of his new songs called, ‘Dirty Diamonds'.


The next song, ‘Billion Dollar Baby', Alice had a sword and attached to it was heaps of fake $100 notes with his face in the middle of them and he was waving it over the audience until the notes flew off into the crowd. He continued to play more of his famous hits, ‘Be My Lover', ‘Lost in America', and a few others, as the moshpit began to grow and the guitarists moved closer to the crowd for more attention during various solos. They played my personal favourite, ‘I'm 18' He sang this perfectly and it sounded awesome! At the end of it they turned all the lights on to show the audience and everyone was cheering and going off!


The mood changed as Alice's daughter, Calico Cooper, appears on stage with her whip in the song called, ‘Go To Hell'. She wanders around the stage for a while doing some fancy work with her whip and her cape, she then corners Alice and he disappears, so then she runs off the stage and the band keeps playing, before an incredible drum solo by Eric Singer. After a costume change Alice appears again and the mood has definitely become darker and creepier.


As he sang, ‘Feed My Frankenstein', Alice collected body parts from the stage and put them together in the coffin on the stage, he retrieved all the parts but the head. Calico reappeared on the stage and during the song he bashed her and she eventually died, but she came back to life during another song and then Alice got caught and put into a straight jacket and then had to sing the next song on the floor in the jacket until he broke free but they caught him again and then the huge guillotine was brought forward on the stage. They proceeded to take Alice to it as people were yelling; "Die! Die! Die!" and so they chopped his head off, Calico then strutted around the stage with it before placing it in the coffin to complete, Frankenstein. Another costume change and Alice broke out of the coffin, which looked pretty cool.


They finished off the set with, ‘Schools Out', and then they released heaps of giant balloons with objects inside them into the audience and they had fun punching them around the Silverdome.


With a few minutes break Alice reappeared to sing his hit songs, ‘Poison', ‘Wish I Was Born In Beverly Hills', and to finish off his encore he sang, ‘Under My Wheels', and during this song he introduced all the members of the band, and when it came to himself, he just said, "and me", the crowd erupted with cheers.


To sum up the entire night, I thought Billy Thorpe played extremely well, showcasing his guitar and vocal abilities, but had poor song choice because the crowd didn't get enthusiastic until the last song and by then it was far too late.


Alice Cooper was extremely entertaining, acting out each song, and by throwing out various things to the audience to keep them entertained. His band played incredibly well and was also entertaining to watch. The only thing I found disappointing was that he didn't talk to the audience, it felt like it was all planned out and he didn't have time for it. Maybe it was just the way the show was meant to be, to keep the illusion of the stories alive, and not to be interrupted by reality.

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