Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Alice Cooper-Beacon Theater Oct. 2002

The Greatest Female Name In Rock N’ Roll…
Beacon Theatre, New York City
October 29, 2002
By Madeline Bocaro

Remember the days when Alice Cooper was practically the only female
name in rock n’ roll? In these days of dreadful divas and, bratty teen
idols, Alice is still the greatest of them all!

Dragontown is an oriental nightmare. It looked like Alice had robbed
every major prop house in Hollywood to compose the stage set. There
were gigantic Noh masks, gargoyles, spears, hanged skeletons, mutilated
dolls, ancient implements of torture…the usual fare. Video projections
of Chinese writing were also quite effective. With his long coat
emblazoned with the Chinese characters for ‘strength’ Alice wore
chopsticks in his hair with a long braid at the back – posing like a
psycho samurai.

Lots of hits, including “Billion Dollar Babies” came early in the set,
and continued throughout. On “Go To Hell”, Alice played a pair of
black maracas – perhaps in tribute to the recent surge in popularity of
Latin music? Nah, I don’t think so!

The considerate Mr. Cooper feels a bit uncomfortable singing his anthem
“I’m Eighteen” at age 54, so he does it with a crutch in hand. But he
is not too mature to play air guitar with it!

The only other sign of Alice’s ‘maturity’ was when his head was bent
over the guillotine in preparation for his millionth beheading. Could
it be…yes, it was a bald spot! The stylistic, new-and-improved
guillotine was topped by a gothic pagoda. The executioner was a bit too
jovial this time around. Unlike the usual more severe, hooded figure,
this guy was dancing around with Alice’s rubber head in sheer mockery.
The head itself was not as striking as previous heads, (in fact, it
inaccurately had a tan!) which had more glistening guts spilling out of
the neck, and spat blood.

“Steven” “Dead Babies” and “Ballad of Dwight Fry” were done in a sort
of mixed medley. Although these standards should not be abbreviated, we
were treated to the traditional Nurse vs. Alice routine in which he
always wins. The nurse is potrayed by Cooper’s daughter whom he abuses
to no end, and introduces as, “My own little nightmare.” We also heard
“Cold Ethyl” “Welcome To My Nightmare” and snippets of “Black Widow”.

“Lost In America” replaced “Elected” this time, and “Vicious Young Man”
from Brutal Planet rocked the house. The band was very young (half the
age of most audience members) and very loud, which added to the fun.

The ‘nurse’ reattached Alice’s head to the body in the Frankenstein
chamber. He emerged re-animated in his white tux and tails (a little
spot of blood on the pants, of course) for “School’s Out” and another
string of hits, shocking us with “Is It My Body?” and closing with
“Under My Wheels”.

Just as we wondered what he would do for an encore, he unearthed Muscle
of Love’s “Department of Youth”! Britney Spears (Ms. Cooper) appeared
for a little dance, handing Alice a Pepsi, which he promptly spat out
in her face. He chased ‘Britney’ with a huge spear (get the pun?),
eventually beheading her to everyone’s delight, and triumphantly
displaying her severed head with fiendish glee.


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