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Thursday, 17 October 2019

A View From The Back Of The Room: Alice Cooper (Live Review By Liam True)

Alice Cooper, The Stranglers & MC50, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Walking around Cardiff and you can see the different generations of Alice Cooper fans. From the older rockers to the newer fans, and we’re all united in the spirit of the master of shock rock himself. But before we get graced with his presence, there are two bands who I never thought I'd see.

MC50 (8) are a band that I never thought I'd ever see. Although coming to the UK last year I wasn’t able to see them. Now they’re here. The Detroit punkers storm though their set with passion and content, only stopping to catch their breath between songs. Although only addressing the audience once, they let their music do the talking, because they can get away with it. Playing only a 9-song set filled with nothing but their classic hits they get the crowd ready and moving. Well, some of the crowd at least. While coming to final song Looking At You, guitarist Wayne Kramer states ‘This song is dedicated to someone we all dislike’ He only mentions the word orange and the entire crowd cheer in return. The MC50 have come, played, and Kicked Out The Jams Motherfuckers.

The Stranglers (6) aren’t my kind of music to be completely honest. But the majority of the crowd are big fans and having a blast. Me however, I'm not that impressed. They interacted with the crowd with some banter, calling themselves a ‘Bunch of twats’ heckling two women who took their seats halfway through the first song and having the time of their lives. And that’s what it’s all about. Their set filled with classic songs such as Golden Brown and Peaches get the biggest reactions from the crowd and people are dancing from the floor to the balcony's. The band however fall just a bit flat for myself. Although I'm glad I've seen them, once is enough for me.

Now it’s time for the main event. The moment we all came here for. Ol’ Black Eyes himself. It’s my first-time seeing Alice Cooper (10) and have heard big things about his live performance so I came here expecting a spectacle. And it was delivered. From the moment the curtain dropped and the band launched into Feed My Frankenstein, the bar was set. The backdrop was the ‘Nightmare Castle Of Alice Cooper’ and at the front leading in the charge is The Godfather Of Shock Rock himself. The band rampage through the big hitters No More Mr Nice Guy & Bed Of Nails with ease and the crowd are in the palm of their hands. He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) has Jason Voorhees lurking on the castle walls slaying his victims before disappearing into the mist before I’m Eighteen has fists rising in the air. Billion Dollar Babies has a giant inflatable baby breaking through the castle wall and bouncing around the stage before taking it’s leave. Poison has the singalong anthem and gets everybody up and moving while Cooper commands everyone from atop the battlements.

Roses On White Lace see’s Cooper decapitated with a giant Frankenstein and the baby tossing his lifeless head back and forth before bursting out of the coffin bearing a Welsh football top causing the crowd to erupt in a frenzy. Devil’s Food & The Black Widow are both shortened with only the rhythm being played which I was saddened by as The Black Widow is my favourite Cooper song. Steven then again has the crowd chanting and raising their fists while the band climb atop the castle and look down at their subjects. Then the finale comes, Schools Out shuts down the show with a reign of confetti and members of both The Stranglers and MC50 playing alongside the band. The entire show just blew me away and proved that Cooper still had the energy and willingness to keep performing. I’m still in awe about what I've seen, and nothing will ever top it.

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