Monday, August 10, 2009

A rilly big shew

The Morris Okay, pictures are edited and videos are uploaded, so it's time to discuss last night's Blue Öyster Cult/Alice Cooper show!

After a bite to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings, we walked over to the venue, the Morris Center, just a block or so away. The Morris is a beautiful place, lovingly restored, and is consistently in the list of top venues in the country, based on ticket sales. My Dad remembers seeing Louis Armstrong there, I remember seeing rock shows when the ceiling was crumbling, and it's wonderful to go there now and see what a wonderful job they did on renovation and restoration. The Morris is a gem!

We got there about five minutes late, and the opening act, BÖC, had started right on time! We made our way to our seats, 11th row on the side. We scoped out some empty seats in the center, and when they weren't filled, we were able to move over and get even better seats. We gave our original seats to a couple who was sitting in different rows, so it worked out well for everyone. As I mentioned previously, I was never that much into BÖC, but they're excellent live. Buck Dharma was and is one of the best guitarists in rock, and he still sounds great. The highlights were of course "Burnin' For You," "Godzilla," and "(Don't Fear) The Reaper." For the latter, they did the extended version with the guitar solo, which is much better than the radio edit version. (A Silver Squirrel award to anyone who knows which TV miniseries used that song to such great effect.)

BOC bass player I had to chuckle at the bass player. He had the whole 80's hair band thing goin' on, with the long hair, tight jeans, and he was a very active bass player, unlike most bass players, slappin' that bass like he was...well, never mind. He even did a bass solo. Does the world really still need bass solos? Turns out he used to play for Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, and Ozzy. I was never into any of them, so that explains why I found this bass player amusing. (Apologies to any fans of those bands out there, but they just weren't my cup o' tea.) Anyhoo, solid effort from BÖC, but I was there for Alice.

This tour is called the Theatre of Death Tour, and "theatre" is very apropos. Alice has never had the best voice in the rock biz, but he's always had the shock factor thing going for him, and the guy still puts on one helluva show. I owe Alice an apology, because I had assumed that he wouldn't do many of the props or gags like he used to...I figured he was an elderly statesman of rock doing a diplomatic tour, just doing straight up versions of his classic rock songs.

Well, smack me on the ass and call me Shirley, I couldn't have been more wrong. He pulled out all the stops and everything from his infamous shows made an appearance. The guillotine and Alice's severed head; the gallows and Alice being hanged; the naughty nurse with the huge hypodermic needle; the straight jacket; and the baby doll's head cut off with a sword. It was one of the coolest shows EVAH! The only thing missing from the "olden days" (haha) was the electric chair and the python. Maybe the snake became too demanding, stipulating that there were to be no brown rats in the bowl of rats backstage. (Another Silver Squirrel to anyone who gets that reference!)

AliceF Alice did all the usual suspects, including "School's Out" (a brief intro with it, then a raucous, full-version encore), "I'm Eighteen," "Be My Lover," "Under My Wheels," "Billion Dollar Babies" (that's when he cut the doll's head off), "Only Women Bleed," "Poison," and two of my favorites, "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "Welcome to my Nightmare." He also did "Dirty Diamonds," "Go to Hell," "Guilty," "I Love the Dead," and "I Never Cry." I was surprised that he didn't do "Elected," but all the other awesome songs more than made up for it! I think I started losing my voice towards the end there, when everyone was singing along to "School's Out" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy." Man, "School's Out" is still such a kickass song. I loved it when the whole crowd shouted "We can't even think of a word that rhymes!" The crowd was really into it, and we were on our feet the entire time. I don't know if it was a soldout show, but I think we gave Alice a very warm reception, and when he shouted "Thank you, South Bend!" he said it with a smile, and I think he meant it. (When he did "Under My Wheels," he sang, "Under my Studebaker wheels," which I thought was kinda cool!)

I am so glad I got to go, and it really was a fantastic show. For anyone who thinks Alice is irrelevant, I say "piss off!" (I seem to be saying that a lot lately!) He is a true original, and one of the pioneers of rock. There would be no White Zombie or Marilyn Manson or any other shock rockers without Alice. He was the first, and he's still awesome. I love you, Alice! By the way, everyone needs to remember that Alice is an entertainer. I remember hearing at church when I was a kid that Alice Cooper and other rock artists were Satanists, sending subliminal messages in their music. Pffttt. What a bunch of hooey. Alice (real name Vincent Furnier) is the son of a minister, owns a restaurant in Phoenix, says he's a Christian, and loves to golf. How many Satanists do you know who are avid golfers? The only thing that might make me think he's evil is that he has, in the past, said that Sarah Palin was a breath of fresh air. Now that is some scary stuff! [grin]

Alice guitarists I also have to give credit to his band. Man, those guys were smokin' hot. They seemed to have two lead guitarists rather than lead and rhythm, and these two were just incredible. Great band, great show!

Here is a slideshow of pictures--a lot were fuzzy, but I got a couple that I really liked, especially the last one in the slideshow of Alice in his shiny suit and top hat--followed by a video of him doing “Welcome to my Nightmare" and "Cold Ethyl." It cracked me up the way he flung "Ethyl" around, and even tangoed with her. If you go to the video on my YouTube page, you can see other, shorter videos of the guillotine and the naughty nurse.

Rock on, people! You know I will!


  1. LOVE Cold Ethyl! And BOC. Bet it was awesome! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  2. Rock Opera - he did a great job and it was a blast :o)

  3. do i get anything for knowing the name of the dude from quiet riot????

    i loved the boc 'godzilla' song when i was younger.

    fab pics!!!


  4. How do you do the You Tube slide show? That's totally cool!! Glad you loved the show. Alice is one of the few acts I didn't see back in the day. Glad to know he's still rocking it, baby! We more mature rock hippies need to stick together. No generation will ever has as kickass music as us!!!

  5. Great review, so descriptive that I feel like I was there!

  6. I'm glad you had fun and that I didn't have to go!

  7. It sounds like a rockin good time...I wouldn't have thought his show would still be so good. He's timeless and yes, he was a pioneer so I agree with your piss off statement. He & his wife were on VH1 and she is just as cool as him.

    I don't know what mini-series but I'm thinking I remember something, maybe Stephen King. I know it was a great scene in Halloween when JLC was in the car smoking a joint.

    (I'm dissed Riot and the Wsnake. LOL)

  8. I'm glad you had a good time. I'd rather listen to Alice on CD, but this was a huge night for you, and I'm thrilled!

  9. Hi Beth,
    What a blast from the past. I never really was into Alice Cooper but it does bring back memories!

  10. BOC's Don't Fear the Reaper was on Veronica Mars and Supernatural.

    That is SOOO Cool that you got to see BOTH these bands, but yes Alice Cooper is definitely TOPS!!! And he played ALL his great hits!! (And he likes Sarah Palin... WOO HOO!!! LOL!!)

    LOL @ your "...smack me in the A$$ and call me Shirley." LOLOL!!!! FUNNY!!!

  11. Wow, sounds like a great time. It is almost hard to believe Alice isn't wheelchair bound, And BOC are still together. God I remember listening to them in high school!

  12. Old? YOU THINK ALICE IS TOO OLD???? Psh, woman! Don't you remember the last time he was here and he was on crutches and stil threw a hell of a show? Everyone who saw that show said it was fucking awesome, even more so that he was on crutches and still rocked it out. I like listening to his show on the radio every night too. I enjoy the oldschool DJ's who talk about the music moreso than just play whatever they're told. The guitarist in the last photo is pretty hot. ;) I love the Morris too. Everytime we go, I just want to touch everything. The building makes me feel like I'm in another place, another time. Just gorgeous.

  13. funny, i do not know a thing about Alice Cooper but would LOVE to see BOC live. LOL I totally enjoyed hearing about your give great reviews.

  14. I was front row at this show and it totally kicked ass! I agree with you! I've seen Alice many times in the last few years, and he brings it every time!

    Rudy Sarzo is quite the amazing bass player for BOC. I was right in front of him, and it was just insane to watch his playing.

    As for Coop's guitar players, they ROCK, and are both the nicest guys you'll ever meet. Damon Johnson is the one with the beard and Keri Kelli was the one with the blonde streak in his hair. Check 'em out. Their resumes will blow you away.


  15. Did he play Aspirin Damage, or Clones? Probably not, I'm sure he's still (and rightly so) very embarrassed by those.

  16. r. u. ready 2 rock?

    it sounds like you were, and it sounds like you did! glad you enjoyed yourself so thoroughly!


  17. You put this "review" together very well. My friends usually just call after a concert and say IT WAS GREAT! ;O I am jealous. This sounds like it was a ball. ~Mary
    (very well written on your part)


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?