Alice Cooper - Manchester Arena, Manchester, Wednesday, 15th November 2017
Set List: Spend The Night (Intro.)/Brutal Planet/Under My Wheels/Lost In America/Pain/Department Of Youth/The World Needs Guts/Woman Of Mass Destruction/Nita Strauss Guitar Solo/Poison/Halo Of Flies/Drum And Bass Solo/Feed My Frankenstein/Cold Ethyl/Only Women Bleed/Paronoiac Personality/Ballad Of Dwight Fry/Killer/I Love The Dead.
Encore: I'm Eighteen/Billion Dollar Babies/No More Mr. Nice Guy/School's Out.
The 'Father of Shock Rock' returns touring his latest album 'Paranormal' although less shocking more panto these days - more on that later.
Striding on stage amidst of shower of firework sparks from above, twirling his cane around the band launch into 'Brutal Planet' - no mistaking Alice's raspy vocals above the chugging riff. Alice has continued with his preference for female guitarists of late, with new addition Nita Strauss, who has both the looks and extreme chops for playing excellent guitar, a whirlwind of long blonde hair throwing shapes never missing a note.
Almost 70 years old but Alice Cooper doesn't lack energy, undergoing many costume changes and performing stunts. Hits came thick and fast throughout the set, including fan favourites such as 'Under My Wheels', 'Lost In America', 'Pain', 'Department Of Youth', 'The World Needs Guts', 'Woman Of Mass Distraction' and his biggest hit of recent years, 'Poison'.
Of the stunts mentioned were Alice turning into a huge Frankenstein, walking the stage during the appropriate song 'Feed My Frankenstein', killing a wind up doll dancer during 'Only Women Bleed' and the obligatory guillotine was wheeled out during 'Ballad Of Dwight Fry', where Alice's head was chopped off, and held aloft to cheers from the audience. It's all panto fun these days, and no show would be complete without it.
For the second half of the show the original Alice Cooper band came onstage Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce and Neal Smith after four decades apart; although they did contribute to two songs on the most recent album. Just like Alice, they showed that they have lost none of their playing chops rattling through classics such as the stellar performances of 'I'm Eighteen', 'Billion Dollar Babies', 'No More Mr Nice Guy' and 'Muscle Of Love'. Four generations of fans in the crowd loved every minute.
They finished the evening with a blistering version of 'Schools Out', alongside the current line up who returned to the stage to join in. Confetti filled balloons floated over the crowd, "The nightmare is on us", yelled Alice as they took their final bows. Tremendous form from one of rock's legends.
Review By Mark Bedford
Photographs By John Mather