Alice Cooper’s Performance in Saint Louis Was Sharp as a Knife Cutting Flesh

Halestorm opening for Alice Cooper Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

–by Sean Derrick

 

While Alice Cooper’s show Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis may have been tame by some of today’s standards, at 71 he still shows why he is the godfather of gore.

Alice Cooper performing Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Many acts have tried to outdo Cooper in visually disturbing live shows, but most have lacked that extra something. The show Thursday had that, and more.

Storming out of the gate with classics “Feed My Frankenstein” and “No More Mr. Nice Guy” Cooper got the crowd amped up early with theatrics right off the bat. Wearing a top hat and his signature cane, Cooper presented himself as the emcee of theatrics in his gore-filled theatre.

Alice Cooper performing Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

But that’s hardly where the theatrics ended. Cooper brought out his usual bag of tricks; from bloody knives, to the giant Frankenstein, to Cooper getting “beheaded” at a guillotine. Needless to say, the crowd ate it up, even if they had seen it a hundred times, it never gets old.

To his detractors who deride his shows as gimmicky, they don’t get it. Let’s face it, an Alice Cooper show without the theatrics would be, in itself, silly.

Alice Cooper performing Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

The key is that Cooper (real name Vincent Furnier) knows the key to being more than a one dimensional act and always surrounds himself with a top notch band. Many great musicians have played with Cooper over the last 50 years and this group ( guitarists Nita Strauss, Ryan Roxie, and Tommy Henriksen, bassist Chuck Garric, and drummer Glen Sobel) is notwithstanding.

Alice Cooper performing Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

He and his band sounded crisp, sharp, and spot on. And, as was the theme of the night, guitar solos were all the rage, highlighted by Nita Strauss’ blistering solo and a combined solo that was “Black Widow Jam” which felt like a modern day version of the Beatle’s “The End”, complete with a Glen Sobel solo.

In a era where the guitar solo has been shunned for way too long (thanks for that, by the way, grunge) a healthy dose of awesome live axe solos are a welcome note to lonely ears.

Alice Cooper performing Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

And what better band to get to help than Halestorm? Lead by lead singer (and a phenomenal guitarist herself) Lzzy Hale (with her brother Arejay hale on drums, along with bassist Josh Smith and guitarist Joe Hottinger) if you haven’t seen this band live yet you are missing something in your life.

Halestorm opening for Alice Cooper Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Take guttural screams by Lzzy to compliment awesome hook-driven tempos and catchy chorus lines and ramp it up with an impressive light show, flair, showmanship, and all around kick-assery, you have halestorm. They are the embodiment of rock ‘n roll attitude for live shows with power chords.

Halestorm opening for Alice Cooper Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

This was the 5th time I have seen this band and they keep getting better each time. They tore through their 60 minute set highlighted by “Freak Like Me”, “Love Bites (So Do I)”, and Arejay’s drum solo.

Halestorm opening for Alice Cooper Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Ever the flair for the dramatic Arejay will usually pull out some giant drumsticks (I do mean giant) and solo with those. But in honor of the tour they were on (both grew up listening to Alice Cooper) he brought out two “Cooper canes” and performed with those.

This was my 2nd time seeing Motionless in White and they were much better than the first time. In fact, they were very good and eventually won over the crowd. I’m sure it had nothing to do with vocalist Chris “Motionless” Cerulli telling the audience to go get some alcohol because “the more you drink the better we sound.”

Motionless in White opening for Alice Cooper Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Funny, I didn’t have any drinks and I thought they sounded good.

Overall, this was a great lineup to have for a summer tour. They are performing though mid August through the south and east coast. Check out alicecooper.com/tour/ for more details and tickets. You don’t want to miss this one.

Halestorm opening for Alice Cooper Thursday at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery from the show after the setlists below.

Alice Cooper Setlist:

Feed My Frankenstein

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Bed of Nails

Raped and Freezin’

Fallin in Love

Muscle of Love

I’m Eighteen

Billion Dollar Babies

Poison

Nita Strauss guitar solo

Roses on White Lace

My Stars

Devil’s Food

Black Widow Jam

Steven

Dead Babies

I Love the Dead

Escape

Teenage Frankenstein

Encore:

Under My Wheels

School Out (With Lzzy Hale)

 

Halestorm Setlist:

Black Vultures

Uncomfortable

Apocalytic

Do Not Disturb

Familiar Taste of Poison/Amen

I Get Off

Arejay’s Drum Solo

Freak like Me

Love Bites (So Do I)

Here’s to Us

I Miss the Misery

 

Motionless in White Setlist:

Rats

Unstoppable

Everybody Sells Cocaine

A-M-E-R-I-C-A

Brand New Numb

Reincarnate

Untouchable

Voices

 

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