Alice Cooper Helped Wish KSHE 95 a Happy Birthday With a Thriller Show Saturday in Saint Louis

Alice Cooper performing at Saint Louis Music park in Saint Louis, Saturday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

–by Sean Derrick

 

It’s October, so what better way to celebrate another birthday for local legend KSHE-95 than to bring in the king of shock, Alice Cooper, to help celebrate. That is exactly what happened Saturday night at Saint Louis Music Park.

By all senses of the imagination both KSHE-95 and Alice Cooper are anomalies. KSHE is the longest continuing rock/AOR radio station in the world, 54 years, defying the dreaded format change that has consumed so many other rock stations of the years. While Alice Cooper has been going strong since he released his first album in the summer of 1969 (51 years for those of you mathematically challenged).

Alice Cooper performing at Saint Louis Music park in Saint Louis, Saturday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Cooper just released his twenty first studio album this year, Detroit Stories, and shows no signs of slowing down. Saturday’s show in Saint Louis proved just how much that is a fact.

The evening started off with a bang with Ace Frehley reminiscing the crowd (those who were able to get in, that is, Many were not able to witness his set due to parking issues at the venue) with a plethora of KISS favorites, most notably “Detroit Rock City”, “Duece”, and “Cold Gin”.

He performed a 7 minute guitar solo that also took riffs from songs like the James Bond Theme, the Beatles’ “Drive My Car”, “La Grange” from ZZ Top, and “Eruption” from Van Halen. He topped it off with his signature playing with a pickup “on fire”. I was hoping to hear something from his Frehley’s Comet days, but it was still a great show. Space Ace still has the chops.

Ever the showman, Cooper, performed his usual high theatrical performance. Not that that is a bad thing. On the contrary a solid show night in a night out is a wonderful thing when the fans know what is coming. If something is missing or changed Cooper’s fans will let him know, yes they are that kind of rabid. So, it was good news to report that the show had everything a great Alice Cooper show needs: blood, knives, skulls, giant babies, a giant Frankenstein, more giant babies, more blood, and of course a full scale guillotine which “severs” the head of Cooper to the roar of approval from the fans.

Alice Cooper performing at Saint Louis Music park in Saint Louis, Saturday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Cooper’s band (led by a three guitar attack by Ryan Roxie, Tommy Henricksen, and Nita Strauss, bassist Chuck Garric, and drummer Glen Sobel) were very tight through the entire show, descriptive of a veteran band in-sync with each other.

Nita Strauss performing with Alice Cooper at Saint Louis Music park in Saint Louis, Saturday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Even though this is Cooper’s band he recognizes the importance of the band members, giving each a moment to shine during “Black Widow Jam”

Ryan Roxie performing with Alice Cooper at Saint Louis Music park in Saint Louis, Saturday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

Highlights were plentiful: from “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, to “Billion Dollar Babies”, to “School’s Out” and “Black Widow Jam”. The theatrics were sharp on the multi level stage that resembled a castle.

Nita Strauss performing with Alice Cooper at Saint Louis Music park in Saint Louis, Saturday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

The only drawback was at the start of the show where the smoke literally overpowered the show. having seen an Alice Cooper show over a half dozen times I wanted to make sure I got a cool shot of the large Frankenstein during “Feed My Frankenstein”, but he as mostly obscured by the smoke. Hell, I couldn’t even see Sobel to get a shot of him.

Alice Cooper performing at Saint Louis Music park in Saint Louis, Saturday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

I get it, the smoke helps with the light show. But a little goes a long way, especially if you want to actually see the characters perform. It did dissipate after the first handful of songs, thankfully to a more reasonable level, where one could enjoy the theatrics without having to be distracted by an overabundance of smoke. Still, a great birthday party for the KSHE 95, smoke or no smoke.

Nita Strauss performing with Alice Cooper at Saint Louis Music park in Saint Louis, Saturday. Photo by Sean Derrick/Thyrd Eye Photography.

 

Be sure to check out the gallery of photos after the setlists below.

 

Ace Frehley Setlist:

Rocket Ride

Parasite

Strutter

Rip It Out

Never in My Life (Mountain cover)

Good Times Bad Times (Led Zeppelin cover)

Detroit Rock City

New York Groove (Russ Ballard cover)

Shock Me

Guitar Solo

Cold Gin/Black Diamond

Deuce

 

Alice Cooper setlist:

Feed My Frankenstein

No More, Mr. Nice Guy

Bed of Nails

Rock and Roll (The Velvet Underground cover)

Fallen in Love

Go Man Go

Under My Wheels

He’s Back (The Man behind the Mask)

Social Debris

I’m Eighteen

Poison

Billion Dollar Babies

Nita Strauss guitar solo

Roses on White Laces

My Stars

Devel’s Food

Black Widow Jam

Steven

Dead Babies

I Love the Dead

Escape

Teenage Frankenstein

Encore:

School’s Out

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