Friday, September 20, 2019

Alice Cooper @ la Seine Musicale, Boulogne-BIllancourt - September 20th, 2019

Last time I saw Alice Cooper was just a little over a year ago in Los Angeles. It was my fourth show on the Paranormal tour after the London date in the fall of 2017 and the two Paris gigs at the end of that year (here and here). The shows were great but it was time for an overhaul. Of course, there are some staples that he can't do away with: songs like School's Out or I'm Eighteen and theatrics like the execution at the end of the second act of the show. But there is still a lot of room for change and creativity within those constraints and fans will be delighted to know that the new act is every bit as good as the previous one.

It's a bold choice to open with Feed My Frankenstein, and it works. In fact, the show is bookended by Alice's two Frankenstein songs: Teenage Frankenstein is the set closer (before the encores) and it's a great way to bring everything back home thematically. No ballads this time around (unless you count the creepy, Edgar Allan Poe-esque Steven) and, specifically, no Ballad of Dwight Fry. In 2011 he had already dispensed with that staple, to my dismay. This time, it is replaced by the aforementioned Steven and it is the highlight of the show, along with a menacing Dead Babies. This is the first Alice show in a long time that is genuinely scary. The creepy carnival vibe, the traumatic baby faces, the corpse bride...

No Only Women Bleed either, but a slew of curios for the obsessed fan: Bed of Nails from Trash, Raped and Freezing from Billion Dollar Babies, My Stars from School's Out, and Roses On White Lace for Raise Your Fist and Yell... Whatever your favorite era is, there is something in there for you. In fact the show has a little bit of everything for everyone: drama, comedy, dance and of course horror.

The band hasn't changed in a years: Tommy Henriksen, Ryan Roxie and Nita Strauss on guitars, Chuck Garric on bass and Glen Sobel on drums. They can play the old Alice Cooper Group classics faithfully as well as the eighties metal repertoire and the rest... And of course they all look great.

Upon leaving, my wife remarked that she had a great time and that she didn't want Alice to ever die. And I thought, well, everybody dies. I just don't want Alice to ever suck. But if a 71 year-old can put on the kind of show I witnessed last night, I'm really not that worried.

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