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Alice Cooper, Arena Birmingham - review and pictures

By Kirsten Rawlins | Music | Published:

Shock rock deity Alice Cooper gave a phenomenal performance in Birmingham last night - so much so, that no amount of praise could ever do the show justice.

Alice Cooper, centre, and left, Dennis Dunaway. Pic: Chris Bowley

I first went to see the School’s Out star when I was 14. Since then, I’ve seen multiple outstanding performances by Alice - but I’ve never seen any show like his yesterday evening.

“You have been chosen to spend the night with Alice Cooper,” boomed a ghostly voice over the tannoy as the crowds took their seats at Arena Birmingham.

“It’s too late now. He’s coming.”

Alice Cooper at Arena Birmingham. Pic: Chris Bowley

And with that, sparks flew from above the stage as a black-cloaked Alice stepped out onto the stage. Throwing down his cape, the star revealed a black military jacket and skin-tight leather trousers, before launching into 2000 album title track Brutal Planet.

Throughout the show, Alice underwent dozens of costume changes, with clothes handed to the rock icon by a girl with multi-coloured hair who would pop up from a large pink box at the back of the stage.

Ryan Roxie and Nita Strauss. Pic: Chris Bowley

Alice may be fast approaching 70, but the Detroit-born icon was bursting with energy; every ounce of which was poured into an array of tremendous stage stunts.

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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, beloved number, Poison.

Alice Cooper at Arena Birmingham. Pic: Chris Bowley

Guitarist Nita Strauss was incredible - shredding her strings at the speed of light, draping herself over speakers and, at a few points in the show, even playing one-handed.

Nita was not only stunningly beautiful, but easily one of the most impressive guitar players I’ve seen live.

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Nita Strauss. Pic: Chris Bowley

All the expected stunts came too - and though I may have seen Alice’s onstage antics time and time again, they never get old.

These awesome spectacles included Alice turning into a huge Frankenstein figure which loomed over the audience and band as it walked around the stage at the end of Feed My Frankenstein, to him killing a live wind-up doll dancer for Only Women Bleed.

Alice Cooper at Arena Birmingham. Pic: Chris Bowley

After an excellent rendition of 2017 number Paranoiac Personality, the rock legend was also put into a straightjacket for the Ballad Of Dwight Fry, from which Alice then escaped and used one of the sleeves to strangle the skull-faced nurse attempting to ‘treat’ him.

The guillotine was then rolled out onto the stage and, with cheers and shouts of incitement from the crowd, Alice’s head was chopped off and held above the audience to roaring applause.

Alice Cooper at Arena Birmingham. Pic: Chris Bowley

Then came the time for the real treat of the evening - and one which was met with sheer elation and excitement from the crowd: the original Alice Cooper line-up, which formed in the late 60s, stormed the stage.

Now, his current band are truly tremendous - each of them absolute stars in their own right - but the founding members showed why it is that four generations of fans packed out the city centre venue. They were astounding.

Dennis Dunaway. Pic: Chris Bowley

With Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass and ‘platinum god’ Neal Smith on drums, the incredible artists gave stellar performances of Eighteen, Billion Dollar Babies, No More Mr Nice Guy and Muscle Of Love.

They ended the astonishing evening with an outstanding rendition of School’s Out, which saw both bands, old and new, grace the stage as bubbles floated over the band and Alice burst huge confetti-filled balloons over the crowd.

Pic: Chris Bowley

“School’s Out, Birmingham,” beamed Alice.

“You’re all paranormal and horrible.

Alice Cooper at Arena Birmingham. Pic: Chris Bowley

“The nightmare is on us, thank you.”

No thank you Alice, for a night that will never be forgotten.

Ryan Roxie. Pic: Chris Bowley

Easily gig of the year.

Tremendous.

Kirsten Rawlins

By Kirsten Rawlins
@kirsten_native

Online Entertainment Editor for the Express & Star, Shropshire Star and Native Monster. E-mail me kirsten.rawlins@nativemonster.co.uk, or phone 01902 319368

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