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LIVE: ALICE COOPER with ACE FREHLEY – Perth, 17 Oct 2017

LIVE: ALICE COOPER with ACE FREHLEY – Perth, 17 Oct 2017
Perth Arena, Western Australia – Tuesday, 17 October, 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
Photos by Trulie Pinnegar

With a combined age of 201, ALICE COOPER and ACE FREHLEY – with a little help from special guest SIR BOB GELDOF – showed Perth how it’s done on the first date of their Australian tour.

Sobriety obviously suits ex-KISS guitar slinger Frehley, who played a tight set of classic rock with his raw and versatile band. Playing a selection of KISS classics and a few solo rockers, Frehley’s so-laid-back-he’s-horizontal vocals and scorching guitar style made his set vital. Drummer Scoty Coogan pounded like a behemoth and took the Paul Stanley vocals for Love Gun and Detroit Rock City, rhythm guitarist Richie Scarlet prancing about with post-wasted Keef Richards cool, and master bassist Chris Wyse played a proggy solo and sang Strangeways. It was the Space Ace’s unique takes on 2000 Man, Rocket Ride, New York Groove, Shock Me and his guitar solo with trademark smoking Les Paul which featured as the biggest highlights, though.

If Ace brought the classic rock to the table, Alice Cooper and his crack band of aces bring macabre theatre and schlock horror cabaret – and a healthy dose of heavy fuckin’ rock, with three awesome guitarists in tow.

Led by Hurricane Nita Strauss, the triple axe attack creates an enormous and textured sound, with both Tommy Henrickson and Ryan Roxie taking plenty of spotlight time, but it’s Strauss who impresses the most with her dextrous playing and boundless energy on stage.

Extroverted and charismatic to a person, bassist Chuck Garrick, drummer Glen Sobel and the three guitarists add there own theatre and raunch to the proceedings, but there is never any doubt that the master of ceremonies – and disaster – is the Godfather of shock rock himself, Alice Cooper.

Mixing the setlist up with a sprinkling of most eras of his 50-plus year career (a true best of would see him on stage for 3 or more hours), the 69-year old star leans most heavily on his early ‘70s work with the original Alice Cooper Band, and his early solo albums, but also cherry picks some of his rarely heard early ‘80s and ‘90s metal albums for Brutal Planet, Pain and The World Needs Guts.

Evil clowns, spiders, baby dolls and more props are all part of the Cooper show, and featured throughout No More Mister Nice Guy, Billion Dollar Babies, Woman Of Mass Distraction and Poison, before the theatre turned up to eleven with Feed My Frankenstein – the track co-written by Zodiac Mindwarp which on record featured solos from both Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. Cooper’s trio of guitarists again nailed the classic, while he allow himself to be strapped into an electric chair and turned into a six-foot tall monster Alice.

Cold Ethyl sees him tango with his necrophiliac lover, before a tender Only Women Bleed puts the camp comedy on hold until a clockwork doll pirouettes around the stage before being stabbed theatrically by our anti-hero, leading to the mini morality play that has been the lynchpin of Cooper’s shows for decades.

Strapped into a straight jacket for Paranoiac Personality, tortured by his zombie Nurse Ratchet through The Ballad Of Dwight Fry, then guillotined to the chanted tune I Love The Dead, it’s all great, schlocky B-horror fun, and Cooper’s triumphant rebirth for I’m Eighteen turns the clock back to the rock n’ roll show we’re all here for.

No Alice Cooper show would be complete without a celebratory and confetti-strewn School’s Out, which he’s segued with Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall Part II in recent years. With extra-special poignancy Perth fans were treated to a special appearance by none other than Sir Bob Geldof, reprising his role as Pink in the band’s epic and disturbing 1982 movie The Wall to sing and laugh along with an obviously thrilled Cooper & band, bringing the night’s entertainment to a simply sensational conclusion.

LIVE: ALICE COOPER with ACE FREHLEY – Perth, 17 Oct 2017

Filed Under: Live ReviewsPhoto Galleries

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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