How do you review an icon? This is the predicament I found myself in on Sunday night at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
The night opened with a set from 70’s Rockers The Tubes, I got there a little late so I didn’t catch their first track but a friend assured me is was their single She’s A Beauty. They played 9 hi energy tracks and really worked to inject some atmosphere. A great frantic opener though the Glasgow crowd seemed a bit non plussed. Not to worry a second support was on hand.
The Mission, a gothic rock act from the late 80’s and 90’s, took to the large Hydro stage and had a brooding presence from the off. The intensity of the gothic riffs brought the room to a sense of expectation about what the night would hold. The packed Hydro crowd really seemed to appreciate these guys set. They really packed some oomf with a rendition of Neil Young’s Like A Hurricane and closing out with their track Deliverance.
By the time The Mission went off stage the crowd seemed restless for their Man….and Alice isn’t one to disappoint it seems.
The Hydro went dark and silent then light with waterfalls of sparks and there he was complete with the now infamous mask of face paint and a black cloak, like a harbinger of the doom and theatre of depravity that was about to descend on Glasgow. He opened the proceedings with Brutal Planet then on into Under My Wheels…his loyal devoted fanbase evident from the off.
As you would expect from a global act such as Alice Cooper the band were tight and drilled and the stage show was an epic theatre of costumes and gory drama. Flash bangs and flames were a theme of the evening too.
During the show Alice got beheaded and paraded before his fans, attacked by a giant Frankenstein’s monster and sure he killed some people but I can’t be sure. I lost count of the costume changes. For a man in his late 60’s he certainly does not let it slow him down.
Notably, Nita Strauss on guitar was immense, blistering lead lines and she really added to the show as she never seemed to stay still, her playing was immaculate and her Guitar Solo about 8 songs in to the 17 song initial set was soaring. This took the show right into Poison, and the Glasgow crowd was in great voice for this epic, timeless hit.
The theatre continued right through Feed My Frankenstein, Cold Ethyl, Only Women Bleed and Paranoiac Personality with Alice getting fitted for a Straight Jacket as the pace changed a bit before singing Ballad Of Dwight Fry.He then played Killer, or just a potion of killer which set them up for the last track of the set with the Tour band, I Love The Dead.
Alice, or should I say Vincent, came back on stage with the original Alice Cooper Band all bedecked in glittering apparel and play 5 classics starting with I’m Eighteen. This was a great bit of the show for the long time Alice fans. They then played Billion Dollar Babies, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Muscle of Love and then……
Well they had to finish with School’s Out, didn’t they?
All in all a very rockin night of metal and glam, theatre, showman and show-womanship. I’ve never seen another band or act put on a show quite as extravagant and indulgent as Alice Cooper and with a 22 song strong set and 2 support bands it was definitely worth the ticket price.
PHOTOS BELOW OF ALICE COOPER RECEIVING THE AWARD
PHOTOS BY: ALICE HADDEN PHOTOGRAPHY
Also, Nordoff Robbins Scotland presented rock-god Alice Cooper with ‘Best International Artist’ Award sponsored by Chisholm Hunter the previous evening (11th Nov) in Glasgow.
The SSE Scottish Music Award was delivered to the icon ahead of the SSE Hydro gig 45 years since Alice Cooper first played in Scotland on 10th Nov 1972 at Green’s Playhouse (later The Glasgow Apollo).
The Glasgow gig 1972 was iconic and the only UK date during that tour and remains firmly in the hearts of fans.