ALICE COOPER with Hanoi Rocks 06.08 2005 Ice Hall TAMPERE, FINLAND
After a couple of years break Alice Cooper once again brings his rock?n roll circus back to Finland. He recently released a new album called ?Dirty Diamonds? and he?s been on tour supporting that album since last June. When Alice Cooper last visited Finland it was 2001 and he was playing the Ice Hall in Helsinki. There was less than 3000 people in the audience the and the place was half empty so I was more than pleasantly surprised when I heard that this show was completely sold out and it means that there were almost 6000 people seeing this show.
Review and pictures by Marko Syrj?l?
Finnish glam band Hanoi Rocks was supporting Alice in Tampere. Right from the beginning it was clear that they were more than just a support band because It was outstanding to see that there were so many Hanoi Rocks fans in the audience.
The band opened up with the new track ""Back In Your Face" and then they played a 60 minute set, which mostly contained tracks from their two re ?union albums ?Twelve Shots On The Rocks? and ?Another Hostile Takeover?. They also did some old classics like ?Tragedy?, ?High School? and ?Up Around The Bend?. The band seemed to have a great time and the sound was quite good but there was a slight problem because their lightning system was simply too small for this size venue and for that reason it sometimes appeared that the band was playing on a compeletely dark stage. Otherwise this was a good show and band did a solid job. Especially guitarists Andy McCoy and Conny Bloom were in really good mood and there was nothing wrong with the rest of the band either. I really hope that their new album will be released in rest of the world soon (now it's only out in Finland and Japan) and they could finally do a proper worldwide tour and show what they really are made of?
Hanoi Rocks having a good time in Tampere
When the Hanoi show was over there was a 30 minute break before the Alice show was ready to get started. Suddenly the lights go off and band, dressed almost completely in black, are ready on stage and it?s time to go !!
It's showtime !!
A surprising opening track ?Department of Youth? (Welcome To My Nightmare 1975) started the show and then another gem, much better known ?No More Mr Nice Guy?(Billion Dollar Babies 1973) followed immediately. The crowd seemed to really enjoy themselves at this point but when next song ?Dirty Diamonds? the title track from the latest Coop album was played it became clear that only a few people even knew that there was new album out. On the other hand it must be said that I didn?t get why they played that explicit track ?cause it?s one of weakest songs on that album?
Anyway things got much better when a famous opening riff of classic ?Billion Dollar Babies? (Billion Dollar Babies 1973) started to sound from the speakers. As always Alice had loads of ?dollars?, with Alice Cooper face in the middle, which he threw into the audience. ?Be My Lover? (Killer 1972) then continued the series of classics from the seventies.
?Lost In The America? (Last Temptation 1994) was one of the very few tracks played from the Alice?s 90?s period. Once again I was hoping some other song but this from that album. How about doing ?Sideshow? instead of this quite silly and simple rocker? All in all this was one the weakest songs on tonight?s set. The rarely played beautiful ballad ?I Never Cry? (From The Inside 1978) appealed especially to the female audience and there were lot?s of lighters twinkling around the hall.
Ironically the next song was ?Woman Of Mass Destruction? (Dirty Diamonds 2005). Unlike the title track this one is brilliant and proves that Alice is still capable of writing great, rocking songs. This song is a suitable mix of seventies Cooper and today?s rock music a?la Hellacopters and Hives (!). Classic stuff.
?I?m Eighteen? (Love It To Death 1971) doesn?t need much introduction here because it?s maybe the best known Alice Cooper song of all time but the next two ?Between High School and High School? and ?What Do You Want From Me?, (both from excellent ?Eyes Of Alice Cooper, 2003), unfortunately appeared to be almost totally unknown for the most of the people. It?s sad when an artist like Alice, who has sold millions of records in 70?s and even in the 80?s, still releases great albums and still only a few people are buying those ones because their new songs are not played on radio or TV..
?Is It My Body? (Love It To Death 1971) and ?Go To Hell? (Alice Cooper Goes To Hell 1976) proceeded with a more familiar and secure set list. ?The Black Widow? (Welcome To My Nightmare 1975) was an entirely instrumental version but in spite of that in sounded pretty good and it was great to see all band members (Ryan Roxie, Damon Johnson, Chuck Garrick and Eric Singer) having a good time on stage. After the middle part of the song it changed to be Eric?s drum solo, which sounded and looked really good. Usually drum solos as well as guitar etc solos are boring waste of time and during solo it?s a good moment to spend a few Euros for a beer or two in the nearest restaurant but this time I stayed and watched the whole thing. I think that there was more than just a few people here who came to the show just to see Eric to play or was it just my imagination? As everyone knows, Eric also plays with KISS and maybe for that reason there was a lot?s of KISS fans in the audience. Technically and visually he?s one of the best drummers around and he got rewarded with huge applause from the crowd during the solo.
?Gimme? (Brutal Planet 2000) was the only song presenting Alice?s ?heaviest? period and ?Feed My Frankestein? (Hey Stoopid 1991) was the second song from the early 90?s pop rock epoch.
?Welcome To My Nightmare? (Welcome To My Nightmare 1975) started the kind of medley of four tracks from that album. Starting from ?The Awakening?, ?Steven?, ?Only Women Bleed? Alice started to do some of his classic theatrics on stage. When ?Ballad Of The Dwight Fry? (Love It To Dead 1971) started he was ?forced? to wear a straitjacket and during the next song ?Killer? (Killer 1972) he rescued and tried then to ?kill? his nurse with a knife but didn?t succeed this time. Alice had to be punished and it was time to get the famous guillotine on stage.
?I Love The Dead? (Billion Dollar Babies 1973) started and soon Alice was executed with guillotine and a cruel looking executioner was holding his loose, bloody head in the front of the audience. But as everyone guessed, this wasn?t the end of Alice Cooper. Ryan Roxie soon started to play the opening riff of ?School?s Out? (School?s Out 1972) and then Alice "woke up from the dead and" he was back in action as dressed on completely white dress and top silk hat. Proper set was then over and audience started to wait encores to start.
Altogether this last 40 minutes or something was just the same classic show and tricks what Alice has used since his heydays in the early 70?s but it is still working very well. Special mention must be given for Alice?s daughter Calicia who was performing various different roles from nurse to executioner during the show. If I remember right she was just recently got some quite good role from some big budget horror movie? At least she has got a good training for that kind of roles every night ?
It?s strange that despite the fact that Alice was having huge success in the early seventies and he then sold millions of records but his biggest commercial success happened in 1989 when he released album Trash. Trash, especially because of worldwide hits ?Poison? and ?Bed Of Nails?, sold millions of copies and briefly Alice was again ruling all charts and sales across the globe. When encores finally started with ?Poison? it was obvious that it almost caused a riot in a positive way in the audience. Everyone was singing that famous chorus and having a good time. It was funny to see that there were some younger people who only recognized this one song during the whole concert. In a way it was a pity that ?Poison? was the only track played from ?Trash? because there was lot?s of more good stuff on that album. On the other hand ?Poison? was only track from the 80?s period and at least I was waiting for something from Constrictor or Raise Your Fist And Yell albums as well.
Second encore ?I Wish I Were Born In Beverly Hills? (From The Inside 1978) was then something completely different. I?m not sure if this song has ever been played live before and once again most of the people didn?t seem to know what it was but for me it was another highlight of the show. I always like surprises on the set list and this was the first (and only) true surprise on tonight?s set. Great song and good choice!
The last and final encore was ?Under My Wheels? (Killer 1972). Huge air balloons were thrown to the audience and when people pushed them back to Alice, he pierced balloons with a small sword one after another until they are were blown up. Once the song was finished the whole band came to the front of stage and together they bowed and then they throw guitar picks, drumsticks and some other stuff for the people and then the show was over.
Summary of the show would be something like that. Visually it was good. There was great lightning and the simple backdrop, which was white and there was a pair of huge Alice?s eyes in the middle, was looking good. Classic theatrics and effects were used as Alice always does even it must be said that this time there wasn?t as much stuff as there has been on the past tours. I have seen ?Brutal Planet?, ?Dragontown?, ?Trash? and ?Hey Stoopid? tours and there has always been loads of more stuff and effects on stage compared on what we saw tonight. Musically this was an excellent gig. The band; guitarists Ryan Roxie and Damon Johnson, bassist Chuck "sideburns" Garrick and drummer Eric Singer, was really tight and they all were good performers on stage. Set list was a kind of best of set compiled from many different albums and periods and there was a couple of surprises like ?I Wish I Were Born In Beverly Hills? and "Department Of Youth" included. As I said before there was a lot of songs I would have liked to hear but when these guys are now doing 27 (!) songs you can?t ask too much more, or could you? Still ... briefly, some more stuff fro the 80?s would be a nice addition and how about doing a couple of more tracks from the new album? Then last but certainly not least it must be said that Alice himself is in really good shape, his vocals were as strong and clear as ever and he was having a great time on stage.
You can?t kill Alice, he will always come back, right?
If you have a chance go and check this tour out. You won?t be disappointed!
SPECIAL THANX TO PARTYSAN PRODUCTION !!!
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