Cleveland Plain Dealer

Originally Published: July 1980

Tamer Cooper is still cheered

Author: Jane Scott

Alice Cooper wasn't electrocuted, guillotined, hung or even chased by an amorous tooth last night at the Coliseum.

You'd think that 10,000 faithful fans would have been ready to shoot him, right? But they were up on their feet, even as he came across the stage in a green smoke haze. They cheered instead of jeered.

Cooper's 1980 "Flush the Fashion" tour was less gimmicky, but it was stronger from a rock standpoint.

Not that Cooper is ready for the Union Club yet. He came onstage in what could loosely be called a S.W.A.T.-team outfit, with a blue cap, a leopard-skin top and an American flag attached to the back of his leather jacket.

He cracked a black whip as he sang "Model Citizen."

The king of shock rock looked a lot skinnier and a little haggard as though he had been bitten by a black-widow spider. But his interesting voice was as strong and satisfying as ever.

Cooper is the former Vincent Furnier. He has done away with his peekaboo pantyhose and 10-foot cyclops. But he came with what is probably his best band to date.

Ready with rhythm was Mike Pinera on lead guitar, Eric Scott on bass, Duane Hilchings on keyboards, Ross Salome on drums and Fred Mandel on guitars.

"Wait until Cooper and his wife, Sheryl, have a nice fight in the 'Gutter Cats vs the Jets' song," said Hitchings.

And then there was still Angel, the female boa constrictor who has been on stage with Alice since 1977. Actually the show was expected to end with "School's Out," appropriate for Cleveland teens who had just had 48 hours of freedom. The real pity was that the show was delayed almost an hour by long intermission set changes, Hall Security guard Rick Arison, 20, got the earplugs in just in time as Triumph hit the stage.

The Toronto-based group is a trio with Rik Emmett on guitar, Gil Moore on drums and Mike Levine on bass, but it sounded like an octet.

Triumph has been called Kiss without makeup. True, the sound is loud, heavy and relentous. But the band knocked itself out to please the crowd and created a current of excitement from its first song.

It was hard to believe that the opening quintet, Billy and Squier, has only been together for a month. The group started out slowly, but gradually gathered the audience, climaxing with its hit "You Should Be High, Love."

The whole show would have been better as a double play rather than a triple play. Too much time was lost between acts to make it a socko show.