Dayton Daily News

Dayton Daily News - 16th July 2010

Dayton Daily News
(July 16, 2010)

Originally Published: July 16, 2010

Alice Cooper: Master of the Musical Macabre at Fraze

Author: Don Thrasher

Guillotines, a hangman's noose and other implements of torture were not common rock 'n' roll stage props when Alice Cooper first pioneered the mixture of horror, theatrics and hard rock in the early 1970s. Four decades later, few artists still come close to the extreme of his live rock 'n' roll spectacular.

"If you take away the stage show from me, you take away about half my life," Cooper said last month, speaking over the telephone from Denmark. "I've been doing it about half my life and I still enjoy doing it, I guess because that's what I do. I work six months every year on the road, usually May through December.

"Of course, it's wonderful financially because it does well, but that's certainly not the reason I'm doing it," he continued. "I could've retired a couple of years ago, but it's just a matter of getting out there and having fun with an audience."

While plenty of bands are suffering financially on the road, Cooper continually mounts successful tours each year.

"The funny thing is we've never had trouble selling tickets," he said. "Like anything else, we lowered our price and lowered the ticket price. I think the one thing about America, "or around the world, is people always want to be entertained. I think it's our obligation to lower our prices."

Cooper brings his elaborate Theater of Death tour to Fraze Pavilion on Sunday, July 18.

"It's a really interesting tour," he said. "I've made 30 albums and done probably 25 produced shows that had storylines and everything, and this is different than all the others I've done. This one is interesting because we put it into four different acts.

"Every single song has a different theatric bit to it so it's really produced," Cooper added. "We spent a lot of time in the rehearsal on this and it really shows. This show is really good."

And fans catching Cooper's outdoor concerts get the same experience as folks at his indoor performances.

"We do the same show every night," he said. "We designed this so it could be played at a state fair, a 3,000-seat theater, Madison Square Garden or one of these big festivals like Glastonbury."

As parting words of advice, Cooper ends the interview with some helpful advice.

"Our show has a way of reaching out into the audience, including the first 10 or 15 rows," he said, the pleasure evident in his voice. "I'd say if you're sitting there, do not wear your best clothes."