Expressen - 27th April 2001

(April 27, 2001)

Originally Published: April 27, 2001

Alice Cooper Plays In Another League

Three veteran bands on a "Monsters Of The Millenium"-tour around Sweden and the first is located at Frolundaborg, the big concert arena of the 80's. Talk about hard rock nostalgia.

Ratt of today is a pretty sad story. The original singer Stephen Pearcy may have been a sleazy poser, but his peculiar voice was such an integral part of their sound that his absence can't be compensated. Especially not by former Love/Hate iron lung Jizzy Pearl. Thus far the volume is the subject of the evening.

And it doesn't get better when Dio turns it up to eleven, involuntarily going for an attempt to break Manowars world record in playing loud. Hard rock shouldn't have to be equal to painfully shrieking sounds in your ear, especially not when you are using ear plugs. So shape up!

Otherwise Ronnie James Dio seems more alert than he has during the last couple of visits to Sweden. The small man with the big voice throws himself passionately into songs like "Invisible" and "Don't Talk To Strangers". However you can't keep from wondering what condition the old man is actually in. Even though he continually speaks about the limited playing time he's been given, there's plenty of soloing going on, while Dio probably is being given oxygen backstage. But the finish is brilliant as always, tonight with Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee sitting in on Black Sabbath's "Neon Nights".

Alice Cooper plays in a whole different league.

The master of horror really makes good use of his name, when he more or less gives us a reprise of last years’ concert at Sweden Rock Festival.

The first half is something of the toughest and coolest I've ever seen from a visual artist. KISS and Marilyn Manson is fading when compared to the "Brutal Planet"-show. It partly includes cabaret (guillotine, straight jacket, executioner, corpses and the whole shebang), but at least the same amount of musical brilliance. It's a pity that the older audience members don't get into it, when Cooper really tries to challenge with new and metallic material, which is effectively woven together with older horror pieces like "Feed My Frankenstein" and "Dead Babies".

It feels tragic that it takes "Poison" to get them to wake up, not even "No More Mr Nice Guy" is enough. Alice Cooper is more youthful than ever and no hard rocker with a burning musical interest should miss out on his fabulous show.