(July 01, 2005)
Originally Published: July 01, 2005
Author: Nui Te Koha
ALICE Cooper, shock rock inventor, revived his dark theatrics in a commanding Palais show last night.
Cooper, 57, predates Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson and Gene Simmons.
And in 2005, for better or worse, that shows on the ageing face of the pioneering rock star.
That is not to say he failed to put out. On the contrary.
Last night, Cooper rattled out the old faithful props - coffins, batons, chains, leather and guillotines - to underscore his doomy, mostly escapist, anthems.
Beneath that, though, is Cooper's not-so-secret weapon of taking these hellish symbols not-so-seriously.
And in a two-hour show of glam outfits and coffins, how could he? For Cooper, this has always been vaudeville violence.
Musically, the show rocked. A fit and energetic Cooper made easy work of hits including School's Out, Poison and Department Of Youth.
Early highlights included the-still potent social commentary of Lost in America.
Cooper's band - which comprised Eric Singer, Ryan Roxie, Chuck Garrick and Damon Johnson - served the classic material and new tunes with power and precision.
An epic telling of The Black Widow, with requisite drum solo, transported Cooper into the show's darker, more theatrical second half.
Then the chugging power chords displayed a noir edge and Cooper's showman became sinister. And camp.
From here, Cooper was free to play with his stage favourites: straitjacket stunts and a decapitation finale.
It was solid rock from a master showman.