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(August 12, 2004)
Originally Published: August 12, 2004
Author: Andrew Moesel
Outside the State Theatre on Wednesday night, grown men wearing golf shirts and khaki shorts mingled with dog-collar toting teens, all anxiously awaiting the same man - Alice Cooper.
Cooper's show brought three generations of fans together in downtown Sandusky to witness a man who has maintained his rock star persona for over 30 years. Fathers held sons on their shoulders; mothers and their daughters dressed alike.
Rick Kreutefeld, 45, Sandusky, whose first eight-track tape was an Alice Cooper album, decided to take his twin daughters as a surprise for their 18th birthday. Like many in the audience, it would be their first concert.
"I love listening to old music," Shari Kreutefeld said. "So many new artists are ripping off old songs. I want to see some good, original music."
Wendy Brightman, director of development for the theatre, said the management did not expect such a diverse crowd, but was encouraged that everyone, regardless of age, was enjoying themselves.
"People in the 40-to-45 age group love him because they grew up with him," she said. "A lot of people here I've seen have been pulling out their old clothes for the show."
Many in attendance wore vintage Cooper T-shirts marking them as veterans of his musical performances, having followed him since they were teenagers themselves. Far from the rock star retirement home, they said, Cooper continues to get better with age.
"He's actually gotten more rocking as he's gotten older," said Kerry Pott, 46, Sandusky, who has seen Cooper three times before. "They keeping bringing in amazing guitarists to play with him."
When the theatre darkened for the main act, the crowd sprang form their seats and erupted in cheers. When the lights hit the sage, there was a momentary pause before Cooper's slim frame rose from behind the set, his hand hoisting his signature cane high in the air.
Cooper wasted little time playing his most popular hits, including 'No More Mr. Nice Guy,' and 'I'm Eighteen,' in the first half and hour of the concert. He strutted up and down the stage and taunted the crowd with obscure props - such as a fencing foil and a crutch - each time inciting a frenzy among the audience.
Brightman said the theatre had hired extra security for the show and had the Sandusky Police Department present to handle any dangerous situation. The largest problem of the night, however, seemed to be the illegal smoking that clouded up the concert hall.