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(July 15, 2011)
Originally Published: July 15, 2011
Author: Christian Strandell
The conditions could not have been better, when the ancestor of theatrical rock took on the large Stockholm audience.
With a mainly new band, expanded with an extra guitarist, Alice Cooper entered the main stage of Gröna Lund with Vincent Price's voice ringing in our ears. A brutal, thundering intro of "The Black Widow" and the dark "Brutal Planet" kick start the heavy concert.
With his "take-no-prisoners" attitude and a fantastic sound, full blooded pro Alice soon makes sure that the audience is on his side. The always equally fantastic breakthrough hit "Eighteen", sounds better than it has in a long time, because of the three guitar attack. Followed by a series of well-polished hits like "Under My Wheels", "Billion Dollar Babies", "No More Mr Nice Guy" and "Hey Stoopid", the audience hardly gets a chance to catch their breath, something that was pretty hard to do anyway in the full to the brim amusement park.
Act two starts off with a bit of light snake handling during the four decades old classic "Is It My Body" - a welcome number, since Mr Cooper hasn't actually done this song in a number of years. The lyrics in the next fan favourite, "Halo of Flies", serves us with agent mystique a la James Bond, and also gives the eminent band a chance to bask in the stage lights, while Alice himself runs away for a costume change...
In fact, this evenings spectators were very much on their toes through the drum solo that followed. Even if I think it's getting a bit old, you have to remember that that was the way the original was actually recorded. The wait for Alice to re-appear isn't in vain, and doesn't take long - one costume change later he's back on stage, and after three more hit songs, it's time to play doctor...
During "Feed My Frankenstein", "Dr Coopenstein" brings life to a grotesque nine foot version of himself that terrorizes the band and chases the doctor off stage... Before which, Alice also had time to run through the shiny new "I'll Bite Your Face Off", a Stonesy track that will be on the forthcoming album this fall...
The least obvious choice of the evening, a spacy jam-version of the synth pop-song "Clones (We're All)", is followed by the evenings most obvious song - "Poison". The crowds' unison chanting sometimes get so loud that the happening almost seem to take the form of one of the popular television sing-a-long programs - which of course is tomorrow, and also a couple of stone's throw away.
The show is now beginning to come to its end, and after Alice's on stage impaling of an obnoxious paparazzi, his days are numbered... Beaheaded again. More sing-a-long in "I Love The Dead". And finally - rebirth. Super classics "School's Out" and "Elected" end the spectacle with Alice in a Swedish soccer jersey and Swedish flag at the ready.
After we've all been showered with a proper rain of confetti, we have arrived at the very last song. A final cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Fire" which almost sounds as hot as when Jimi himself stood upon the same stage some 44 years ago! Much thanks to Cooper's great band, and particularly because of the reborn Steve Hunter. Well, when Alice Cooper, in such rare form, takes on Gröna Lund - then it's no understatement to talk of a Swedish summer classic.
(Kindly translated from the original Swedish language article by Christian Strandell, October 2014)