Alice Cooper brought his blend of heavy metal music and shock drama to the Tennessee Theatre Tuesday, June 12 and the result was an intriguing show that left a near-capacity crowd spellbound.
Cooper, the longtime king of shock rock turned avid golfer and overnight disc jockey, rocked a nearly sold-out house. His blend of horror and rock ‘n’ roll seemed to pack just the right mix for music fans --- young and old.
Cooper performed most of his classic tunes including “I Love the Dead,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Only Women Bleed,” “Feed My Frankenstein,” and “School’s Out.”
Now 67, Cooper exhibits an enthusiasm and energy that are better than ever. His band on the No More Mr. Nice Guy Tour, which is promoting his recent LP, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, blends the perfect mix of in-your-face hard rock with an element of stage drama that could perhaps be rivaled by the David Bowie shows of the 1970’s.
Cooper set the tone early with “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” which immediately brought the crowd to its collective feet. From there, the seats were scarcely used. Once the fans got to their feet, that’s where they stayed as Cooper, through his intense vocal delivery and use of props (a staple since his early days) gave the longtime rocker complete ownership of the audience.
His most recent song featured the thunder of drums and a blend of guitars that showed that Cooper and his band are serious on this tour. Furthermore, Cooper is not content to live in the past. The new songs measured up to the classic as four generations of music fans stood in awe.
Cooper’s music and stage shows have always been slightly controversial and perhaps his mainstream radio show, which airs weeknights at 11 p.m. on WIMZ, have netted him an acceptance in the pop music world. In recent years, Cooper has trumpeted his sobriety and has become a truly endearing personality.
His 2011 East Tennessee concert, however, remains edgy, and his energy and continued vocal power, keep him in the mix as one of rock’s most venerable stars. He may have mellowed in his personal life, but his performances remain uncompromised.
Cooper, who had fans in a fever pitch throughout his performance, closed the show with a rendition of The Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated.” The show’s encore featured Cooper trampling around the stage in a silver top hat and jacket with an American Flag. He, then, shed the jacket and finished the show in an Orange Tennessee Vols football jersey (No. 18, of course).
The jersey (which bears the number prevalent in one of his biggest hits) didn’t seem to have much impact on the crowd, but then again, fans were standing and screaming from the moment Cooper hit the stage.