Alice Cooper @ Perth Arena
w/ Ace Frehley, Strangers
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Across the road from the Arena, black shirts were starting to invade the pub as punters arrived to have a couple of pre-drinks before the show. There were one or two outfits at this stage and even most of the bar staff were getting in on the action with their Alice Cooper make up.
Over at the Arena, there were plenty more black shirts, hats, nurses outfits and straitjackets as people piled in to their seats. Strangers (from Melbourne) were the first band to take to the stage. Unfortunately for them however, aside from a few fans in the audience, most people were either out getting drinks or just waiting for the main acts to come out. They played well though and it certainly would have been the gig of a lifetime for them.
By the time Ace Frehley came out on stage, there were a lot more people and, even though there was no designated moshpit, those that had bought VIP tickets were up at the barrier. He started his set with Parasite, Hard Times, 2000 Man and Rip It Out. From the start of the set, he immediately showed us why he is still touring and why people still love him. Not only did the whole band know how to work the stage, they also played up to the cameras in front of them.
Bassist Chris Wyse was left on stage and performed an incredible solo and made his instrument produce sounds that you wouldn’t have thought possible. The rest of the band came back out with Frehley in a KISS T-shirt and Wyse continued to shine as he also sung Strange Ways. Frehley had to switch guitars for New York Groove. “You gotta give me some light because I can’t see where the fuck I’m playing!”
Frehley continued into a guitar solo with smoke streaming from the guitar. When he finished he handed the guitar back to the tech and smiled “Still smokin’…” They finished the set with Detroit Rock City (with drummer Scot Coogan singing) and Deuce.
All the smokers hurried outside as it was bucketing down to get their nicotine hit before the final act of the night. Finally – the curtain was up and a voice over told us “Do not look into his eyes” before the curtain dropped and Alice Cooper stepped onto a platform with sparks flying everywhere. They opened with Brutal Planet, No More Mr Nice Guy and Under My Wheels.
If it was your first time seeing Alice Cooper, you’ve heard all the stories about the show and how good a production it is but when you are actually there in person – there are no words. You are totally blown away by the whole show. Alice Cooper may be 69 but he certainly puts so many bands to shame with his showmanship alone.
Not only that but the talent he has surrounded himself with is just out of this world. Nita Strauss’ guitar solo was absolutely mind-blowing and insane – all without seemingly breaking out into sweat before leading the crowd to clap along for Poison. We also had a bass/drum duet with a fantastic light show to go with it (and those with sharp eyes would have noticed the sticks flying high into the air AND being caught upon falling).
There was also the Frankenstein puppet, the wind up living doll and the nurse – all before the gruesome guillotine act. Alice Cooper would throw his ‘severed head’ behind him – only to have it stick to the toy box lid and hang there for the rest of the show.
But one of the best things of the night was still to come. For the last song, School’s Out, not only were there flying balloons filled with confetti that Cooper was slashing with swords and daggers but a special guest came out and sung with Cooper. The one, the only Sir Bob Geldof. They also segued into Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall Pt 2 halfway through with smoke machines, bubble machines and streamers going off. And that ladies and gentlemen, is the perfect finish to a fabulous night.
Photos by Paul Dowd Photography