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Alice Cooper Rocks The Civic Theatre..

By malcolm Published: August 10, 2011

Alice Cooper was once the scariest guy in the rock business.

Now he is an elder statesmen of rock, a Rock Hall of Famer and a beloved figure admired by fellow musicians young and old as the sell-out crowd that came to see the No More Mr. Nice Guy Tour at the Akron Civic Theatre on Tuesday night.

Cooper who is jovial and effusive offstage dispensed with stage banter entirely for the band's 90 minute 21 song set, preferring to crank out the hits with his talented band featuring a three guitar attack.

So while there were no verbal references to classic era Alice Cooper members and Akronites Glen Buxton and Neal Smith, the pair's contributions to Cooper's catalog were well represented.

Cooper always aims to please his loyal longtime audience with what they want to hear and he surely did opening with "The Black
Widow" from the album "Welcome To My Nightmare" (the title track of which, surprisingly wasn't in the set list) and proceeding to rip off solid versions of hits including a sing-a-long "I'm Eighteen," "Billion Dollar Babies" the bluesy "Under My Wheels," and "Muscle of Love." Cooper also peppered in a few of his arena metal flavored tunes from the 80s and 90s such as "Hey Stoopid" "Feed My Frankenstein" and a couple of tunes from his 2000 album "Brutal Planet."

Cooper also performed a new song "I'll Bite Your Face Off" from his upcoming concept album "Welcome 2 My Nightmare" a sequel to the 1975 album inspired by his recent rock hall induction. The song featuring a bluesy hard rock riff and fist pumping chorus was musically reminiscent of past songs such as "Cold Ethyl." The crowd's median age was somewhere in the upper 40s but with a healthy dollop of young bloods and some adults rocking out with their kids.

Cooper shows aren't quite the elaborate spectacles there were back in the 1970s, no baby dolls were beheaded, and there was no rag doll coming to life as a ballerina. But Cooper did gently dance with and cuddle a life sized doll during the ballad "Only Women Bleed" and then abused her through the next song, a foot-stomping "Cold Ethyl." And during the corny bug fun "Feed My Frankenstein," a 10 foot Frankie stalked the stage to the delight of the crowd.

And of course, Alice got the guillotine treatment while the band jammed on the groove from "Killer."

The show ended with another sing-a-long take on School's Out interpolating the anti-institution chorus from Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In the Wall pt. 2." followed by an encore of "Elected" and Jimi Hendrix's "Fire."

The 63 year old Cooper and his new band performed the songs ably and energetically, but their hard work was under-minded by a house mix that turned talented drummer Glen Sobel into a sonic bully. The drum mix completely buried bassist Chuck Garrick and frequently pushed Cooper's vocals down in the mix.

Vincent Price intro
The Black Widow
Brutal Planet
I'm Eighteen
Under My Wheels
Billion Dollar Babies
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Hey Stoopid
Is It My Body
Halo of Flies
I'll Bite Your Face Off
Muscle of Love
Only Women Bleed
Cold Ethyl
Feed My Frankenstein
Clones (We're All)
Poison
Wicked Young Man
Killer
(excerpt)
I Love the Dead
(excerpt)
School's Out
({including Another Brick In The Wall excerpts)
Encore:
Elected

Alice Cooper - "I'll Bite Your Face Off"

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