Age is no excuse for making bad music
Disappointed by 80s rockers charging you a fortune to go through the motions on their greatest hits in echoing stadiums? I certainly was at Motley Crue’s awful affair at the Entertainment Centre recently.
But have you been itching for a real concert of ear-blasting power with real stagecraft and non-stop drama?
Who else are you going to call - but a clean-living, happily-married Christian in his sixties who plays golf six days a week, and owns a sports bar and grill with award winning Guy Chipotle Chicken Pasta?
Alice Cooper (real name Vincent Fournier) was never out of the headlines in the 1970s, when he was an alcoholic and his onstage antics were considered shocking and liable to corrupt America’s youth. Four decades on and now teetotal, Alice is still going, and on the evidence of his show at the Enmore theatre in Sydney last night, better than ever.
And at 63, Alice is the proof that age is no excuse for a bad show. He’s fit as a fiddle, and while he looks old – he doesn’t look tired.
His age, in many ways, is a bonus; his visage is that of a skeletal overlord, a demonic master of the theatre.
His impeccably costumed band are young (save for one of the three guitarists who appears to be well into his middle ages), tight and fantastically loud.
The drummer hits like a battering ram, and the thundering bass player appears to be Alice’s apprentice in the theatrical arts. The lead guitarist, a gorgeous Australian blonde from Adelaide, is nothing short of incredible.
And Alice’s stagecraft, honed over nearly forty years, is phenomenal.
There’s the obvious stuff – with the help of an Igor like character, Alice brings an enormous twelve foot monster to life, impales a rock journalist on a skewer, and among other things, has his own head chopped off – but underlining it all is the man’s solid understanding of stagecraft and showmanship.
There’s not a dull moment; this is a show that’s been tightened and trimmed to perfection.
It’s easily the best concert I’ve seen this year, and judging from the audience’s deafening calls for an encore (it was like being in a riot), a lot of people would agree with me.
Proof at last that bands don’t have to be tired echoes of their former selves, grinding out old hits to disappointed middle-aged audiences. Alice Cooper is the proof that they can get better with age.
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