Alice welcomes us to his nightmare

Alice Cooper at Western Financial Place, Cranbrook, Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Alice Cooper and the band at Western Financial Place

Contrary to popular belief, Rock is not dead. Rock is very much alive, in fact, as demonstrated by an ageless Alice Cooper, who brought his “Raise The Dead” tour to Cranbrook Wednesday night, blowing the doors off Western Financial Place.

Alice showed the boisterous crowd why he is still at the top of the pile after five decades in the rock world. He was in fine voice, full of humour, fully engaged and breathing fire into his songbook, helped along by a fiery hot band — the best band he’s ever had, by his own admission — a three-guitar attack.

An Alice Cooper show is a ritual, and the crowd were treated to a  ritual in three chapters. Following “The Underture,” Alice and the band opened with a series of classics — “Hello Hurray,” “House of Fire,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Under My Wheels” — the glam, hard rock Alice, replete with the nice theatrical touches. “Billion Dollar Babies” featured Alice brandishing a spit loaded with dollar bills. “Caffeine” a giant coffee mug.

Alice, as adept at costume changes as a Shakespearian actor, segued into Chapter 2, the Nightmare Alice. As dry ice fog flooded the stage, Alice woke up in hell, a dreamscape populated by fleeting nightmare figures and overseen by a demonic nurse, subduing our hero with strange drugs and sending him to the guillotine (the guillotine is de rigueur at an Alice Cooper show). One would think the segment would end with a demon proffering Alice’s severed head, spitting Alice’s blood on the front rows. But no, he came back, the Man Behind The Mask.

Chapter 3 was Alice’s tribute to his “dead, drunk friends” — Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Keith Moon. The band played four faithful covers, one from each of The Doors, The Beatles, Hendrix and The Who.

The band never stopped roaring. The three-guitar attack featured Ryan Roxie, Tommy Henriksen and Orianthi. Chuck Garric wielded the bass. Alice introduced drummer Glen Sobel as hailing from Cranbrook, B.C., to the delight of the crowd (Sobel is actually from Los Angeles).

Each band member got plenty of time in the spotlight, along with the star.

As Alice opened with his hits, so he closed his show. The crowd sang along with “I’m Eighteen” and “Poison.” “School’s Out” was the encore.

All in all, though everyone’s ears were ringing by the end, everyone felt welcome at Alice Cooper’s nightmare. They were all reluctant to wake up.

Set List

• The Underture

• Hello Hurray

• House of Fire

• No More Mr. Nice Guy

• Under My Wheels

• I’ll Bite Your Face Off

• Billion Dollar Babies

• Caffeine

• Hey Stoopid

• Dirty Diamonds

• Welcome To My Nightmare

• Go To Hell

• He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)

• Feed My Frankenstein

• Killer

• I Love The Dead

• Break On Through

• Revolution

• Foxy Lady

• My Generation

• I’m Eighteen

• Poison

• School’s Out

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