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More fun than squashing a bunch of tadpoles

Alice Cooper
AVA Amphitheatre
Tucson, AZ
August 26, 2016
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Review and photos by Francis Sealy

Alice Cooper brought the latest rendition of his nightmare and carnival show to Tucson. This is not just a rock concert - but pepper in the theatre of the comically absurd and macabre. Everything was in place from Christopher the snake to Cooper's infamous guillotine. The fans were not surprised by Cooper's antics, but still relish in the gaudiness and camp of the highly polished show!

The show opening band was Cooper's son, Dash and his band CO-OP. The band consists of Dash on vocals, Mark Savale on drums, Court Stumpf on lead guitar, Justin Swartzentruber on bass, and Kolby Peoples on rhythm guitar. They have developed their own brand of metal music and they gave a passionate performance opening the show!

Alice hit the stage in his black-and-white-striped carnival suit to a Vincent Price voiceover and a shower of fireworks on "The Black Widow." Many of his biggest hits like "No More Mr. Nice Guy" and "Only Women Bleed" were performed. More obscure songs like "Public Animal #9" and "Long Way To Go" were brilliantly covered as well.

Cooper's band didn't forget to take their steroids as guitarist, Nita Strauss jumped and strutted all over the stage with her blonde hair flying as she shredded her instrument. Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henriksen were the other two of Cooper's longtime guitarists that competed and ultimately complemented Strauss' showmanship. Chuck Garric played bass and Glen Sobel played righteous drums.

Sheryl Cooper, who is an exceptional dancer, added her talent during a couple of the songs during show. She played a wind-up doll and a psychotic nurse putting Alice in a straight jacket. Her mime-like performance added to the fun and cheeky creepiness of the festivities.

Other cast members included Christopher (named after iconic horror film actor Christopher Lee) the boa constrictor snake. Past snakes have been Cobra Winfrey, Count Strangula and Julius Squeezer. Chris is actually a family pet when he is not performing.

Homage was paid to Keith Moon, David Bowie, and Lemmy Kilmister with banners of their headstones in the background of a graveyard. Covers of "Pinball Wizard," "Suffragette City," and "Ace of Spades" were performed.

Alice Cooper is the consummate performer who knows when to give a perfect sneer, lip curl, pucker, and a whole repertoire of stage mannerisms to get his character across. He introduced himself as a man who plays Alice Cooper toward the end of the show.

The encore of the night was called "Election." The act had actors portraying Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump physically sparring on stage as well as ending up in a lip lock. This present tour has been on the road for over a year and will continue through October. The cast is constantly polishing the show and it gets better with age. One could say it was more fun than squashing a bunch of tadpoles!
1. Vincent Price Intro
2. The Black Widow
3. No More Mr. Nice Guy
4. Under My Wheels
5. Public Animal #9
6. Billion Dollar Babies
7. Long Way to Go
8. Is It My Body
9. The World Needs Guts
10. Woman of Mass Distraction
11. Guitar Solo (Nita Strauss)
12. Poison
13. Halo of Flies
14. Feed My Frankenstein
15. Cold Ethyl
16. Only Women Bleed
17. Guilty
18. Ballad of Dwight Fry
19. Killer (partial)
20. I Love the Dead (partial)
21. Under the Bed (Raise the Dead intro)
22. Pinball Wizard (The Who cover)
23. Suffragette City (David Bowie cover)
24. Ace of Spades (Motšrhead cover)
25. I'm Eighteen
26. School's Out

27. Elected

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Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding - Concert review - Phoenix, AZ December 2014
Alice Cooper - Concert review - Hammond, IN November 2014
Alice Cooper interview December 201
Alice Cooper - Concert review - Hammond, IN November 2014
Alice Cooper/ Joan Jett Exclusive interview December 2013
Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding - Concert review - Phoenix, AZ December 2013
Alice Cooper (Summerfest 2013) - Photo gallery - Milwaukee, WI July 2013
Livewire's Exclusive Interview with Alice Cooper - December 2005
Alice Cooper / Supagroup - Concert review - Joliet, IL October 2005
Alice Cooper - Concert review - Chicago, IL October 2001
Livewire's Exclusive Interview with Alice Cooper - October 2001
Alice Cooper - Concert review - Milwaukee, WI September 2000

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