Everything you have heard about Alice Cooper‘s live show is true.
The veteran rock icon’s live performances carry an almost mythical status in certain circles, and with good reason.
The crowd was bombarded with constant entertainment as he brought his signature horror-filled style to the South Okanagan Events Centre on Oct. 16.
Penticton should count itself lucky to get a Cooper show this close to my personal favourite holiday, Halloween. It definitely added a layer of otherwise unattainable seasonal depth.
More than a singer/songwriter, Cooper is a consummate performer, becoming a persona the second he hits the stage, embodying his role as the dark wizard of rock ‘n’ roll.
The hits come as hard and fast as the costume and set changes. A dark and brazen trip through a polished catalogue of bonafide classic tunes.
Most songs took on a theatrical twist, surely highlighted by Frankenstien, wherein Cooper finds himself strapped to a pyrotechnical and visual operating table only to emerge from the smoke as a nearly eight-foot tall monster staggering across the stage.
More visual delights barrelled out of what can only be described as the horror-movie version of Mr. Dressup’s tickle trunk, a seemingly unending source of costume changes and props.
It was like watching the darker, terror-infused cousin of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, using engaging theatrics to bring each song to life in small one-act plays.
Arguably the best, or most emotionally engaging, part of the night was the loving tributes to three of rock’s fallen stars.
Cooper honoured The Who drummer Keith Moon with a rendition of Pinball Wizard; legendary pop icon David Bowie with Suffragette City and Motörhead front man and founder Lemmy Kilmister with a crowd-favourite Ace of Spades.
Aside from the man himself, Cooper’s band mates were a delight in their own right. Nita Strauss (of the all-female Iron Maiden tribute, Iron Maidens) was an energetic gem, and the best female guitarist I’ve ever seen.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m more excited for Halloween than ever before.
Dale Boyd is the arts and entertainment editor at the Penticton Western News