Thirty years ago, my father, then a limousine driver, chauffeured Alice Cooper around Pittsburgh when he toured here. To this day, my dad can’t get over how “normal” and decent he was. Since then, I’ve had an affinity for the gruesome old devil and his violent vaudeville spectacle, which I’ve caught on numerous occasions since 2010.
Alice Cooper, rock’s most macabre villain, made it to The Steel City yet again the other night at a time of the year that couldn’t have been more appropriate. An oversold venue caused problems for some concertgoers, but for those who arrived early enough, the greatest Heavy Metal Halloween party ever held in this city was had.
The immortal showman, who severed his own head, remade himself as a lumbering giant, danced with the dead, and cheated the Devil once more, looked scarier and packed more sinister swagger at 70 than he did at 30.
His crack ensemble of handsome mercenaries kept the classic songs in the set sounding modern without sacrificing magic, digging deep for rarities (two from Flush The Fashion!) without fear while celebrating new tracks such as “Paranoiac Personality” from the latest album Paranormal.
Alice Cooper’s shredly, deadly guitarist Nita Strauss was a musical highlight and secret weapon amidst the guillotine, lightning bolts, evil nurses, balloons, smoking pumpkins, costume changes, props, and confetti storms. A piercing virtuoso dripping with ferocious stage presence, she left the packed crowd stunned as the special effects did.
There is no one more capable at putting on an entertaining, head banging creepshow for skidders and adolescents alike than Alice Cooper, and I’ll never tire of him. Scores of acts are indebted to him. Enjoy his unparalleled electric theater while he’s still at it.