Welcome to a brutal planet

Like most shock rockers, Alice Cooper’s got a pretty fearsome reputation. Heavy metal – of both the aural and physical kind, elaborate stage makeup, and liberal lashing of pyrotechnics don’t exactly make for the kind of guy (yes, Alice Cooper is a guy) you’d bring home to your mother.

Photo courtesy of Klix Photography

But in person, the 63-year-old entertainer – whose real name is the hardly-less-theatrical Vincent Damon Furnier – couldn’t be more different from his stage persona. A prolific golfer and restaurateur, he’s also a born-again Christian, has been married for 34 years with 3 children, and even acts as confidante to fellow musicians struggling with drug and alcohol issues.

And one thing’s for sure – he knows how to put on one hell of a show.

In Singapore for the first time on his No More Mr. Nice Guy tour (named after the 1973 hit single), Alice Cooper, joined by Australian singer-songwriter Orianthi, played to a crowd of 2000 at the Hard Rock Hotel last Wednesday.

Photo by Ryan Chang, c/o Chugg Entertainment

Alice kicked off the evening with “The Black Widow to deafening cheers from the legion of fans jostling their way to the front of the stage. Dressed in an intricate spider costume and with sparks bursting from his outstretched hands, Alice stood atop a towering stairway like an apocalyptic monarch as mist billowed behind him and the thunder of the music broke over the crowd.

And it never let up.

Throughout the evening, each succeeding act was more outrageous than the last, featuring creatures and sets that would’ve fit right in at a slaughterhouse run by lunatics.

Photo by Ryan Chang, c/o Chugg Entertainment

From a shambling, 2m-tall Frankenstein monster to a guillotine to a life-sized doll Alice waltzed with during the ballad “Only Women Bleed”, fans were treated to an incredible spectacle for the eyes and ears.

And in homage to his recent stunt at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he appeared on stage with a snake wrapped around his neck – only instead of an albino boa constrictor, this time it was Mr Magoo, a local yellow python.

Photo by Ryan Chang, c/o Chugg Entertainment

Headbanging and jumping around during the more upbeat numbers and singing along to every song – especially “Brutal Planet,” one of Alice’s most beloved misanthropic anthems – it was like an early Halloween party for Alice fans.

Alice definitely saved the best for last – his signature hit “School’s Out”. The crowd – which in testament to his 4 decades in the industry was mainly adults who hadn’t stepped into a classroom for years – belted out the lyrics, not even missing a beat when Alice segued into Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”, finishing to resounding screams and applause.

Photo courtesy of Klix Photography

Alice Cooper’s latest album, Welcome 2 My Nightmare, is available from CD stores islandwide at approximately $25.

About Deborah Koh

A "bombastic adolescent bohemian" (to quote the immortal Dylan Thomas) with an obnoxious passion for all things fabulous and impractical -- including whales, airships, and Oxford commas -- Deborah is as much at home watching poncy foreign arthouse films on long-haul flights to Tokyo as she is reading about mediamorphoses and marine biology. She listens to indie pop and progressive rock, and enjoys indulging in just a little self-deprecating humour.

3 Comments

  • Thomas
    October 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    Unlike many long-time rockers his age, Alice is still every bit as good of a performer as he was in his heyday. The man probably has at least another 10 years left in him. Alice still puts out really great albums. I love the diversity of the new album (if you don’t have it pick it up). I am also thrilled to read the reviewer praise the song “Brutal Planet.” Brutal Planet is one of my very favorite Alice albums from 2000. It is probably his heaviest album, if you haven’t heard it, you need to.

  • Deborah Koh
    October 13, 2011 | Permalink |

    I can’t agree more. Brutal Planet’s my absolute favourite album and it’s pretty much the essence of what Alice means to me. His latest album’s fantastic too — I was a little thrown off by a couple of tracks at first but they’ve really grown on me. “I Am Made of You” is probably my favourite.

    I have to say “Hey Stoopid” was the one thing I -really- needed to hear at 16 though, so it’ll always be special.

    I’m just glad I finally got to see him live — we truly are not worthy.

  • May 31, 2013 | Permalink |

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors &
    theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for
    you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. cheers

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