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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.

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.

Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper

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.

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.

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.

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 Cooper
Alice Cooper

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.

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



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