Review: Alice Cooper
Have Kiwis ended their love affair with original rock? It would seem so, judging by the small crowd that turned up to witness the theatrics of ageing rocker Alice Cooper.
Granted, the few who did turn up at Trusts Stadium in Henderson seemed to have made an effort. A few fans - possibly as old as the man himself - turned up in their white face paint and black rimmed eyes, while others were obvious genuine rock fans in head-to-toe black denim. Oh, and let's give the busker outside singing Poison, over and over and over and over and over some credit too.
There were surprisingly few theatrics by the 63-year-old as he took the stage - no snake, no bats, no nothing. Ok, there was a 10-foot monster and the to-be-expected guillotine beheadings during Feed My Frankenstein, School's Out and Elected, but that was about it.
Instead, it seems Cooper has been concentrating on the music a bit more. And judging by the skilful sound he served up, it might be for the best.
Joined on stage by an almost entirely new band, the No More Mr Nice Guy tour served up the old classics. Original bass player Chuck Garric was joined by Orianthis - a 24-year-old Aussie who was meant to join Michael Jackson on the This Is It Tour; guitarist Tommy Henriksen, and drummer Glen Sobel. They all seemed right at home with the guitar attack as Black Widow kicked off the night, lending the song a bit more edge than before.
Cooper appeared on the smoke-shrouded stage in a very odd spider costume which seemed to be as old as he was, but not even poor taste could detract from the polished sound that the rock fans just lapped up.
The 21-song set list had all the old favourites - I'm Eighteen, Hey Stoopid and Poison were all there with I'll Bite Your Face Off being the only song from his new album.
The crowd - small as it was - were loving the classics and they got what they paid for as they were played in abundance. The concert was even rounded out by Elected and the final beheading of the night.
But let's be honest, what we really wanted to see was a giant snake and some gore the ageing rocker is known for. There was none of that.