Alice Cooper at the O2 Arena
This weekend was kicked off by a masked serial killer and a bride drenched in blood alongside wailing guitars, all inside a nightmare castle. Having soared to fame in the 1970s with legendary anthems such as School’s Out and an infamous incident with a chicken, Alice Cooper doesn’t fail to deliver sensational proto-goth power on his Ol’ Black Eyes is Back tour’s London gig at the O2 Arena.
After the curtain drops, revealing a stage dressed as a medieval castle, Cooper strides out to meet the adoring fans who have come in black face paint and an array of outfits (one even wears a wedding dress and veil). He wears a top hat and twirls a cane, which is soon thrown out into the audience to be fought over.
Although his new EP, Breadcrumbs, only came out two weeks ago, its tracks are mostly ignored in favour of live staples from the singer’s prime. Hit after hit is delivered without pause, starting with Feed My Frankenstein and quickly leading into crowd-pleasers No More Mr Nice Guy and Bed of Nails. Cooper is undoubtedly at home strutting across the stage, batting away and then leaning into his guitar-wielding entourage, playing the role of Death-becoming-rock-god with unsurprising ease given his reputation. Poison is the crowd favourite, its introduction of smashing drums provoking a simmering wave of excitement across the arena.
Other songs such as Dead Babies/I Love the Dead and Teenage Frankenstein naturally don’t provoke the same concern over the breakdown of the moral society that they used to in the 70s and early 80s, but they are nonetheless victorious performances.
Most of the songs are backed by stage theatrics that resemble a particularly bloodthirsty pantomime, especially when a selfie-taking young girl is dramatically murdered by a masked killer who then prowls the stage in (He’s Back) Man Behind the Mask. But this is what Cooper’s audience has come to expect, and they would most likely be disappointed without it. And this is exactly what Cooper delivers across the set – an undeniably crowd-pleasing performance.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Alice Cooper’s website here.
Watch the video for Detroit City 2020, from Alice Cooper’s new EP Breadcrumbs, here: