A Paranormal Evening with ALICE COOPER & Special Guest ACE FREHLEY
The Greek Theater – Los Angeles, CA – 8/12/18.
I would say the evening had more ABI-Normal activity than Paranormal Activity, but what else would you expect when Alice Cooper and his band of misfits roll into town with Ace Frehley in tow.
On a beautiful Summer evening at one of the finest venues around, The Space Ace, Ace Frehley, got the evening started with a KISS-heavy set.
Ace was a man of few (discernible) words and didn’t waste a lot of time chatting. The brief introductions to each song were perfect, because the crowd just wanted to hear him play all those classic riffs. Ace seems to be in great shape. He let everyone know that he has been clean for 12 years and it showed in his guitar work which was amazing. The KISS songs in the hand of his band sound, dare I say..better than the actual KISS these days?
Scot Coogan, besides being a bad-ass drummer, did a bang up job on vocals sounding equally as amazing as both Gene and Paul when taking on their leads.
Richie Scarlet was great to watch, holding his guitar over his head as he ran around the stage and Chris Wyse is a killer bass player and always a delight to see whether it’s with Ace, as a member of The Cult, playing alongside Alice in the Hollywood Vampires, or even with his own band, Owl.
The set kicked off with “Parasite” and included the Kiss classic’s, “Love Gun“, “Detroit Rock City“, “Shock Me“, “Cold Gin” and closer “Deuce“. Mixed into the set were Ace’s “Rip It Out”, the Hello cover of “New York Groove” and of course a great Ace solo complete with smoking guitar.
It was great seeing Ace stop by for the LA date, making this evening extra special. As well as showing up here and there (recently appearing for a couple of songs with John 5 at the Whisky a Go Go), Ace will be releasing “Spaceman” in October, hopefully leading to some full sets.
Alice Cooper was plain and simply, Amazing! At 70 years young, he has not slowed down a bit! He slashed through his 20 song set with ease. The ultimate showman; his concerts are a production and all Alice does is deliver! He sounds incredible and the theatrics of the stage show and his band (which individually are way too talented than any collective band has a right to be) have to make this a must-see show anytime you get the chance.
The setlist hasn’t changed too much in the past couple of years except for a few songs here and there and it is a set that is very entrenched in the past. The older songs make up the majority of the set, which based on the number of Classic Alice T’s I saw, was clearly a win for the crowd.
I always enjoyed Alice peripherally until 1989’s “Trash” came out, which was perfect for me at this time. I loved the album, loved all the guests on it, loved the tour and it didn’t bother me an ounce that Desmond Child had a hand in making it the success that it turned out to be. I mention that because having peeked at the setlist prior to the show, I honestly thought I’d be a bit disappointed that the “Trash” era, besides hit single, “Poison” isn’t represented at all. I was SO happy to be wrong.
I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. Hearing “Serious“, “Killer“, “I Love The Dead” as well as all the classic hits, “No More Mr Nice Guy“, “Under My Wheels“, “Billion Dollar Babies”, “Cold Ethyl“, in the flesh was more than enough sustenance for a killer evening under the stars.
That is in no small part to the amazing band Alice has surrounded himself with. Each a star in their own right, they help breathe life into these songs adding an extra gear to the set.
3 Amazing Guitarists: Ryan Roxie fresh off his own solo tour supporting his killer release “Imagine Your Reality“, is back, stage right for most of the evening. Tommy Henriksen (Warlock, Doro, Hollywood Vampires) was all the cool primarily flanked out stage left and whirlwind, Nita Strauss (Femme Fatale, The Starbreakers, We Start Wars, The Iron Maidens), was everywhere else and in between…often it seemed at the same time. I’ve seen Nita perform on several occasions in different bands and jams and she is a spark plug constantly firing.
1 Beast(o) of a Rhythm Section: Chuck Garric, an awesome frontman himself with his own band, Beasto Blanco, pounds out the low end while delivering the slightest hint of Alice induced evil all night long.
Last but not least, 1 Monster Drummer: If you’re not familiar with Glen Sobel, chances of are you’ve heard his work and didn’t even know it. Known as an amazing Session Drummer, Glen has banged it out with the best in the business. He is perfect in Alice’s band! Facial expressions, stick twirling and throwing, just a delight to watch. Glen shined during his drum solo (which the person next to me noted was one of the best they’ve heard). If it wasn’t for the show in front of him with Alice it would be hard to take your eyes off him.
As mentioned the production is a spectacle to behold and pure, classic Alice…The Guillotine, Frankenstein, the 2 Nurses that seemed just a bit…off… (Who happen to be Alice’s wife, Sheryl and Daughter, Calico Cooper (Who is also an apocalyptic warrior in her other band, with Chuck, Beasto Blanco).
The one song encore of “School’s Out” (complete with Pink Floyd’s, “Another Brick In The Wall” interlude) was a party in itself. There were streamers, confetti, a waterfall of sparklers, balloons, and even a special guest in Alice’s former guitarist, Orianthi.
If you have any qualms about catching a date on the remainder of this tour, stop; put on a big leather glove, slap yourself, and get a damn ticket. You do not want to miss the opportunity to witness one of the good guys; an iconic legend of rock, who is still performing at the highest level.