Some things are better than hoped for
I’ve had the good fortune to be able to attend a lot of live music shows over the years, almost all of them for work. That’s right, it has been my job to go to, pay attention to and write about music.
Poor me, right? Seriously, it is oftentimes work, especially when it is an act that you are either unfamiliar with or flat out don’t care for. You tend to watch those acts a little differently than the average fan and certainly the fanatic watching a favorite act. I’ve always approached any show review whether it was the symphony, high school kids playing their first show ever or an act I don’t like the same way and with the same goal of answering two relatively simple questions: What is the artist trying to do, and is he or she doing it well?
That pretty much covers everything from serious highbrow stuff to cartoon rock. I’m OK with all of it as long as it is done well.
Which brings me to the Alice Cooper show on Friday at Memorial Auditorium. I went as a fan, and I left as an even bigger fan, which is saying something since “Billion Dollar Babies” has been one of my two go-to albums when I don’t know what I want to hear (the other is Frank Zappa’s “Apostrophe/Overnite Sensation” for those scoring at home). It has been that way with “Billion Dollar Babies” since I confiscated it from my older brother’s collection sometime in the mid-’70s. It was released in 1973 when I was 10.
The show was everything it was supposed to be, wh i c h was f un. It Barry Courter had a little of everything from incredible playing, especially from Nita Strauss, to I- can’t- believeI’m- seeing- this moments such as the closing three songs: “I Love the Dead,” “I’m Eighteen” and “School’s Out.”
It also had the classic moments such as the guillotine chopping off Cooper’s head and the giant Frankenstein monster. It was one of those rare shows that had me waking up to the last two songs playing over and over in my head and smiling because I’d seen the show.
While we are t alking music, I have no problem with just about everything my colleague Shawn Ryan writes below, except for his thoughts on Devo. I’ve loved everything about Devo since the first moment I saw them on “Saturday Night Live” in 1978.
Shawn’s comment about music videos reminded me of Richard Lester’s quote after being told he was the father of the music video thanks to his work on The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.”
“I demand a paternity test,” he said.