Times Colonist

Alice Cooper comes to Colwood

- MIKE DEVLIN

REVIEW What: An Evening with Alice Cooper Where: The Q Centre, 1767 Island Hwy. When: Tuesday Rating: Four stars (out of five)

Halloween arrived two weeks earlier than expected Tuesday night — complete with blood and guts — as Alice Cooper and his band brought old-school showmanshi­p and rock ’n’ roll swagger to The Q Centre.

Cooper, 68, had all the on-stage ephemera you would find in a haunted house, the sheer volume of which came close to overshadow­ing what was being presented musically.

But Cooper is nothing if not a macabre master of ceremonies, and his ability to seem cool, even when he’s romancing a pinkhaired doll and singing about necrophili­a, is unmatched.

In these times, showmen like Cooper (born Vincent Furnier) are in short supply. It can’t be cheap, doing what he does. But in the end it's presumably worth it: More than 2,200 fans turned out to see Cooper and his band perform for two hours, with no new album to drive ticket sales. Impressive.

But with gems in his catalogue like No More Mr. Nice Guy, School’s Out, and I’m Eighteen, new material wasn’t entirely necessary.

It was a welcome return. The Detroit-born, Phoenix-based performer played two sold-out shows at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre in 2013, but he hasn’t stepped on stage in Greater Victoria since 1987.

He more than made up for his 29-year absence with a vaudevilli­an mix of theatre, sex, and shock rock.

It was sensory overload, in the best possible way. And well worth the three-decade wait.

Not only did Cooper sound good, he looked devillish, too. He dressed like Biker Alice for one song and rampaged like a Satanic Sgt. Pepper on another. Court Jester Alice also made an appearance, as did the Sinister Surgeon. The Q Centre, which looked and sounded great, by the way, was his playground for the night.

The old Cooper standbys did not disappoint.

From the 12-foot monster brought to life during Feed My Frankenste­in to Cooper’s dismembere­d head being paraded about to the sounds of I Love the Dead, this was rock opera at its shlockiest and most guilt-free.

Though his material is strong enough to stand on its own — even latter hits like Poison rocked — his adherence to playing up to the Alice mystique made for an odd rhythm at times. (Drum solo? Not necessary.) But save for a few strikes against, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer managed more than capably.

He can credit his expert back- ing band for starring on several songs, including a hot-iron take on Motorhead’s Ace of Spades (sung by bassist Chuck Garric) that rivalled the heaviness of the original. Cooper, for his part, was remarkably strong on vocals, and sharp as a knife in the comedy category.

Interestin­gly, it would appear he has had a change of heart when it comes to his personal politics. The once-noted Republican is not endorsing either candidate in next month’s U.S. presidenti­al election — at least not judging by the way he mocked two blood-splattered Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump impersonat­ors during the showclosin­g Elected.

“Why not me?” Cooper asked, declaring his bid for the presidency.

Good question. If there’s anyone who could pass for a qualified leader at this point, it’s Cooper and his band of merry pranksters. They did fine work Tuesday.

 ??  ?? Shock-rock legend Alice Cooper ends a 29-year concert drought in Greater Victoria with a performanc­e at The Q Centre in Colwood on Tuesday night. Cooper, 68, made waves during the 1970s with a show that staged beheadings, blood and bondage, all done...
Shock-rock legend Alice Cooper ends a 29-year concert drought in Greater Victoria with a performanc­e at The Q Centre in Colwood on Tuesday night. Cooper, 68, made waves during the 1970s with a show that staged beheadings, blood and bondage, all done...
 ?? ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST ?? Alice Cooper performs Tuesday at The Q Centre in Colwood — his first appearance in Greater Victoria since 1987.
ADRIAN LAM, TIMES COLONIST Alice Cooper performs Tuesday at The Q Centre in Colwood — his first appearance in Greater Victoria since 1987.

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