Alice Cooper: Stockholm Hovet

School's out again as Alice Cooper proves he still rocks...

You could do worse than having “Ratt – the American sleaze-rockers of the ’80s” and Dio acting as support when you go on a world-tour. Thankfully Alice Cooper didn’t settle for less. Dio, especially, put on a wicked performance featuring superb versions of ‘Sunset Superman’, ‘Invisible’ and his anthem ‘Holy Diver’. Despite having come of age, Ronnie James Dio still has a voice that pretty much obliterates any competition.

Billed as the ‘Monsters Of The Millennium’ this was a collective effort though, and thus far we were still in the tranquil waters of the opening acts. Two hours into the show the venue goes pitch-black. The haunting theme of John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ starts off. And then, there is Alice Cooper – in full post-apocalypse battle drag.

Sure, you could make a pun at the cheap-looking stage-props or the theatrics of the whole thing. Further more you could say something nasty about the first few songs being a snooze. But then as he goes into ‘I’m Eighteen’ the band picks up speed, the crowd goes into a roar and from there on out you can’t imagine a concert getting any better. That pre-conceived notion of Alice Cooper being well past his due-date turned out to be about as wrong as thinking that that one last tequila won’t put you over the top. Yeah, right…

During the following two hours he manages to work his way through material all the way from last year’s ‘Brutal Planet’ back to ‘Caught In A Dream’ from the early ’70’s album ‘Love It To Death’. All the classics got a thorough work-through, as did some of his lesser known numbers such as ‘Dead Babies’ and ‘It’s Hot Tonight’. But new or old, the winners of the evening are ‘Feed My Frankenstein’, ‘Wicked Young Man’, ‘The Little Things’ (where Marilyn Manson gets a rather funny verbal beating) and the outstanding ‘Billion Dollar Babies’. Alice Cooper live is simply outstanding – so say we one, so say we all.

Douglas Norstrom