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Alice Cooper / Still at the top of his game, the monster is unstoppable

Aside from the explosive theatrics, the most astounding thing about Alice Cooper is that the man never seems to age, defying nature and just as intense as he was when he first emerged from Detroit some five decades ago.

Alice Cooper – O2, London – 25 May 2022

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Photography: Robert Sutton

Part of that may well be due to the fire of the musicians he shares the stage with, the gang mentality tangible. Joining Cooper, the three-pronged guitar firepower of Nita Strauss, Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henriksen, along with Glen Sobel on drums and Chuck Garric on bass providing the engine room, work together like a ragtag but well-oiled machine.

Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk

All veterans of the industry, there’s still a lot of youthful passion on display, the quintet adding their own muscularity to the material, the dedication to their craft obvious.

As the curtain drops, the castle set is revealed, and the band tear into Feed My Frankenstein. Cooper appears to roars from the audience, the singer clad in black leather and looking as menacing as ever. Whilst a giant Frankenstein figure lumbers around the stage, the interplay and solos between the guitarists are compelling, each respectful to the material but also being allowed their moments in the spotlight as they make use of the elevated section at the front.

Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk

No More Mr Nice Guy and Hey Stoopid sound as fresh and anthemic as ever, the band hitting hard at the start of the set and the solo by Strauss in Bed Of Nails is a mix of passion and flash. Cooper pulls out a harmonica for the heavy boogie of Fallen In Love, and Shut Up And Rock is a rocket-fuelled, heads-down rock ‘n’ roll ride with a dirty edge.

Under My Wheels is just as tough, the triple solos and untamed strength of the performances giving no hint that this may well be the five thousandth time the band have played it.

Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk

There are more theatrics with a ghostly bride haunting the stage, candelabra held aloft as the Hammer Horror Metal of Roses On White Lace gives way to the howl of I’m Eighteen.

The temperature rises even further as the O2 goes into raptures at the opening wash of feedback for Poison, the familiarity of the riff for young and old a shot of adrenaline. A huge baby crashed through part of the castle, and a confetti catapult shot golden ribbons over the audience for Billion Dollar Babies, the song as punchy as ever and Roxie’s solo vicious.

Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk

After an interlude of Devil’s Food and Black Widow Jam allowed the band to shine, the ever-present guillotine was wheeled out to behead Cooper during Dead Babies. No show is ever complete without it.

I Love the Dead and Escape follow, the latter seeing a straightjacket-clad Alice chased around by two blank-faced ghouls before the set came full circle, closing on the pneumatic glam rock of Teenage Frankenstein.

Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk

Encoring with an extended Schools Out, that featured the verse of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall Part II, giant balloons and more confetti and bubbles showered the audience at the front, the party atmosphere confirming the triumph of the night.

After not speaking between songs all evening, Cooper broke character and introduced the band, the joy and passion he felt showing underneath the make-up as his eyes glinted.

Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk

Nobody does this sort of thing better, and with a catalogue of great material, along with such a gifted band, there’s no reason for Cooper to slow down.

Still at the top of his game, the monster is unstoppable.

The Cult review can be found at metaltalk.net/the-cult-show-the-o2-they-are-built-for-arenas-and-stadiums.php

Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk
Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk
Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk
Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk
Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk
Alice Cooper – O2, London - 25 May 2022
Alice Cooper O2 London 8211 25 May 2022 Photo Robert SuttonMetalTalk

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Comments

  1. Alice Cooper is a LEGEND ! The last few decades he mostly plays the smaller venues so playing the London O2 is awesome !

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