At long last and after over a year of intense study, June 20th finally came. The Monsters of Madness tour featuring Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper was nigh. And by george it didn’t disappoint.
Can’t say enough about the Meadowbrook complex. Really take care of you, throwing you swag in the parking lot, welcoming you off the grimy dangerous back roads of New Hampshire with a yellow shirted security safety blanket with full coverage. Got into a nice conversation with my parking neighbors, a sweet family who was friends with the studio drummer on the Trash album, my favorite Cooper disc. Mom’s name was Alice as well, she told me up front I wouldn’t believe her, and I almost didn’t, but Brothers in Arms was taking hold of me so it was time to journey in.
I don’t remember the opening band, but the pizza was pretty good. The ticket posted me up directly right of the soundboard section, which was pretty rocking. (I think Manson’s sound crew smoked weed backstage, not sure though.)
I only remember Marilyn Manson from random MTV due to woefully inept media exposure as a teen. First of all, the dude looked huge on stage. While the band’s songs weren’t terribly complex, he put on a show and demanded your attention. Singing songs with dark and ominous theme overtones, you could tell why a lot of 90′s era parents prevented their kids from hanging out with the Manson crowd. However, I thought most of the audience was a bit freakier than the performers themselves. I could picture the band being pretty down to earth and downright likable off stage, which I’m sure they are. I couldn’t say the same for the pink and black striped tank top lady who wanted to go to town on Marilyn’s wee-wee on stage and got upset when security didn’t let her + asked her friends to not tell her boyfriend about the attempt. I was looking forward to the next act.
My seat neighbors, after being completely silent the whole show, asked to see what my t-shirt looked like. I found out that their first Alice Cooper show was in 1974. Boss. Glancing around, a few Manson kids left in front of me, but I was disappointed to see not a ton of filled pavilion seats behind me.
We weren’t the audience Alice wanted, but he was the hero we deserved. Once the curtain fell, you knew without question that you were watching a legend. Cooper surprised me with his vocal quality and cane twirling abilities both of which were excellent at the ripe age of 65. The band had not one, not two, but three lead guitarists, all very very talented, yet the lovely Orianthi a.k.a. Queen of Guitar Lick Hell was clearly the Lebron of the big three six-stringers. I was really looking forward to seeing Glen Sobel’s work on the drums. I’m convinced that nobody has better stick trick skills than him.
The presentation was pretty vanilla for the first half, adding to growing concerns about the rumors I’ve heard of Alice Cooper’s stage shows. Welp, a twelve foot Alice Cooper Frankenstein monster cured that ailment right quick. I can’t think a better set list for a first timer, all the songs ruled, though I’d love to see live Muscle of Love and Bed of Nails in subsequent tours.
What really made a lasting impact was eavesdropping on all the conversations on the walk to the parking lot. The youth of the crowd, e.g. Manson fans, shirtless folk from Concord (or worse), etc. couldn’t stop talking about how great they thought Alice Cooper was. “Man, that was in the top five shows I’ve ever seen”, “He just kept getting better as the show went on”, “Damn, that was so bad ass!”. It’s great to see music fans giving a rock figure like Alice Cooper such respect. Such a fun time, and I can’t wait to return next year.
Edit 6/25/13 – The Coop was nice enough to post the entire show on YouTube. Bad. Ass.