Alice Cooper Topeka
Overall Concert Score:
And I have my hearing back, too! It wasn't looking good after the next couple
of days, but my hearing totally resumed in full!
...I'm actually a very busy man at the moment, and I simply don't have
time to dabble in all those irrelevancies that plagued my previous live
concert reviews. That's right, there's a test somewhere that I'm not studying
for. And, I'm listening to Joan Baez (I'm not lying, either), so those little
irrelevancies don't seem very important. Besides, there's nothing much
irrelevant to report! I left for the Alice Cooper concert right after my
Paleoclimatology class got out. ... So, I didn't really have time to do
Although, there are a few very useful things I learned by attending this Alice
Cooper/Cheap Trick concert in Topeka, Kansas on that very fateful September 7,
1. 6'5'' long-white-haired men with goatees, a few missing teeth, who wear
sleeveless shirts don't actually smell that much. In fact, 80 percent of male
teenagers (e.g. the one sitting near me) smell much worse.
2. You'd think that being at a chair in front of really short people on the
floor seating would be a good thing because you can see over their heads. But,
nope. Their genetic misfortune and a digital camera gives them a good excuse
to stand on the chairs.
3. Not all that odd people attend Alice Cooper concerts. I met my demographic
with this one. The audience consisted of 30 percent geeks/nerds, 20 percent
"regular cool people," 20 percent hayseed farm people, 15 percent
elderly-I-have-no-idea-what-they're-doing-at-this-concert people, 10 percent
people with baffling haircuts, and (to my uttermost shock despite Alice
Cooper's costumes) only 5 percent people with that "goth" fetish. So, my
demographic (geeks/nerds) was best represented at this concert, which is a
first. (For reference, I was outnumbered by office employees at the David
Bowie concerts, cowboys at the Bob Dylan concert, maybe-lesbians at the Sarah
McLachlan concert, and total dorks at the Brian Wilson concert.)
4. Actually, Cheap Trick doesn't suck.
There was a local Topeka band that opened the show ... 30 minutes before it
was supposed to start. They sucked, but not that much. They were "hard core
heavy metal" ... which ... um ... I don't like that much. They did two songs
and then, as the lead singer was building himself a great introduction to a
third song (saying something about how great a guitar was) and then
consequently being forced off the stage. (HAAAAHHH!!!!!)
And then, there was a big pause.
And then CHEAP TRICK CAME OUT!!!!!!!
... Actually, I owned the first Cheap Trick album for quite some time, and ...
I don't listen to it ... ever. But the band totally didn't suck. I mean, if
you didn't enjoy the music, you were at least entertained by the fact that
each one of the guitar players changed guitars from one very peculiar guitar
to an extremely peculiar guitar upon the advent of a new song! And a six-neck
guitar, which gave me the impression that I should start using my mortality.
And Cheap Trick really loves themselves ... or at least the lead guitarist
(who I can accurately describe as a California raisin in a baseball cap) loves
Cheap Trick. He kept on screaming "WHO ARE WE? ... WHO ARE WE? ... WE ARE
CHEAP TRICK!" in the microphone, or some variant of that. And he threw about
126 guitar picks at members of the audience. I guess he figured that these
Kansas people at home were wearing their fingers raw by plucking their guitars
with their bare fingers. ... Anyway, he didn't throw one at me! I WANTED A
CHEAP TRICK GUITAR PICK!!!!!!! BOOOTOTOTOTOTO!!!
But, I actually enjoyed the songs! They had that one song that I heard of once
... The one with the intellectual lyrics that goes "I want you to want me ...
I need you to need me ..."
The lead singer is the only member of Cheap Trick who actually aged well. He
still hasn't given up the hair-metal look (where the rest of the band members
either went wrinkly or bald), but ... all the more power to you, blonde dude.
... And then ALICE COOOOOOOPEPEPERRRRR!!!
...After the intermission.
The stage was set up with a weird skeletal angel thing on the side (which
would later be revealed as a guillotine), a coffin, and ... I forgot what
else. What's widely considered Alice Cooper's greatest song (Andrew Lloyd
Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera") started playing and a very very
frightening demonic scream was heard as Alice Cooper appeared on that Topekan
stage. (Actually, I would discover later that the demonic scream was not
produced by anyone associated with the stage act, but the woman standing
Then, Alice Cooper started to sing ... a song ... (I honestly forgot what it
was. I think it was "Department of Youth") and he was strutting around a ...
Overall, Alice Cooper's stage antics were most delightful. It was not only
delightful because it was exactly what I expected out of an Alice Cooper
concert (lots of weird B-grade horror movie props, snakes, coffins, violence,
etc.) but ... IT WAS FREAKING HILARIOUS!!! ... I mean, I saw Alice Cooper
doing things on Wayne's World and stuff, but ... whoah. Whenever he'd
smack a guitarist or his daughter (who'd dance around on stage frequently
wearing just enough clothes to not be considered totally indecent), he had his
head chopped off via a guillotine and re-emerged in a coffin at one point ...
it MADE ME LAUGH! ... Because, as we all know, violence is funny.
I was more amazed at Alice Cooper's personality. He didn't come across as a
human being. Rather he was more of an actor who was sent from the netherworld
to play with snakes, conduct fake violence, and deliver a rock concert. He
didn't actually "talk" until the encore. It was all dancing, singing, and
playing with props--
Oh yeah, Alice Cooper sang songs! ... Not only was Alice Cooper's stage antics
meant to be unabashedly crowd-pleasing, but so was his set list! ... Very very
few songs were actually from his latest album. (I know for sure that there was
one, "Dirty Diamonds," but I think there might have been another.) Most of
them were from his most beloved period between 1971 and 1975, including nearly
every song from Welcome to My Nightmare. Seriously, I think he
did every bloody song on that album except for one or two! (He even did that
weird suite that appears at the end of it!)
I also don't think "Feed My Frankenstein" isn't that bad of a song ... Well,
it is a bad song, but at least ... at least it's better than Joan Baez!
(That's right, I'm a sexist Republican.) Also, seeing the song performed in
PERSON and not on the radio or on Wayne's World is kinduva thrill.
That brings me to my last and final point. ALICE COOPER IS AWESOME!!! ... This
was seriously an utterly phenomenal concert experience and anyone in the world
who ever consciously forwent attending an Alice Cooper has their life devalued
accordingly. Going to this concert seriously made me reconsider demoting the
January 2004 David Bowie concert as the best concert I've ever attended.
Anything doing that is seriously worth considering a mention in the