This is a recording of a surprise gig featuring Alice Cooper and his original musicians, back when the band was simply known as Alice Cooper. Alice Cooper was the band back then - not just the singer. Dennis Dunaway was going to do a book signing at Good Records in 2015 in Dallas, Texas - and by pure luck Alice Cooper had a day off between shows on that very same date and he was gonna be in that same area. A lot of stuff happened and it ended up with this gig in a record store.
It is great fun to watch the old guys play together again. They obviously can't play near as tight as they did back then or as Alice and his current band do today, but it is clear to all that they had a blast on stage and it's great to hear them play their old tunes again.
"This is more fun than it's supposed to be!"
They joke a lot on stage, like arguing if they are gonna play "Elected" or "Reflected" ("Reflected" is an older version of what became "Elected", both of them available on older Alice Cooper albums.) Alice told he'd read in a book that Paul McCartney had said 'The first time I heard "No More Mr. Nice Guy", I felt threatened for a Month'. Alice has a very hard time understanding what exactly the hell Paul had felt so threatened by back then.
The only real let down is that Glen Buxton couldn't be there with them (he died in 1997). To fill in for Glen, Ryan Roxie from Alice's current band stepped in on lead guitar and Chuck Garric played harmonica during "School's Out". Alice was not in his full stage gear, he was dressed in a Hollywood Vampires t-shirt and not wearing his usual black eyes stage make-up.
The audio is great by itself, but the real gem here is the Bluray. It is professionally filmed with many cameras and well edited. It's a mix of the full show plus interview clips (band, organizers and audience) and some great cartoons of chickens and flying panties (Alice fans will know why.) This mix actually works a lot better than a raw beginning-to-end concert recording would have done.
I don't have the 2018 recording of this show, so I didn't know what to expect. I got a lot more than I'd hoped for. It's available in 2 variants:
Given the fact that the contents on the DVD + Bluray are identical, the only way to interpret these weird combos, is that they wanted more of my money. Their plan succeeded. Whether I think it's fair is a different story. The sound quality of the live recordings are excellent on both audio and video. The vinyl and CD sound equally great. The Bluray is obviously superior when it comes to picture quality.
I haven't watched the full Interview/Q&A yet (it's 45 minutes), but the statement "The reputation of this band didn't come from fucking Golf, I tell ya!!" had me laughing out loud, so I'll certainly watch it all later.
- Alice Cooper – vocals
- Michael Bruce – rhythm guitar
- Dennis Dunaway – bass
- Neal Smith – drums
- Ryan Roxie (guitar),
- Chuck Garric (harmonica)
- Glen Buxton – lead guitar (died 1997)