This is my review of the entire VIP experience including the Alice Cooper gig. The show in itself was probably a 4/6 experience, but if I look at the whole package, then it was certainly a 6/6 Super Duper experience for me.
Pre-show - VIP Backstage Tour
The VIP ticket-holders were allowed into the Arena a few hours earlier than the general ticket holders. We were met and instructed by Alice's tour manager and we were given our VIP access cards. There was a quick quiz were we could win some Alice dollar bills if we knew some Alice trivia and then we were split into 2 groups that were taken to the backstage area. The stage looked quite different and less fancy from the other side, but the stage props surely looked fancy. We had our pictures taken with the guillotine and the Alice rubber head, as well as with the dollar-catapult, and with the giant Frankenstein figure. We saw the changing/make-up area where Alice and Sheryl changes clothes and we saw the soundboard area with Nita's guitars in a rack. We were told that Sheryl does her background (high note) vocals from this area.
The setlist was already on display so we could confirm that it looked exactly like we knew it would. It was really great seeing the stage area from the backstage side and the photo opportunities were awesome. After the backstage tour we had a chance to raid the merchandise shop before the doors were being opened for the general ticket holders or to go and secure a front row spot. I opted for an Alice teddy bear, a t-shirt and a single cold beer on the empty Arena floor.
Show: Alice Cooper (support: Black Stone Cherry)
Black Stone Cherry played support and they did okay. It's not really my type of music, but it wasn't bad and they certainly tried their best to put on a good show with lots of energy. I think a significant part of the crowd actually liked them. I thought the sound quality was rather bad though for this support-gig but that was hardly the band's fault.
Rumor has it that only between 4500 and 5000 tickets had been sold. That is less than 1/3 of the Arena's capacity for a rock gig. Because of this the stage had been moved forward, so that the Arena wouldn't look empty. I hate to say I told you so, but I did. Alice can't sell 16.000 tickets in Copenhagen, so the choice of venue was obviously not perfect. KP-Hallen would have been a better choice. On the other hand I hate crowded venues, so it didn't bother me at all. I saw the gig from 5th or 6th row from the stage and from my position the sound quality was pretty good for an Arena gig and the vision was perfect of the spectacular Castle stage. It was quite loud too, my left ear told me that afterwards.
I have never been and never will become a fan of Alice's "Bon Jovi years" [1986-1991] and the setlist included a few too many of those tracks. Only one newer song "Fallen in Love"  had made it through. I had decided to forget about all that though, and just be glad that the setlist had been given a major update and it looked rather fresh instead of consisting entirely of all the older crowd pleasers that stay in the setlists for years and years.
The band was as tight as ever and they put on a great show as always. Alice's voice could have been better, but it didn't bother me and I've heard a lot worse. The man is 71 years old and he still puts on a bloody great horror show. Alice's voice has never been his strongest weapon anyway and this is a rock n roll show and not some pussy ass pop (well, the song "Poison" kinda is, but what can you do...) The band and Alice were all over the stage constantly shifting positions and running around, so no matter where you were standing you'd get a good view of all of them many times.
The stage was this Nightmare Castle in several levels - including: the stage floor, castle wall and tower. Stage props included the guillotine, giant babies, a huuuuuge giant baby, a giant Frankenstein, a catapult that shoots dollar bills, Sheryl Cooper as the nurse, Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th), and of course all of Alice's usual tricks with his cane, crutch, straight jacket, sword, knife, balloons and what have we.
My absolute favorite song of the evening was "Muscle of Love". Not only have I always loved this song, but it was delivered with pure passion from the stage. A total kick ass performance from the band. "I'm Eighteen" and "Poison" and last song "School's Out" were total crowd pleasers and got the loudest sing-a-longs. "Raped and Freezin'" and "My Stars" were welcome old freshness in the setlist for me, although I doubt most of the crowd really knew them. "He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask)" was great because it's always great to have Jason running around on the stage with his machete, and the giant baby in "Billion Dollar Babies" was a sight to see. Of all the pop-songs I think "Roses on White Lace" was the most interesting with Sheryl acting as a bride. The song wasn't cheesy live as "Poison" or "Bed of Nails" kinda are. The only new song "Fallen in Love" had deserved to be accompanied by additional newer tunes from recent albums, but with old classic songs like "Steven", "Dead Babies" and "Under My Wheels" in the setlist, it is hard to wipe off that great smile from your face after an Alice Cooper show, no matter what was in the setlist.
It may not have been the best Alice Cooper gig in history, but from where I was standing near the stage, I had a blast and a party and enjoyed a really great horror show with a kick ass band and a top-class legend and performer. I hope Alice will keep doing his horror thing for as long as he is able, because I'll damn sure be there again next time he comes around. Just skip the big Arena and find a better medium sized venue, mkay?
Post-show - VIP Signing and Photo Session
After the gig we met at the VIP meeting-point and were taken to a backstage room where we had to wait. We were given our VIP merchandise: 3 medium-sized quality posters, a setlist and a certificate of insanity. We were all allowed to bring one (or two) personal items to be signed as well. After the wait Alice finally arrived and the 13 VIP guests took turns for a signing and photo session with Alice.
He signed the official merchandise items and I had brought the "Special Forces"  album cover with me for signing. He immediately noticed my Special Forces t-shirt and we had a nice little chat about how this album and the legendary promotion TV-Show from Paris was the thing that got me into Alice. He told me how he considered this specific version of Alice the most scariest character he'd ever created and how his lifestyle almost killed him during that period in time. He said that he considered bringing back "Who Do You Think We Are" in the setlist, something I could only applaud, although I think he really should add that entire album to the setlist. He was very friendly and it was very nice meeting him. During the signing session Alice's photographer had shot photos and after the signing he shot a few more photos of me with Alice including a few ones of Alice strangling me.
"Who do you think we are
Special forces in an armored car
Who do you think we are
We don't care, we don't care"
This had been a very great VIP experience. Certainly expensive, yes, but I thought it was worth every Danish Krone. There are not many A-class legends left and Alice is a legend if there ever was one and I'm very glad to have finally met him in person. This was a magical evening I'll enjoy looking back at in the future.
- Alice Cooper (madman)
- Chuck Garric (bass)
- Glen Sobel (drums)
- Ryan Roxie (guitar)
- Tommy Henriksen (guitar)
- Nita Strauss (guitar)
- Sheryl Cooper (nurse)