Alice Cooper – Buffalo Harbor, Buffalo, NY – 08/26/ 2011

 

Review by John Jeffrey  Photos by Thomas S. Orwat, Jr.

Buffalo, NY – Alice Cooper played an exciting and extremely entertaining 90 minute set last Friday night in front of a huge crowd at the Buffalo Harbor in downtown Buffalo.  “The No More Mr. Nice Guy” tour was a throw back to Alice’s tours of the late 1990’s, as he seemed to scale back on the theatrics somewhat, and the show itself appeared to be more focused on the music.

While Alice brought along his standard bag of visual chicanery (the top hat, the cane, the crutch, the snake etc.), mysteriously absent from the show was a female lead (usually performed by his daughter, Calico).  Also, during his most recent tours, you could expect to see Alice killed onstage no less than four times (from various torture devices), and this time, we only experienced Alice being beheaded by the infamous guillotine.  One may say that’s more than enough, but by contrast to the previous “Theater of Death” tour, it seemed kind of tame by comparison.

Pulling back on the theatrics made this show more about the music, as Alice really shook up the set list.  More classic artists should take a cue from the Coop in this department, as he did a nice job of playing all of the hits the casual fans want to hear, and throwing in some different deep cuts (plus the unreleased, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off,” from the forthcoming, “Welcome 2 My Nightmare”) for the diehards.  Returning to the set was (the full version of) “The Black Widow,” “Brutal Planet,” “Hey Stoopid,” “Muscle Of Love,” “Feed My Frankenstein” (complete with a giant Alice-ified Frankenstein’s monster), and “We’re All Clones.”  The crowd seemed to be into them all, with the exception of “Clones,” as only the REAL Coop fanatics seemed to recognize this song.

“The No More Mr. Nice Guy” tour features a new drummer (Glen Sobel), and in the wake of the departure of guitarist Keri Kelli, Alice has recruited 2 guitarists to fill the vacant slot left by Kelli.  Alice hired newcomer Tommy Henriksen, and reunited with legendary guitarist, Steve Hunter (who has recently performed with the original ACG, filling in for the late Glen Buxton – RIP).  The change in guitarists moved the primary rhythm player, Damon Johnson, into the #1 lead guitar spot, with Steve Hunter becoming the #2, and Tommy Henriksen rounds out the trio as strictly rhythm.  With Hunter’s statuesque stage presence, Henriksen’s main role is to be the visual eye candy of the band – running, jumping and prancing around the stage, as this position was also previously held by Keri Kelli.

No matter who’s in the band, the name on the marquee is Alice Cooper.  As most fans really only wanna see the Coop and don’t notice, or care, who is in the band, and some think every band he has is great.  Regardless of who’s in your favorite Alice Cooper lineup, it’s Alice that makes sure the crowd is pleased, and in his 40+ year career, he has yet to disappoint.

Setlist 08-26-2011
The Black Widow
Brutal Planet
I’m Eighteen
Under My Wheels
Billion Dollar Babies
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Hey Stoopid
Is It My Body
Halo of Flies
I’ll Bite Your Face Off
Muscle of Love
Only Women Bleed
Cold Ethyl
Feed My Frankenstein
Clones (We’re All)
Poison
Wicked Young Man
Killer
I Love the Dead
School’s Out
Another Brick In the Wall
Elected

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