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ALICE COOPER – RAC ARENA

ALICE COOPER/AIRBOURNE/MC50
RAC ARENA
8 February

Photos by Damien Crocker

The night began with a tribute to legends the MC5 as MC50 hit the stage! Original member Wayne Kramer put this group together to celebrate the legacy of MC5 and their 50th Anniversary 2 years ago, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, Faith No More’s Billy Gould on Bass and Zen Guerrilla frontman Marcus Durant.

From the start they made a massive racket and drew me in from the get go. Billy Gould seemed to look like he was living his lifelong dream – I really appreciated his enthusiasm! Vocalist Marcus Durant was manic and wild in his delivery, there was a reason he was chosen for this that’s for sure!


Highlight songs of the set were ‘Kick Out The Jams’, ‘Come Together’ and and ‘Looking At You’. They got a big ovation from the Perth crowd post set! I am so happy that I got to see them, it’ll be the closest I’ll ever get to seeing the original MC5 and they did that bands legacy proud. Now – time to stick the MC5 in the Hall of Fame next year, please?

I already knew what to expect from Airbourne when they hit the stage second at the RAC Arena. I knew with the old guard in droves at this venue they wouldn’t have a a clue who they were, and Airbourne would get to do what they do best – and that’s win people over and make them believers.

This is what Airbourne are. A relentless assault on your eyes, your ears, and all senses. They leave it all on stage every single bloody night and I have always felt that Airbourne deserve more respect from the country they are from. They deserve to be handed the torch that AC/DC once had. What a better way to evolve Aussie Rock music than having a band like this get promoted more in our country? Airbourne are the bar.

Highlights of the set include the phenomenal ‘Back In The Game’, ‘Breakin Outta Hell’ and of course, ‘Runnin’ Wild’. Just a tremendous band to witness, and the question would be, could Alice and his band follow this?


What I did find disappointing though was post set – I left to go grab some beers for my preparation of watching Alice’s set. I walk out and there’s all these older people just sitting on couches and seats. They literally spent all of Airbourne/MC50’s sets just sitting out of the actual venue. It’s not like they were all having a fun yarn together either, like 20-30 people sitting there bored. How about you watch the support acts? It’s better than staring into the distance. It was just odd to me.

The moment we were all waiting for came and Alice Cooper and his band hit the stage in a fury with the opening number ‘Feed My Frankenstein’. An unbelievable beginning to the set, leading me to feel like it doesn’t matter how old Alice gets, he will always be an incredible performer, surrounding himself in some of the most talented musicians on the planet.

Song two was ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’ which lit the crowd up into a singalong frenzy. ‘Bed Of Nails’ was a lovely surprise at the 3rd tune of the set, getting us off to an astounding start, I just love that song. Following this we headed back to 1973 for a bit of ‘Raped and Freezin” followed by a tune from his 2017 album ‘Paranormal’ – a track co-written by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame ‘Fallen In Love’.

‘Under My Wheels’ was next, another banger – followed by ‘Muscle of Love’ which was a delightful surprise to hear. The backing band of Ryan Roxie, Nita Strauss, Chuck Garric and Tommy Henriksen bring so much energy to the stage. That allows Alice to methodically stalk around the stage in his various outfits, canes, swords, he had everything but the kitchen sink! With Alice, everything he does as he performs has purpose. Less is more with Alice, because the theatrics make up for the fact that he isn’t running around. He doesn’t need to. His band do that for him, allowing the spotlight to always remain on the man himself.

‘He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) was next followed by 3 absolute rippers ‘I’m Eighteen’, ‘Billion Dollar Babies’, and ‘Poison’. He just has so many hits! The crowd ate this section up. The beloved Nita Strauss tore it up with a wild guitar solo following this – she is just universally adored by all. ‘Roses On White Lace’ was next from 1987 album ‘Raise Your Fist and Yell’, followed by going even further back to ’72 with ‘My Stars’ from School’s Out. ‘Devil’s Food’ was a nice surprise off 1975’s ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’.

The band jammed it out following this, I assume as Alice took a little break and had his next costume change along the way to the end of the evenings festivities. This ended in a delightful and not too time consuming Drum Solo from Drummer Glen Sobel. Alice made his return to the stage for ‘Steven’, ‘Dead Babies’, ‘I Love The Dead’ and ‘Escape’.

Teenage Frankenstein ended the set, before they came out for songs 22 and 23 of the set for an encore – I was delighted to hear ‘Department of Youth’ first up, before we ended of course with ‘Schools Out’ with the usual medley with ‘Another Brick in the Wall’. Off went the confetti, out came the huge confetti filled, beach ball sized balloons – the crowd were elated and everybody on stage left everything they had up there.

I’ve only seen Alice twice before where he basically out performed Motley Crue with ease, and out entertained Ace Frehley the 2nd time – yet again I think Alice wins the night, even with how hard Airbourne and MC50 worked, Alice Cooper is forever untouchable.

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