Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Mayo Civic Center Arena, Rochester, MN
This co-headlining tour was a brilliant idea, and it brought two theatrical metal legends together for a run through small cities across America and Canada. Alice Cooper was up first, and he stole the show with a deep 80 minute set that showed why every horror-themed band borrows from him. The crowd was immediately brought to its feet with the timeless anthem “School’s Out”, and from there he worked his way through both hits and old album cuts. All the songs you would expect to hear were played, from “I’m Eighteen” and “Poison” to “Billion Dollar Babies”, “Elected”, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, and “Under My Wheels”. Long-time fans had a lot to be happy for, with forgotten hits and album tracks like “I Never Cry”, “Department Of Youth”, “I Love The Dead”, and “Cold Ethyl” all being aired. Alice made the most of his time, and wasted no time between songs as he led the band through more than 20 songs. All the usual props were used, but it never seems old as Alice is summarily decapitated, hung, and impaled by spikes during the show. He’s a master showman, and it’s hard to see how anyone could walk away unimpressed at the high level of professionalism in every aspect of the show. Those who think that 70s-era rockers aren’t relevant in today’s music scene haven’t seen Alice Cooper recently. Here are some videos of Alice’s show, and the review of Rob Zombie’s set is continued below.
Click to watch Alice Cooper play “I’m Eighteen”.
Click to watch Alice Cooper play “Go To Hell”.
Click to watch Alice Cooper play “Only Women Bleed”.
Click to watch Alice Cooper play and get hanged during “I Never Cry/Black Widow Jam”.
Rob Zombie emerged following a 30 minute intermission, and the differences between his elaborate stage show as Alice Cooper’s couldn’t have been starker. Blinding strobe lights, massive amounts of pyrotechnics, and roving robots took the place of more traditional props. Zombie’s show was also great, but it was disappointing that he played a shorter set (70 minutes) with a lot of banter and wasted time between songs. Nevertheless, a load of hits such as “Superbeast”, “Never Gonna Stop”, and “Living Dead Girl” early in the set had the crowd delighted. Two new songs from Hellbilly Deluxe 2, “What?” and “Mars Needs Women”, were played, and guitarist John 5 put in an impressive, extended solo. Zombie and his band are highly energetic, and they run around on stage with vigor that matches the light show. “Thunderkiss ‘65” was unfortunately played way too fast, but a super-charged version of “Demonoid Phenomenon” lit the arena up. A funny moment happened when small feathers were shot from guns onto the crowd in front of the stage, coating everyone’s sweaty bodies with them. Zombie doesn’t shy away from controversy, either, and disturbing images of mutilated bodies occasionally were shown on the video monitors, and the band changed into Nazi regalia for “Werewolf Women Of The SS”. “Dragula” was saved for last, and the crowd was spent by this time after two full-length sets. While I preferred the greater showmanship and variety of Alice Cooper’s show, Rob Zombie certainly did not disappoint overall, either.
Click to watch Rob Zombie play “Superbeast”.
Click to watch Rob Zombie play “Never Gonna Stop”.
Click to watch Rob Zombie play “Demonoid Phenomenon”.