Live Music + Gig Reviews

Alice Cooper + Twisted Sister @ MEN Arena, Manchester

10 November 2005

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Dee Snider, front man of Twisted Sister, clearly isn’t content with his job as a DJ in California. The old hag has reformed his band for a reunion tour to celebrate their 30th Anniversary. Ironically, much of that time was spent in the wilderness. Until recently their CDs had stopped being manufactured and they last performed on these shores over two decades ago. If rumours are true, US promoters would not give them a break. Now Alice Cooper has flown them over the big pond to the UK.

Songs like Shoot ‘Em Down, Under The Blade and Burn In Hell were furiously charged and the anthemic We’re Gonna Make It was charmingly kitsch. A dire version of the Rolling Stones classic Its Only Rock ‘N’ Roll aside, it was hard to dislike them. But will it be another 20 years until their next visit? After this gleeful reception, surely not.

And on to headliner Alice Cooper. Strolling on stage to Department Of Youth, the legendary shock rocker’s entrance was not highly charged – it’s not that he’s too old for it, but rather he simply does not have to prove anything.

Cooper is on the road to promote his latest album, Dirty Diamonds, and presented two of the record’s highlights – the title track and Woman Of Mass Distraction. But more from the excellent The Eyes Of Alice Cooper, Brutal Planet and Dragontown albums would have been welcome.

That said, Feed My Frankenstein, Under My Wheels and No More Mr Nice Guy were terrific. The venue went mental for School’s Out, and Welcome To My Nightmare still remains a creepy, brooding opus.

After giving his shock rock theatrics a break for a couple of years, he decided to bring them back but, oddly, underused them. For the first half he didn’t real seem to do much with his props, but then seemed to rush the last half hour, which seemed a waste.

It was a good show but not a great one. Something was missing. Alice Cooper is still an awesome performer, but his shows can be better than this.

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More on Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper – Road
Alice Cooper – Detroit Stories
Alice Cooper @ Hammersmith Apollo, London
Alice Cooper + Twisted Sister @ MEN Arena, Manchester
Alice Cooper – The Eyes Of Alice Cooper