Alice Cooper Tour Review: Theatrics + Musicianship Rule on Summer Trek

2019-07-23

Alice Cooper and Nita Strauss in Michigan – Review and photos by Anne Erickson

Review + photos: Alice Cooper and Halestorm brought a dramatic, bloody show to DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Michigan

Not many musicians continue to thrill audiences and fill amphitheaters decade after decade, but Alice Cooper certainly isn’t most musicians. From his blockbusters ‘70s and ‘80s rock hits to his latest, 20th studio album, “Paranormal,” Cooper defies the years and continues to stay not only relevant but serve as a trendsetter in the rock and metal worlds.

Throughout the years, Cooper’s live show has helped propel him to the superstar status that he is today, and that was apparent during his jam-packed show Saturday (July 20) at DTE Energy Music Theatre near Detroit, Michigan. The concert was part of his 2019 summer “Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back” tour.

After a rain delay, opener Halestorm kicked off the night around 7:50 p.m. (Motionless In White, who was scheduled to go on before Halestorm, did not perform, due to the delay.) Lzzy Hale took the stage belting an acapella introduction to the band’s hit song, “I Get Off,” and when the rest of the band joined in, the stage exploded with the kind of raw energy that defines the rock ‘n’ roll genre. With a powerful female vocalist and high-energy live show, Halestorm was an apt band to set off the night.

As the sun slowly set, the darkness set the perfect mood for The Coop’s menacing production. Around 9:20 p.m., the black stage curtain came down, revealing Cooper and his roster of seasoned band members ready to rock. Cooper, donning his trademark black eyeliner and shock-rock makeup, powerfully launched into “Feed My Frankenstein,” and the crowd exploded with excitement.

One of Cooper’s most recognizable anthems, “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” followed. As he strutted from one side of the stage to the next, his band members took turns stepping up to the spotlight with their fiery soloing and instrumental aerobics. Guitarist Nita Strauss is charismatic and vibrant onstage, and she deftly swings from one end of the stage to the other, putting on a dramatic presentation with her guitar.

Musically, the set featured hits, such as “I’m Eighteen,” “Poison” and “School’s Out,” with some songs that haven’t been performed live as much, such as “Roses on White Lace” and “Muscle of Love.” The set came complete with all the theatrics fans love about an Alice Cooper show, such as a life-sized Frankenstein during “Teenage Frankenstein” and a bloody bride for “Roses on White Lace.”

From the blitz of Alice Cooper’s first moments onstage to his epic “School’s Out” finale, the Coop’s summer tour delivers a frighteningly fun, powerful, thrilling show that shows why he is everyone’s favorite shock rocker.

Alice Cooper at DTE Energy Music Theatre. By Anne Erickson

Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss at DTE Energy Music Theatre. By Anne Erickson

Alice Cooper and Tommy Henriksen at DTE Energy Music Theatre. By Anne Erickson

Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss at DTE Energy Music Theatre. By Anne Erickson

Alice Cooper bass player Chuck Garric at DTE Energy Music Theatre. By Anne Erickson

Alice Coopers band at DTE Energy Music Theatre. By Anne Erickson

Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss at DTE Energy Music Theatre. By Anne Erickson

Lzzy Hale of Halestorm at DTE Energy Music Theatre. By Anne Erickson

Halestorm at DTE Energy Music Theatre. By Anne Erickson

Halestorm singer Lzzy Hale at DTE Energy Music Theatre. By Anne Erickson

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