Alice Cooper

Copenhell - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Now, Alice Cooper may not have been the headliner of the day, per se, but he was quite possibly the biggest star to guest the Helvíti stage on the opening day in 2016 nonetheless.

As the case was with Scorpions, who were the actual headliners of the day, Alice Cooper has spent far more time standing on a stage, than I have spent being alive, but contrary to the famous German quintet, Alice Cooper’s experience shown through!
Already with the opening, where we heard the late Vincent Price’s voice descend upon us from the speakers, Alice Cooper dominated the centre of the stage, wearing a black cape covering nearly his entire body. Actually, I’m getting ahead of myself. Before we even got this far, the show was introduced to us by a huge cloth covering the entire stage, a cloth bearing the mark of Alice Cooper’s characteristic eye make-up. Pretty darn effective for building anticipation, if you ask me. Then came the Price opening, which quickly led into the first song, The Black Widow. This is not one of the songs of his that I know, but in the second song, he moved over into more familiar territory with the classic No More Mr. Nice Guy. Here he threw his cape off, and revealed a striking, black and white striped suit.
The rest of the band were a motley looking crew, and all of them were dedicated to rocking the Copenhell crowd from here to wherever. Especially the female guitarist, Nita Strauss (apparently descendant of the famous composer, Johann Strauss), stood out, and rocked harder than most artists visiting the festival! There was a constant stream of picks flowing from her to the audience.

Not surprisingly, this was Alice Cooper’s show though, and he was very invested in making this as entertaining as possible. There were of course a lot of theatricals, as it should be, ranging from the simple impaled money bills in Billion Dollar Babies, to more advanced antics including actors and contraptions in several other songs. The memorial section, where the band played covers by The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, David Bowie, and Motörhead, and raised tombstones in the back, was something I hadn’t heard about before, and was a nice addition to the show.
There was also the regular performing and singing, and this was impressively pulled of as well. Cooper was glad to use the catwalk in front of the stage, and showed great vigour despite his advanced age. Again, something that could not be said for all artists playing here.
If something was missing, that could have lifted the show even further, I would say the lack of direct contact to the crowd. The show as such was running like a well-oiled machine, but there wasn’t much room for Cooper to stop for a minute, and address the audience with some witty banter or comment. This is only a minor gripe however, and it didn’t hurt the show while it was underway.

The crowd was large, and the fact that the rain began setting in here didn’t seem to affect it one bit. Everybody seemed to agree that this was an entertaining affair, as did I.
I admit, I wasn’t as blown away by the show as I had hoped to be, but even so, Alice Cooper delivered a very good experience, and provided more positive memories from both himself and the festival.

Setlist (incomplete):

The Black Widow
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Billion Dollar Babies
Solo (Nita Strauss)
Solo (Glen Sobel)
Feed My Frankenstein
I Love The Dead
Pinball Wizard (The Who cover)
Fire (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
Suffragette City (David Bowie cover)
Ace Of Spades (Motörhead cover)
School’s Out

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