What is the least believable movie monster
Scary rockers in Berlin : With Alice Cooper on the ghost train
Shock rocker, devout Christian, incarnation of evil, heavy alcoholic, proto-punk, film monster, family man, metal icon, golf professional, glam rock star - it is hard to believe how many identities Vincent Damon, born in Detroit in 1948, has had Veneer united in itself.
Demonized by parents as spoiling youth, loved by millions of teenagers for precisely that reason, extolled by Salvador Dalí as walking surrealism; Alice Cooper sparked a lot, just not indifference.
In 1969 Alice Cooper's first album was released, which the Prince of Darkness uses for a tour to mark the 50th stage anniversary that takes him to the almost sold-out Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin that evening. It is difficult to suppress amusement and shame of others when the stage becomes visible to the announcement “Welcome To Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle!”: A haunted castle with dungeon windows and a coffin like in a fairground ghost train. Should this dusty horror cabinet be taken seriously for the next hour and a half?
But when Alice Cooper strutted onto the stage casually and swinging from our nightmares to the sounds of "Feed My Frankenstein", it is impossible to resist the villain charm that the 71-year-old still exudes. He can't and doesn't want to shock with it for a long time, rather it is about managing a myth that has long been bigger than the mortal singer who officially changed his name to Alice Cooper in 1974.
Cooper is in a good mood and in good voice: he strolls through his discography with sinister gestures, appears at the medley "Ballad Of Dwight Fry / Steven / I Love The Dead / Dead Babies" in a straitjacket, pretending to want a baby Chop up the doll, put it in a guillotine and beheaded by two henchmen, so that a giant baby monster that has broken out of the styrofoam dungeon can shake its severed head as a toy - embarrassing trash, but even 2019 you can hardly do otherwise than to cheer loudly, albeit grinning.
The whole hall under the spell of the old villain
The same goes for the five-piece band, who unroll an endless instructional video of eighties hair metal poses and howl a number of senseless guitar solos as if “Spinal Tap” never existed. But: Alice Cooper is allowed to do that, after all, he helped invent metal, especially when it comes to the appearance - without Cooper no Kiss, no Marilyn Manson, no Slipknot.
At the latest with the big comeback hit "Poison", the whole hall fell under the spell of the old villain: Cooper lets the riding whip go round and points to the audience, he doesn't need to sing: "I want to love you but I better not touch - don ' t touch! ", it thunders in the castle walls. But Cooper's first big hit "Eighteen", in which he hobbled onto the stage with a crutch, exudes just as much rebellion, doubt and narcissism as in 1971 - a still touching adolescence hymn that reminds us that Cooper is next to all the mummery is also a talented songwriter who left the world with a number of cryptic concept albums in addition to some rock evergreens.
Gloomy morality on life and death
The fact that Cooper can still perform songs like "Eighteen" credibly at the age of 71 is due to the fact that he is a hardened showman. But above all, Cooper does not sing about himself, he is a narrator whose stories are timeless: gloomy morities about life and death, guilt and atonement, temptation, forgiveness and punishment. Outwardly, too, Cooper - unlike many other rock shouters of his year - doesn't have the problem of age, because after all, he always looked like a corpse.
Until the end, Cooper does not speak to the audience between songs - that is also well known. The only surprise of the evening: The encore: "Schools Out" merges into Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall", which the audience gratefully throws down. Regardless of the clichés: Cooper and his band deliver a first-class rock concert, even if it's stylistically, musically and visually completely outdated.
Cooper may have become a museum bogeyman, but his figure - like this evening - still works. Because we need guys like Cooper: modern, nasty Eulenspiegel, who are always needed most when the ruin comes from real horror clowns, and not from rock music, comics or computer games.
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