Nov 262007

Alice Cooper played today in Helsinki, on one of the last gigs of the Psycho-Drama tour.

Saw more than half of the warm-up band’s act. Uriah Heep hasn’t changed much (apart from the members) since the last encounter eighteen years ago. Pretty much the same classic songs were played this time as well.

The headliner act began ahead of schedule, and put on a decent, though un-surprising show. The song selection was very much on the safe side, with no new album to promote, most of the time on stage was given out to seventies’ songs.

Alice’s gig was also unexpetedly impersonal. There was no interaction with the audience, not even when Mike Monroe joined him on stage for School’s Out. The band got introduced almost as an afterthought during the encore, and all in all the show seemed distanced from the viewers.

Musically, though, the concert went all right. The band consisted of lean and hungry young players (and Eric Singer, a seasoned drummer), who rendered the song selection well. Acting on stage was more subdued on this tour (though the use of a gallows pole instead of a guillotine was new) – with Alice’s daughter Calico (though I could bet a decent sum that she was introduced as Tabitha) providing almost all of the theatre and acrobatics.

For a change, took notes on a set list:

It's hot tonight
No more Mr. Nice Guy
Under my wheels
I'm 18
Is it my body
Woman of mass distraction
Lost in America
Feed my Frankenstein
Be my lover
Dirty diamonds
Muscle of Love
Desperado / Halo of Flies / Drum solo
Welcome to my nightmare
Only women bleed
Dead babies
Ballad of Dwight Fry
Killer / I love the dead
School's out
Billion dollar babies
Poison Elected

As noted earlier, there was very little played from anywhere else but the seventies. Nothing off the duo of respectably metallic Brutal Planet/Dragontown, and only the obligatory Poison off Trash.

Not a great show, pretty much like Metallica’s earlier this year – a rehash of the glory years, with nothing new added to the mix. Good for the occasional listener, definitely, but not that good for the fans who have seen this material several times over. I sincerely hope that both Cooper and the Bay Area foursome get their monkeys off their backs with quick releases. And somehow I feel that the former is going to have far less trouble with his forthcoming Along Came a Spider.

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