(August 28, 2018, Burton Cummings Theatre, Downtown Winnipeg)
The drizzle last night did not deter the expectant crowd from trekking to Burton Cummings Theatre to behold Alice Cooper’s electrifying freak show. Too early for Halloween, yet Cooper made the atmosphere so, and to great effect—like how he always used to anyway; and that was how the shows of the King of Shock Rock so bloody special.
Fifty years on to his music career, 27 studio albums—from 1969’s Pretties for You to last year’s Paranormal, and countless gigs all around the world, yet the King of Shock Rock remains in top form, dishing single after single from various highlights of his enduring rockstardom. With a powerhouse cast of backup musicians—Ryan Roxie (guitar, backing vocals), Chuck Garric (bass, backing vocals), Tommy Henriksen (guitar, backing vocals), Glen Sobel (drums, percussion), and Nita Strauss (guitar, backing vocals)—Copper brought the house down with an equally powerful setlist that included “Brutal Planet,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Under My Wheels,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” “Be My Lover,” “Lost in America,” “Serious,” “Fallen in Love,” “Woman of Mass Distraction,” “Poison,” “Halo of Flies,” and “Feed My Frankenstein.”
Overall, the Winnipeg leg of Cooper’s 2018 North American Tour was a blast. The only disappointment that I had, albeit only on a personal level, was that he did not sing my most-favorite Cooper song—“I Never Cry.” But then again, as soon as I arrived back home and settled in, I just took my CD of Cooper’s ninth album, 1976’s Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, and played it on headphones and closed my eyes, imagining that I was still at the Burton. And, in fairness, that did the trick! I never cried, after all.