Alice Cooper / Ugly Kid Joe

© Alice Cooper
Graham Clark
Sheffield City Hall 1st November 2012

Ugly Kid Joe made a welcome return to Sheffield as support act to Alice Cooper. Recalling the time when they supported Def Leppard at Don Valley Stadium in 1993, the band partied like it was still 1993 at the City Hall.

Lead singer Whitfield Crane tells the seated audience to get out of their seats as he prowled the stage like a panther. ‘V.I.P.’ from when the band re-formed in 2009 sounds as good as their older tracks. Of course, it was these older tracks like ‘Everything about You’, ‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ and ‘Neighbour’ that got the biggest response.

Usually at an Alice Cooper gig, Alice gets beheaded and injected with a huge syringe. On his current Halloween tour most of his stage props are packed away in the flight cases and it is the music that takes centre stage. A firework waterfall showers the stage as he performs opening track ‘Hello Hooray’. Judy Collins’ version never sounded like this.

‘No More Mr Nice Guy’ still sounds as good as it did back in the day with Cooper looking like a Batman villain in his red and black pinstripe suit and matching top hat. Helped out by a young band including female Australian guitarist Orianthi who never missed a beat.

On the track ‘Feed My Frankenstein’, Alice is dressed as Dr Frankenstein only to have a 12 foot high Frankenstein monster to appear on stage. Paying homage to artists in “The Graveyard of Rock” Cooper covers Break on Through to the Other Side (The Doors), Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix), Revolution (The Beatles) and My Generation (The Who).

The finale of ‘Poison’ and the classic ‘Schools Out’ ended an unforgettable night of showmanship and entertainment. With the audience now covered in confetti and streamers, giant balloons glide across the auditorium. A classic rock gig by a legendary artist who can still cut it live.

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