Firstly I want to start out by saying YES!, I am a massive Alice Cooper fan! I've got collected almost all of his albums on vinyl. Even the lesser known albums such as "Zipper Catches Skin". It was a total honor to be able to photograph him, I was so close I could actually touch his boots!
As for Ace Frehley, I can confirm I do like KISS, but I'm far from being a KISS nerd. I'm familiar mostly just with their greatest hits and I appreciate everything they've accomplished, and I consider them a hugely important figures in the history book of Rock n' Roll.
Ace played a set which consisted mostly of his solo songs and songs which he sung with KISS such as "Shock Me". Ace is 66 years of age, but there's still plenty of fuel left in his tank. He had a calm demeanor on stage, he had the look of a true rock n' roll veteran. You can tell he had done this 1000's of times before, the stage is Ace's true natural habitat. He played that classic New York Grove that put KISS on the map, his voice sounded a little course and gravely but that is far from a bad thing. If anything it added to his aged warrior charm. Ace also included a few KISS staples such as "Love Gun" and "Detroit Rock City" with drummer Scot Coogan doing a great job of filling for Paul Stanley. Overall it was a lot of fun and I was super excited when Ace rocked a massive guitar solo with smoke oozing from his Gibson Les Paul!
The anticipation for Alice's set was truly nerve-racking! As I waited in the photo pit looking upon his glaring eyes painted on the curtain. An intro tape narrated by Alice welcoming the crowd to his nightmare got my heart pounding. When the curtain finally dropped, Alice was standing right above me! sparks flew from the ceiling. Alice threw down his cape and went straight into one of his heaviest ever songs to date, "Brutal Planet". Alice in my opinion truly is the greatest living front man out there. The way he captivates the audience and makes it seem as though he's looking directly at you at all times. His voice sounds as good as it ever did and the backing band was unbelievably tight. The sound production was flawless, with 3 guitarists, and amazing drum work by Glen Sobel.
The set-list was was somewhat different from the last time I'd seen him back in 2012. He did all the staple songs such as "Poison", "Only Women Bleed" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy". He also added in some old school fan favorites such as "Halo Of Flies" (from my favorite Alice album 'Killers') . And also the new single "Paranoiac Personality" from the excellent new album Paranormal. Nita Strauss is the ultimate guitar goddess, with flawless beauty and skill that is on par with guitar gods like Steve Vai. She demonstrated her ability by adding a massive guitar showdown during "Women of Mass Destruction". The stage show as always was amazing. Alice was pinned down to one of those old school horror electric confabulations and turned into Frankenstein's monster during "Feed My Frankenstein".
I genuinely felt like I was Wayne... or perhaps Garth? from Wayne's World. Even though the show was seats only, with no standing areas. That didn't stop the crowds from getting up and clinging to the front barrier. Almost every song had a different theme, Alice's costume changes were done bu a magic life-sized jack in the box.
When Alice finished the show with his trademark decapitation people didn't cheer. I felt genuinely saddened. I almost felt like screaming "Don't kill Alice!!!". When Alice returned back on the stage holding his severed head, the crowd went wild. As an encore Ace Freehley joined him on stage to jam "Schools Out", Nita was grinning from ear to ear. I'm so jealous of her job!
Overall it was a fantastic night, Ace was amazing and it was fantastic to finally see that legend play live! Alice was not only my biggest highlight of this year, it was my biggest highlight of all-time.
If you haven't seen The Coops live before I suggest you do it. Even if you're an old grandma that hates Rock n Roll! You won't get bored at one of his show! Captivating from start to finish. I truly felt like I was worthy. Thank you so much Mr. Cooper. PLEASE COME BACK SOON!!!