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Susan Foreman 10th December 2018 06:39 AM

Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding rocked with Johnny Depp, Blue Oyster Cult and more | AZ Central

"Hollywood Vampires were down one legend after Aerosmith's Joe Perry's was forced to stay home and recuperate from pulmonary issues that had caused him to collapse backstage at Madison Square Garden in November.

But knowing his doctors expect him to make a full recovery, the 17th annual Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding concert was as festive as it's ever been, from an early set set by Proof is in the Pudding guitar hero Conrad Varela to the grand finale.

Ending the night with an all-star rendition of Chuck Berry's "Run, Rudolph, Run" is a Pudding tradition. This year, that all-star rendition included two surprise guests – Nita Strauss, who had her own show that same night in Scottsdale, and the woman she replaced in Cooper's band, Orianthi.

Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp

This was after a crowd-pleasing headlining set by the Vampires, featuring Cooper and Johnny Depp, who commands the stage with the presence you'd expect from looking at him while bringing more than swagger to the table on guitar.

If you're looking for flash, he's no Strauss (or Varela). But he's great at the kind of guitar he plays, which is more in the Chuck-Berry-filtered-through-Dave-Davies blues-punk tradition.

The Vampires opened strong with the muscular post-Stooges forward momentum of "I Want My Now," following through with the equally raucous "Raise the Dead" and "As Bad As I Am."

They're more a band now than they were the first time they played Pudding in 2016, with more original material to share.

And they kept the focus on the strength of that original material as they made their way through "The Boogieman Surprise," "My Dead Drunk Friends" and – "just to you show we're not a one-trick pony," as Cooper introduced it – "Welcome to Bushwhackers," a song that had more of a Sun Records rockabilly flavor.

Then, they got back to their roots with a handful of covers, from "Baba O'Riley" by the Who, complete with a synth loop, to David Bowie's "Heroes," with Depp really making a case for himself as a front man, Cooper playing blues-harp on "The Jack" by AC/DC and bassist Chris Wyse assuming the vocal spotlight on a raucous "Ace of Spades."

They closed their proper set the way you'd close your proper set if you were them, with "School's Out." After all, as I heard Cooper tells his bandmates while discussing setlist order during soundcheck, “Generally, you can’t do anything after ‘School’s Out’.” True enough.

Then they brought everyone back for an endearingly sloppy rendition of "Run, Rudolph, Run" with one guitar solo after another.

Nearly five hours earlier, the concert began with a song by the Rock Teen Center's percussion ensemble, the Solid Rock Bucket Brigade with the Teen Center's music director Court Stumpf on guitar.

Beasto Blanco with Calico Cooper

The first of the national acts to take the stage on this year's Pudding bill was Beasto Blanco with Calico Cooper and Cooper bassist Chuck Garric.

When I spoke to Calico before the show, she said her character is based on "the part of you that's feral" and further noted "Beasto is a werewolf set loose on the stage." And Saturday's performance definitely lived up to the promise of Cooper's description.

After setting the tone for their performance with a song called "Beasto Blanco," Garric snarling, "Hell yeah, it's a freak show," Cooper grabbed a spiked bat, which she brandished like a proper movie monster, as they launched into "Death Rattle," which featured Garric on harmonica.

And by their final song, which featured Cooper on lead vocals, she was spraying the crowd with a smoke gun. It was intense and as feral as promised with actual hooks to back up the theatrics, especially "Death Rattle."

Sebastian Bach

Sebastian Bach's entire set was taken from Skid Row's self-titled debut, which hit the streets in 1989. And if his voice has aged a day since then, you couldn't tell. It was a stunning show of vocal prowess.

Gretchen Wilson

Country singer Gretchen Wilson also brought some vocal pyrotechnics to the mix with her set-closing cover of Heart's "Barracuda."

If all you knew of Wilson was her Grammy-winning breakthrough single, "Redneck Woman," you might think that Heart song fell outside her Southern Comfort zone. But Wilson nailed it.

She opened her set with a spirited "Here for the Party," then asked "Do we have any rednecks in the house tonight?" by way of introducing "Redneck Woman," which inspired more singing along than you may have imagined for a 21st Century country song performed at Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding.

Blue Oyster Cult

Blue Oyster Cult's Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma were the final musical attractions to perform before the Vampires, treating the crowd to three songs anyone who's ever listened to rock radio should know by heart, "Burnin' For You," "Godzilla" and "(Don't Fear) the Reaper."

Like Wilson and Bach, they were backed by the members of Sixwire, whose lead guitarist did an admirable job of keeping up with Dharma on that dual guitar lead on "Burnin' For You."

Dharma is a true guitar god and it showed, especially when he stretched out on the epic jam that brought their all-too-brief performance to a close during "(Don't Fear) the Reaper," with guest cowbell by Vampires drummer Glen Sobel."

Demdike@Cult Labs 10th December 2018 12:08 PM


Originally Posted by Susan Foreman (Post 593880)

[I]"Ace Frehley said he was planning to tour with Alice Cooper during the second half of 2019, though he wasn’t ready to supply full details.

The former Kiss guitarist recently fired his solo band in favor of the musicians used by Gene Simmons

What? You mean Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer? :hohoho:

Susan Foreman 10th December 2018 07:28 PM

Some German dates have been announced for 2019

11th September - Mannheim - Sap Arena
13th September - Berlin - Max-Schmeling-Halle Berlin
18th September - Stuttgart - Porsche-Arena
23rd September - Hamburg - Barclaycard Arena Hamburg
30th September - Leipzig - Leipzig Arena
1st October - Munich - Olympiahalle München

It would appear that these shows will be going under the title the "Ol‘ Black Eyes is Back" 2019 tour

Susan Foreman 12th December 2018 06:56 AM


Originally Posted by Susan Foreman (Post 593989)
Some German dates have been announced for 2019

11th September - Mannheim - Sap Arena
13th September - Berlin - Max-Schmeling-Halle Berlin
18th September - Stuttgart - Porsche-Arena
23rd September - Hamburg - Barclaycard Arena Hamburg
30th September - Leipzig - Leipzig Arena
1st October - Munich - Olympiahalle München

It would appear that these shows will be going under the title the "Ol‘ Black Eyes is Back" 2019 tour

Looks like Spain before Germany

7th Sept - Madrid, ES - Palacio Vistalegre
8th Sept - Barcelona, ES - Sant Jordi Club

Susan Foreman 14th December 2018 02:22 PM

Some new dates in France have been added to the "Ol‘ Black Eyes is Back" 2019 tour:

31st August - Aarburg, Switzerland - Riverside Festival
3rd September - Marseille, France - Le Dome
5th September - Bordeaux, France - Arkea Arena
7th September - Madrid, Spain - Palacio Vistalegre
8th September - Barcelona, Spain - Sant Jordi Club
11th September - Mannheim, Germany - Sap Arena
13th September - Berlin, Germany - Max-Schmeling-Halle Berlin
18th September - Stuttgart, Germany - Porsche-Arena
20th September - Paris, France - La Seine Musicale
23rd September - Hamburg, Germany - Barclaycard Arena Hamburg
30th September - Leipzig, Germany - Leipzig Arena
1st October - Munich, Germany - Olympiahalle München

Susan Foreman 17th December 2018 05:57 AM

Poster design for the 2019 tour

Susan Foreman 21st December 2018 06:33 AM

The Sonaran News from Arizona has a small piece about Alice and Sheryl doing their bit for Christmas

"Rock and Valley legend Alice Cooper teamed with The Salvation Army and Bank of Arizona to bring smiles to around 200 underprivileged Valley kids for “A Solid Rockin’ Christmas.”

This is the 20th straight year Alice Cooper has hosted The Salvation Army for the holidays to bring joy to kids. He and his wife, Sheryl, graciously provided lunch, prepared by the Original Breakfast House.

After lunch, the Coopers treated the kids to several performance acts, and each child was presented with a toy provided by Bank of Arizona and met Santa Claus."

Justin101 21st December 2018 06:30 PM


Originally Posted by Susan Foreman (Post 594340)
Poster design for the 2019 tour

The one I saw on Twitter had black marks, like a redacted document on some dates and he (or his social media person) said more dates will be anounced in the new year.

Hopefully a string of UK dates. I'd love a theatre tour this time around, Manchester Apollo instead of the MEN Arena.

Susan Foreman 21st December 2018 08:00 PM

It's interesting to note that the tagline 'Ol' Black Eyes Is Back' was originally used to promote the 1976 'Go To Hell' album and subsequent tour, which was ultimately cancelled due to Alice 'suffering from anemia' [read: alcoholism]

Demdike@Cult Labs 21st December 2018 10:15 PM

Ol' Blue Eyes and Ol' Black Eyes.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

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