When asked why Alice Cooper was going to play Bloodstock this year he simply replied with “It’s called Bloodstock, duh! I invented blood, remember?” and after his performance on the Ronnie James Dio stage, no one in the right mind could argue his right to headline, even as the man himself heads into his mid sixties.
This was the last night of the current tour for the master of heavy metal theatre and his first time headlining BOA but it was clear from the start that he was determined to go out with an explosion of blood, oversized monsters and one very beautiful, ridiculously talented female guitar player. What else would you expect from this legend of ‘shock rock’?
After an intro consisting of a voice over from the master of horror himself, the late Vincent Price, the large stage curtain dropped to the sounds of the opening track ‘Black Widow’ exposing Alice dressed terrifyingly as a large spider, complete with a set of six extra metal arms and raised high on a cobwebbed platform of stairs. He then descended the stairs to meet bandmate, Orianthi Panagaris who greets him with the most impressive of guitar solos. At the age of just twenty-seven this Greek Australian is the perfect mixture of beauty and face-melting metal. She is also the only female to ever grace Alice Cooper’s band but has more than earned this honour after being a successful artist in her own right and winning the ‘Breakthrough Artist of the Year’ award in 2010 by Guitar International Magazine.
The crowd was soon singing along with some of his biggest hits such as ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’, ‘Hey Stoopid’ and ‘I’ll Bite Your Face Off’ but by far the biggest cheer came when Alice appeared wearing a white lab coat and goggles to the sounds of ‘Feed My Frankenstein’ as a large monster raged around the stage attempting to grab members of the band. Following the excitement of this the crowd is more than ready to go wild once super anthem ‘Poison’ kicks in, at which point I failed to see a single person who was not singing along.
There is no denying that what Alice Cooper does best is put on a damn good stage show. This is evident from the detail in his set, his costumes and the plethora of gory props placed across the stage. The most impressive of which is a large guillotine which is impressively used during ‘I Love the Dead’ to cut off Alice’s head, bringing the show to a dramatic climax before leading into arguably one of his most famous hits ‘School’s Out’. He appropriately finishes this hit filled set with ‘Elected’ while dressed in glittery top hat and tails and waving a large union jack flag in order to promote his next set of UK shows which will be touring around Halloween.
Overall, this was an impressive and exciting headline set to end what has been an incredible and memorable weekend of metal at BOA. The only real mystery left is the why the man needs so many guitar players?
Photos taken by Sabrina Ramdoyal