|Alice Cooper: Live at Montreux
Label: Eagle Vision
Alice Cooper has played with a boatload of tremendous musicians, especially on the road. His guitar slingers have included Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake, Dokken), Stef Burns (Y & T) and Davey Johnstone (Elton John). Kip Winger played bass for a while and Derek Sherinian (Dream Theatre) tickled the keys. I would argue that the band captured on this DVD may be the best to support Alice, ever.
Eric Singer (Kiss) is absolutely thunderous on the skins while Chuck Garric (Dio) holds down the other half of the heavy and busy bottom end. The twin guitar attack of Ryan Roxie (Slash’s Snakepit) and Damon Johnson (Brother Cane) is a finely tuned, amped-up muscle car. Alice knows how to pick ‘em, and I think they steal the show from the master of horror rock.
Alice has a ridiculously deep back catalogue and does not disappoint the fans. He knows how to put a set list together by covering the hits, pulling a surprise or two out of his macabre top hat and sprinkling in some of the new stuff along the way. The hits sound fresh as ever with the ferocious attack of this band. Singer is busy and hits hard driving the band to play sharper, meaner versions of the material. “Billion Dollar Babies” and “Go to Hell” have some real additional kick. When Alice heads to his first costume change during “The Black Widow,” the band absolutely kicks the crap out of that song. Damon Johnson and Ryan Roxie (who has since departed and been replaced by Kerri Kelly, also of Slash’s Snakepit) blast that twin guitar solo stuff out of the park. The newer songs from The Eyes of Alice Cooper (2003) and Dirty Diamonds (2005) fit nicely with the older stuff, with the exception of “Between High School and Old School” which seems corny, even for Alice.
You have swords, straight jackets and guillotines and Alice’s hard body daughter, Calico, dressing up (rather scantily) as various characters, including Paris Hilton. The show is great fun but the music is fantastic. Alice does too much growling these days instead of singing. He does have a decent voice when he lets it out on such classics as “Only Women Bleed” and “I Never Cry” but sticks to the growl probably to push through the power of that potent band.“Live at Montreux”is what a concert should be, full of great tunes, crushing percussion, and searing guitar. The performers (as well as the audience) look like they are having the time of their lives.
~R. David Smola