020888 Alice Cooper/Motörhead, Moncton, NB

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February 2nd, 1988 was the first time I attended a concert at the Moncton Coliseum that had assigned seats, which proved pretty handy.  If it had been the usual general admission I would have certainly been at the front and would have probably left the concert covered in blood.

Y’see, the featured performer was none other than Vincent Fournier, the son of a preacherman who is better known by his macabre alter-ego Alice Cooper, a classic rock staple well known for his over-the-top horror show live-concert theatrics, not to mention his long stream of truly great rock and roll compositions.

Motörhead opened the show and I was there for the whole set, my eyes glued to the stage.  It wasn’t that I was a fan of the band; though I knew they were hard rock legends I was wholly ignorant of their music.  And to be honest I wasn’t all that interested in expanding my horizons, but I felt like I should give them my attention if for no other reason than out of reverence and/or respect for their fame and notoriety and on the off chance that I would one day become a fan of the band and kick myself for not giving them their due.

I never did become a fan but I am still glad I saw Lemmy play The Ace Of Spades live.

Alice Cooper was another matter altogether.  Between the great music and the cheesy but vastly entertaining gore-fest that was purported onstage our host was impossible to look away from, decked out as he was in a stark white tuxedo and tails that soon became besmirched with blood.  I didn’t hurt that I had once again snuck my stealthy 110 camera into the show in an attempt to hone my concert photography skills, a nerve-wracking venture that kept me very focused on the stage.  

Too bad my camera wasn’t.

(After the obligatory weeklong wait for the photos to get developed I found that while my subject matter and even my framing was creative, dynamic and engaging all I really ended up with for my $15 processing fee were a bunch of out-of-focus shots of blood spatter.)

Under My Wheels, I’m Eighteen, No More Mister Nice Guy, Billion Dollar Babies…the guy’s material is pure gold.  Add in a guitar player built like Rambo and sporting a Fender AK-47, little people and giants alike running around the stage getting beheaded, a celebrity appearance by Alice’s pet boa constrictor (a cameo that had been blocked by local animal rights activists at Cooper’s stop in Fredericton the previous night), and a climactic self-guillotining…well, Alice just put on a heck of a show.

And though I really enjoyed the whole concert for some reason I’ve never gone to see Alice Cooper play again despite many, many other opportunities.  That’s out of character for me; usually if I like an act I’ll go see them every chance I get.

But for some reason with Alice Cooper once feels like enough.  I should probably go see him next time just to find out if I’m right about that.

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