I think my wife spoke with some trepidation when she learned that Manchester was one of the Alice Cooper group’s tour stops. I reminded her that a common rebuttal to terrorism is not to change our ways… and with 2000 concerts behind me and the five most important ones in front of me, I was not going to miss these. Of course it was the United Kingdom that coined the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On.” during WW II. And so when we arrived at the Manchester Arena we were greeted by its own slogan: Welcome Arena Manchester. #WeAreManchester
Well tonight in that same Manchester Arena that suffered recent tragedy, the Alice Cooper group and a near capacity crowd responded… “Keep Calm and ROCK On!”
This was the fourth tour stop in five nights and the consensus is that these guys have gotten better each night. There is a fluidity in their movements and a familiarity in their gestures that belies the fact that they have had little rehearsal time and save for some one-off events, they have not performed live together with regularity since 1974.
You remember 1974 don’t you?… that was the year the Alice Cooper group had its last single release – “Muscle of Love”. The group included this gem in the set list tonight and while those classic licks and lyrics remained, the guys amp’d it up with an extended instrumental section which had Alice join in on maracas. And that raved-up ending with the signature riff coming to what always feels like a premature and abrupt hard stop… always gets me.
I am going to end this instalment short (big day tomorrow – gotta get some rest) but wanted you to know that legions of Alice Cooper fans, both local and many who had traveled in from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States not only experienced a fantastic Hall of Fame performance but also demonstrated resolve that we all stand with Manchester.