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(Live Review) ALICE COOPER - Horseshoe Casino Hammond Indiana, Sep 22/22

Tonight, the Beard and Little Johnny traveled to Hammond Indiana to view the grandfather of shock rock, Mr. Alice Cooper who has been performing for longer than your reviewer has been alive.

For fifty-seven years, Alice has brought his brand of mayhem all around the world, and tonight once more he managed to make the iconic bar his career has set him at. By now, Alice (74 years old), has seen and done it all. He’s played to crowds ranging from 50 to 50,000 and frankly he could just “phone it in” and pick up paychecks. To his credit, in “The Beards” six times seeing him (in three different states), Alice Cooper has never “phoned it in”. He seems to treat EVERY show and EVERY audience as if they are the only ones that matter.

From the opening bars of “Feed My Frankenstein”, Cooper delivered a steady steam of the hits that have defined his career. From ancient hits like “Be My Lover", "Under My Wheels", "I’m Eighteen", and "Schools Out” to the mid-career rockers of “Poison", "Man Behind the Mask", "Hey Stupid", and even resurrecting "Freedom" (for the first time since 1988), he kept all stages of fans happy.

Props a plenty were in tow as giant mutated babies, a 15-foot Frankenstein and Jason Vorhees all made appearances throughout. His demonic executioner (now played by his wife Sheryl Cooper) as always got to perform the now legendary guillotine scene, and how cathartic must that be to execute your husband each and every night lol.

The band has changed up (now that longtime lead guitarist Nita Strauss has departed for Demi Lovato’s band). That said, the return of Kane Roberts (formerly in the band from 1985-88) provided a solid replacement. The other members, Ryan Roxie (rhythm), Chuck Garric (bass), Tommy Henrickson (rhythm) and Glen Sobel (drums) all looked like they were having a blast and made for a tight touring group.

The focal point however has always been and remains the Alice Cooper experience. Through his literal thousands of shows, Alice knows the little things that resonate big with the crowds and he never fails to capture their adoration whether stalking the stage while waving baton, crutch, and, of course, the sword, or making facial expressions and body gesticulations that are pure “theater”, even playing a mean harmonica through one gritty bluesy number.

Alice also continues to perform multiple costume changes throughout the show. Like a horror movie version of “Cher”, Alice was at times a dapper top hat wearing dandy ("Freedom"), a white suited Prince ("Schools Out"), and a straight-jacketed lunatic ("Steven"). Once again, this man is 74 and has been doing this for 57 years. He is heavy metal’s mascara-wearing Dick Clark crossed with the Energizer Bunny.

It should be noted however smally, that over the approximately 97-minute performance, that the second half of the set allowed for all the solos, (and therefore breaks for Alice), to assumingly take a bit of a vocal breather. This is a well thought out approach, but listening, one can hear a small drop in vocal quality in the ending songs from those at the beginning. The drop is minute and just further cements that this man is a born performer whose experience has shown him how to keep the show moving while not overexerting himself. I have never tired of seeing Alice Cooper do his thing, and it is entirely possible that even at the worlds end, there will still be Alice Cooper (and Keith Richards) standing tall. Another great performance and The Beard awards Mr. Cooper a sterling ... 93/100


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