This show took place at the West Virginia State Fair, possibly the weirdest venue ever for a rock show. The fair has a stage built on a race track where they hold a concert every night during the week long fair but the acts are almost always exclusively country artists. Alice playing here was a real surprise.
My parents grew up near this town and my grandpa still lives nearby so I have a lot of history with this area. This little part of southern West Virginia is the last place I ever thought I'd see a rock and roll show. It was also the last place on Earth I'd ever thought I'd meet Alice Cooper himself, turns out I was wrong.
I was meeting some friends in town before the show started so I when I was getting off the interstate I called my friend to see where to meet him at. He answered in a hushed tone and told me that he was in the town Wal Mart and 5 feet away from Alice Cooper who was there shopping for shampoo. Hearing that I rushed over to Wal Mart and caught my friends as they were walking out. They met Alice and talked to him briefly about golf (there's a well known, high-end course in the area) and a few other things. They told me he was still inside so I went in with my 10 year-old brother to try and find him.
We looked around for about 5 minutes and didn't see him anywhere so I was about to give up when all the sudden he comes walking out of an aisle a couple feet ahead of me. I was already nervous knowing he was in there so at this point I was shaking in my boots. I let him walk by (he was talking with someone with him) and get a little bit ahead and then I followed behind him. At this point I just wanted to get a better look at him, I wasn't planning on bothering him by talking to him. I saw him turn into the DVD section and I walked up a minute later figuring I'd pretend to look at a few and then head out. However, once I was standing in the aisle with Alice Cooper right in front of me I couldn't resist the urge to say something. He was talking to his friend at first so I just stood off to the side to wait for a break in their conversation for what seemed like forever because I was so nervous.
Once they stopped chatting I worked up the courage and said, "Hey, how's it going, Alice?" He looked over and smiled and replied, "Hey guys. See you at the show tonight?" I said, "Yep. Looking forward to it." He responded, "Cool" and gave me another smile. That was that, I went on my way so as not to be one of those fans that hounds him for a picture or an autograph or something. A short conversation in passing that doesn't sound that great on paper but it's something that I'll always remember.
Alice is an awesome guy.
After that my friends and I headed over to the fair and took part in all kinds of redneck festivities (my favorite being the game where you bet quarters on which color hole a disoriented rat will run into when you drop him onto a spinning wheel) before the show started. It was cool because there were a lot of people wandering around in band shirts (including Florida Maiden shirts and a 1992 Metallica/G'n'R tour shirt) even though the concerts are usually only a secondary aspect of the fair.
The show itself was great. This is the second time I've seen Alice but he played a whole lot of songs that I hadn't seen before. The crowd was big (probably around 5 and a half to 6 thousand) but not the most responsive ever. The track area (right in front of the stage) all stood up but me, my 2 brothers, and 1 or 2 other guys were about the only people standing in the whole grandstand area. I had tickets in the box seats that I got from my grandpa. The people with these seats pay for a full weeks pass and get the same seat to every show. So a lot of people in this section were only there because they already had a ticket and wanted to check it out for the hell of it. You should have seen the looks on some of these old peoples faces when Alice got the guillotine.
The theatrics were smaller than what I saw in 09 but the songs were great. The Brutal Planet songs, Feed My Frankenstein, No More Mr. Nice Guy, School's Out/Another Brick in the Wall, and Hey Stoopid were the highlights for me. I thought the new song sounded good, I loved the "new song" jacket Alice wore during this one.
As far as theatrics go Alice got his head cut off, impaled a member of the "paparazzi", electrocuted his assistant who turned into a giant Eddie-like frankenstein, popped giant balloons of confetti, brought out a big boa constrictor, and shot off streamers while waving around a giant American flag during Elected.
The only disappointment is that the tour shirt says Lewisburg PA instead of WV. It normally wouldn't be a big deal but West Virginia is like a second home to me and nothing ever comes there so it would have been great to have a WV date on a shirt along with cities such as Oslo, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Istanbul, Dublin, etc.
Oh well, it's still a really cool looking shirt.
Vincent Price intro
1. The Black Widow
2. Brutal Planet
3. I'm Eighteen
4. Billion Dollar Babies
5. Under My Wheels
6. Muscle of Love
7. No More Mr. Nice Guy
8. Is It My Body
9. Halo of Flies
10. I'll Bite Your Face Off (new song)
11. Only Women Bleed
12. Cold Ethyl
13. Feed My Frankenstein
14. Clones (We're All)
16. Wicked Young Man
17. Killer (excerpt) / I Love the Dead (excerpt)
18. School's Out (with Another Brick In The Wall excerpts)