The Eyes of Alice Cooper Tour
Trump Marina, Atlantic City, NJ
Reviewed by Johnny Rodgers, Oct.11th 2003

The arrival of fall is without a doubt my favorite time of year. The cooler temps are refreshing after grinding out the heat and humidity all summer. The trees changing color is a beautiful sight. Being able to whip out the old leather jacket is always a cool thing for us rockers. The anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. And of course, the annual rock and roll extravaganza of Alice Cooper at the Trump Marina. The date was a little sooner than usual. Alice normally pops in on the weekend right before or of Halloween. But be that as it may you can always count on Alice to scream into the Marina sometime close to Halloween.

This year Alice hosted a rock and roll auction put together by the Marina for charity which was pretty cool. They auctioned off a lot of autographed paraphernalia from many of the artists who have played the Marina in the past including some very cool Alice stuff.

The Marina is always a good place to go for a show. It has a fun atmosphere, there are a lot of cool places to grab a bite, the bar is right outside the door to the venue and you almost always bump into some members of the band there. The opening act for tonight’s show was the local band Silvertide, who have just inked a lucrative deal with Mr. Clive Davis of J Records. I never had the pleasure of seeing them before but I really have to say that these boys are definitely one to keep an eye on. They are just raw gritty rock and roll, with a guitar player that is a cross between Angus Young, Ted Nugent, and Joe Perry. This kid has rock star stamped all over him. I’m going to try to get in touch with these guys to find out a little more about them so stay tuned. After a short break and a run to the merchandise stand I settled into the photo pit for the arrival of the Master of the Shock Rock genre, Alice Cooper.

Alice kicks it right into gear with his twin lead guitar attack of the returning Ryan Roxie, and the three year vet Eric Dover, laying down the familiar harmonies of "Hello Hooray", the perfect opener for what was to come. The drums of Eric Singer, and the bass of Chuck Garric just pounded the ground on this opening anthem demanding attention from everyone in, or anywhere around the room.

One of the first things you notice visually is the absence of the massive and elaborate props normally on any Cooper tour. The tour is entitled the "Bare Bones" tour, and you can see why. Alice and company have done away with all the extras for a more direct no nonsense musical onslaught, raw and uncensored. Why, you may ask? BECAUSE THEY CAN !!!!! And by God they do, throughout the whole night, just walls of thundering drums and bass with aerial barrages of metallic guitar in perfect syncopation. Yet, above the rest was the commanding voice of one of the most recognizable wordsmiths in the history of rock and roll - Alice Cooper.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Alice’s over the top, bigger than life theatrical onslaughts, so I among others were happy to see a few tricks pulled out of his metal trash bin of goodies here and there: the “Billion Dollar Babies” sword filled with Alice money, the top hat and tux on “Killer”, the ever-present pet boa in “Welcome to My Nightmare”, the white straight jacket on “We're All Crazy”, the gold and sequins jacket on “Poison”, the western black get up and pistol on “Desperado” and of course the character stylings of Alice’s son and daughter in the humorous Madonna/Britney skit with the kissing cops. Hey it just wouldn't be a Cooper show without a little something. Besides these few gems the show is much like the brilliant new CD, “The Eyes of Alice Cooper”, which is just raw garage rock guitar, drums, bass and vocals pounding a feeling home with no tricks, tapes, loops, dupes, or any other fancy cheatin’. So if there ever were any naysayers who might have thought Alice used a big production to mask musical ineptness - this night, crow was the main course on their dish.

One of the very coolest parts of the show was definitely the great Eric Singer drum solo, with Eric man-handling the kit with awesome power, and skill. Then, half way through it, he was joined by Ryan and Eric Dover playing some kickin’ rhythms.

Alice and the boys delivered it hard all night long. After the show my buddies and I were able to hang and say hello to Alice and the band. As usual they were all very cool, down to earth, and fun. The setlist for the whole show was...

1.Hello Hooray
2. No More Mr. Nice Guy
3. Man Of The Year
4. Billion Dollar Babies
5. Between High School and Old School
6. Long Way To Go
7. Baby Be My Lover
8. Lost In America
9. What Do You Want From Me?
10. Eighteen
11. Killer
12. Welcome To My Nightmare
13. Cold Ethyl
14. Only Women Bleed
15. We're All Crazy
16. School's Out
17. Poison
18. Love Should Never Feel Like This
19. Detroit City
20. Under My Wheels

Thanks again for a slammin show guys, and I'm counting the days till next year. I want to send out a special thanks to Toby, Brian, and my buddy Cesare for being so cool while being so professional. Also Ellie at PMK who gets right back, and hooks it right up. You All Rock !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please keep an eye out for a very cool personal interview with Alice that I did the week after the show.

Photos by Johnny Rodgers©2003

Johnny Rodgers