at Oslo Spektrum, Norway, June 18, 2004


It has been about a year since Alice Cooper released the astonishing effort The Eyes Of Alice Cooper. Standing as one of the best rock albums in 2003, there were big expectations to see if Alice Cooper was still on top of his game concert-wise in 2004.

This was the first Alice Cooper concert in Oslo since the Brutal Planet tour, and with David Bowie playing in town the same day, there was plenty of room in the 8,000 capacity Oslo Spektrum.

Nevertheless, due to three bands warming up the audience prior to Alice Cooper, it was nearly midnight before Alice arose behind Eric Dover’s Marshall stacks to the sound of “Black Juju” on tape … leading then into the classic song “Hello Hooray,” which made it official that Alice had finally arrived to rock off our asses.

The stage set was much more stripped down than on previous tours. It appears as if Alice “lets the music do the talking” these days, and with the catalogue he possesses, there’s really nothing that needs to be said about him when he decides to serve up classic after classic.

This time, in addition to the standard “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “I’m Eighteen,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” “Only Women Bleed,” and “The Ballad Of Dwight Fry,” Alice opted to pull out a few gems from the archives that he hasn’t performed live for quite a while. The biggest surprise was the Special Forces opener from 1981, “Who Do You Think We Are,” and it was also delightful to revisit some of his other great numbers like “Muscle Of Love,” “Cold Ethyl,” “Halo Of Flies,” “Desperado,” “Be My Lover,” and “Gutter Cats vs. The Jets.”

“Gutter Cats…” was one of few songs which included a certain degree of stage-theatrics. Not the most interesting bit, and the stage show reminded me more of an average school play than a captivating stage show extravaganza. However, this is what Alice is known for incorporating into his concerts, so it’s somewhat futile to judge him for something he has been doing for well over 30 years.

So how about that his great Eyes Of … album? Out of a pretty comprehensive set list, there were four songs from The Eyes Of Alice Cooper. They all fit perfectly into his set of classic Cooper-tunes, and “Man Of The Year,” “Between High School and Old School,” “What Do You Want From Me,” and “Backyard Brawl” were all great.

Alice’s voice is still holding up well, despite a few times during the most quiet parts of songs like “Desperado” and “Only Women Bleed” when he struggled with holding some of the notes. Alice sounded like he was fully aware of his limitations, though, and almost talked more than he sang during these parts. The band was great, with Eric Dover and Ryan Roxie covering the guitar parts; they are both great musicians who give his 70’s repertoire the right sound better than the people he had playing for him in the 80’s, like Kane Roberts, Al Pitrelli and Pete Friesen.

The main set ended with a blistering finale, starting with “School’s Out,” which was also the theme for this whole event; the start of summer vacation in Norway. But even though the clock read way past midnight, Alice didn’t stop there. After a trip back to Brutal Planet via a hybrid version of the title track and “Wicked Young Man,” we were treated to his biggest hit of all time with the million-selling blockbuster “Poison.” And as he has done many times before in his storied career, Alice Cooper and his great band said goodbye with the Killer Cooper-classic “Under My Wheels.”

A great show from a true legend, who at the age of 56 is still pulling a superb show and releasing terrific albums. Pretty impressive stuff …

(Later the same night, Cooper’s guitar and bass players, plus Brides Of Destruction’s drummer Scot Coogan, showed up at the night club Elm Street to do a secret gig with a handful of cover tunes like Bowie’s “Suffragette City,” “Ziggy Stardust,” and the Stone’s “Brown Sugar.” Big fun!)

For a review on Brides Of Destruction and Silver, Alice Cooper’s two additional support acts that same night, click here.


Hank Von HelveteNorway’s very own and biggest selling rock act got their chance to support Alice Cooper, one of their biggest inspirations, on Friday night. After making a comeback with the mighty Scandinavian Leather album from last year, Turbonegro has toured, toured, toured … and then toured some more.

This date is the only known date in Oslo this year, but they are indeed scheduled to do some European festivals this summer. They have also shared the bill with Alice Cooper for the open-air event Metaltown in Gothenburg on the day after the Spectrum stint.

They hit it off with the usual opener “The Age Of Pamparius,” to the crowd’s big joy. Turbonegro’s three latest albums are nothing but classics, and from the last one we got the single hits “Fuck The World” and “Sell Your Body (To The Night).”

The best album of them all, Apocalypse Dudes, is one of Norway’s best rock albums of all time, and “Back To Dungaree High,” “Get It On,” and “Rock Against Ass” were all big crowd pleasers during the 60 minutes Turbonegro was on stage.

Alice Cooper didn’t have much stage props with him this time, so Turbonegro’s set was the most spectacular one with pyrotechnics, bombs and buckets of blood! They ended their set with a loud sing-along version of the Ass Cobra-classic “I Got Erection,” and as always: Turbonegro was a class act.


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