at The Metro Arena, Newcastle, U.K., November 9, 2007

It’s been a very busy few weeks on the gig front with Rush, Heaven and Hell, Foreigner, and Y&T amongst many others all paying a visit to the variety of venues dotted around Newcastle and making things very interesting and very expensive for the Rock fans in the area. One tour, which was not to be missed, was Alice Cooper along with guests Joan Jett and Motörhead.

Joan Jett hasn’t played the UK in years, but hit the stage looking as if no time had passed at all since her days at the top of the UK charts. Dressed head to toe in leather, she looked every inch the feisty Rock chick that she is. With a set mixing material from her recent album Sinner where the sexually charged “Fetish” rubbed shoulders with her classic Punky anthemic Rockers from the past, including “Bad Reputation,” The Runaway’s “Cherry Bomb,” the seriously catchy “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” and the fist pumping anthem “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Joan Jett looked great and sounded fantastic and the crowd loved her. Let’s hope she returns soon for a full headlining tour.

joanjett Motörhead unfortunately were hampered by a distinctly muddy sound, which made it particularly difficult to tell what songs were actually being played, and Lemmy’s voice being so low in the mix didn’t help much either, and the songs became somewhat much of a muchness after a while. Motörhead have definitely been on better form than tonight, although “Whorehouse Blues,” where drummer Mikkey Dee joined the band up front on acoustic guitar was a welcome change of pace. Despite the sound problems hearing “Ace Of Spades” and “Overkill” is always a welcome treat, and tonight was no different. Overall on another night Motörhead could well have stolen the show, but not this time.

motorhead" Alice Cooper has always received a great welcome in the UK. During the 1990’s when most acts from the States either overlooked this small Isle or played a one-off gig in the capital, you could always rely on Alice Cooper coming over every couple of years to entertain Rock starved fans.

With no new material to promote as of yet and recording of Along Came A Spider delayed until 2008, Alice hit the road on The Psycho Drama Tour.

As “Alice” entered the stage atop a large staircase to the strains of “Steven,” he was promptly dispatched by the real Alice. Barely 2 minutes into the show and the body count had already begun.

alice “It’s Hot Tonight” from the Lace And Whiskey album opened the show for real and from there “No More Mr Nice Guy,” “Eighteen,” and “Under My Wheels” kept the momentum high.

Since the last shows, guitarists Ryan Roxie and Damon Johnson have departed to be replaced by Kerri Keli and Jason Hook. Alice has always had the knack of finding just the right guitarist for his band and he has again come up trumps. Both display the ragamuffin image to perfection, coming across as outtakes from the Pirates Of The Caribbean and Mad Max, both have energy and exuberance in abundance, and both can crank out those riffs in fine style. Another fine choice, Mr. Cooper.

alice Most of the set was built around his illustrious back catalog with only “Woman of Mass Distraction” and “Dirty Diamonds” coming from his last album. “Muscle Of Love” rubbed shoulders with “Feed My Frankenstein” where both Keli and Hook joined the superb Eric Singer in a 3-man drum jam before Singer shows why he is such a sought after drummer during his own solo spot. Singer’s flair and drive is such an integral part of Cooper’s show, it is easy to see why he has now spent more time in the band than any other member apart from Alice himself.

Alice Cooper’s shows have always been very visual and no more so than during the “Nightmare” section, which opens, obviously, with “Welcome To My Nightmare” where corpse brides and mutants stagger across the stage bathed in a spooky violet light. A stirring “Only Women Bleed” features Calico Cooper as a demented ballerina and “Steven” is as twisted and sinister as ever.

alice Calico soon returned as the psycho Nanny and is soon sent on her way by Alice during “Dead Babies,” as he sets about impaling the baby in the pram only to return to see him encased in a straightjacket for “The Ballad Of Dwight Fry” prior to being dispatched on the gallows during “I Love The Dead.”

Alice, of course, soon returned with the anthem to top all anthems, “Schools Out,” complete with huge balloons bouncing over the heads of the audience.

“Billion Dollar Babies,” “Poison,” and “Elected,” complete with a George Bush and Hillary Clinton dog fight on stage, brings the show to an end.

Alice Cooper may no longer shock and outrage as he did in the past, but there’s no denying that the music still sounds great and his shows are a highly entertaining distraction from the blandness of everyday life.



  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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