Alice Cooper, December 8th, Kerkrade
Daan (Maarten’s brother) is a big fan of Alice Cooper. At the last Halloween party he even was dressed like Mr Furnier. He would love to go. One slight problem… there was only one Dutch gig this tour and it was in Kerkrade. From my point of view, you cannot be any deeper into the south of Holland than Kerkrade (Westwoud is in the Northwest, 50 kilometer north of Amsterdam). Daan asked me (see Cilinderfest) whether I would like to join and as a special treat, he would arrange transport. He’s fifteen. ‘OK’, I said, ‘if you arrange transport, does that mean I don’t have to drive, it’s over 300 kilometer!’ No problem, Daan said, and I bought myself a ticket asap. I thought this show would be sold out in a second, but it wasn’t.
Daan’s father Dirk called me, I would be picked up at 3.30 PM for the trip. He had no ticket, but he said he would keep himself busy there, grab a movie or something. I had to rush to get in time, but at first I missed a boat, just to miss the train as well. I drove into Westwoud with a dangerous speed, being called ‘where are you now, we’re waiting’. Thanks. Another point, the ticket said Alice Cooper & guests, who would that be? We hoped for an artist who’s greatly influenced by Alice Cooper, it might as well be Rob Zombie! That would be cool! I had never seen any of these bands, and I must say I have more Zombie music than Alice Cooper’s… we’ll see.
Over four hours and lots of traffic jams later, we arrived in Kerkrade. The venue wasn’t full, but there were still tickets for sale at the counter! Huh? It has been quite some time ago Alice Cooper was in Holland, but yeah, it’s on a Tuesday, yeah it’s in the southest point of Holland, but there are plenty of German and Belgian Cooper fans, right? Nope, the venue was only filled for about 75 per cent. What was on stage? No bother, this was a 13 to the dozen cover band, with obligatory and weak versions of Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Maiden… fuck even Bryan Adams! I did not last that long to hear the band’s name and I will keep it that way. As Dirk wanted to keep driving, it meant we had not eaten anything yet, but there was a small snack counter inside the hall. A few burgers later I decided to check the merch stand and who slammed my shoulder? Was there somebody known after all? It was Dirk, he mumbled something like ‘too late for the cinema’… welcome! Still, no sign of a special guest, still not sold out… a shame. The band had some big banners hanging in front of the stage, being the Theater of Death tour, seeing Alice with all kinds of killing material… a guillotine, a rope, a gun, pills, et cetera. Pity my camera (the one I thought had died last week, it resurrected) was at home.
The band begun with School’s Out to be followed by (amongst others)
• Deposit of You (with slaves)
• I’m Eighteen
• Wicked Young Man (put in a straight jacket)
• Guilty (decapitated under a guillotine)
• Gone to Hell (with mummies)
• Welcome to My Nightmare
• Poison (huge poison pick)
• Only Women Bleed (with his corpse bride)
• No More Mr. Nice Guy (first encore)
• School’s Out (Maarten asked: ‘Do I have Korsakoff now?’ No Maarten, for once it’s not your fault! . This was the final encore)
• plus at least 6 more songs, but Maarten needed to discuss some personal matters and I did not know the rest of the songs anyway errr… I don’t even know if these titles are right at all…).
This band knows how to entertain. Period. The songs are played a lot heavier and especially faster than the originals. Every song has a stage attribute or two. The volume was not that high, but everything was well mixed and audible. I really liked this, everybody else had huge grins on their faces too. No Rob Zombie, no White Zombie, not even a real guest! Wtf?? The audience was mostly 40+, but next to Maarten and Daan there were plenty of youngsters too. Daan stood first line all the concert, he managed to catch two guitar picks (I ‘stole’ one, thanks!!), we enjoyed Brand beer for a change (nice and smooth, I can recommend it) and made ourselves ready for the three-hour-plus return drive. I slept most of the trip home, I had to work next day, but I did not. I had my alarms set on 8 AM, but I pushed them ‘off’ and slept way past noon. Work? No not today. The Alice button I bought will get a nice spot on my denim…