Ian Astbury clearly isn’t impressed as he walks out on stage at Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena to discover a seated crowd that Grant Fitzpatrick’s bass intro to ‘Sun King’ has failed to stir. In response Astbury walks to the front and sits down himself. “This is a fucking rock and roll show. Stand up!” he commands, some need little encouragement and the rest follow suit until the entire floor are on their feet.
For the next hour or so, The Cult proceed to tear through a greatest hits set at speed which is drawn solely from their Love, Electric & Sonic Temple albums. Every song is an absolute belter in their own right but the final trio of ‘Rain’, ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ & ‘Love Removal Machine’ push it to another level. Supports don’t come much better than this.
There’s nothing quite like an over the top theatrical rock show to guarantee a great night’s entertainment and few do it better than Alice Cooper. Returning to Birmingham with his Nightmare Castle stage set with a selection of songs stretching from 1971’s ‘I’m Eighteen’ right through to last years’ ‘Shut Up And Rock’ and calling in at all points in between.
For those familiar with Alice’s shows there’s little in the way of surprises. Sure the set is mixed up just enough to introduce some different older songs, and of course a couple of newer ones too, but the core songs remain the same along with their theatrics and who would want it any other way? ‘Feed My Frankenstein’ kicks off proceedings with Alice appearing through the dry ice in top hat and cane. Ryan Roxie takes the first solo as the giant monster lumbers around the stage behind him before being corralled back into the castle by his cloaked keeper.
‘Bed Of Nails’ & ‘Hey Stoopid’ show Alice off at his 80’s best with the former featuring some scorching lead guitar from Hurricane Nita Strauss. ‘Fallen In Love’ starts off with a call and repeat duel between Alice’s harmonica and Tommy Henriksen’s guitar.
The theatrics then start again in earnest with ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ which has Alice waving an epee around while a giant baby runs around the stage and canons fire cash into the front rows. ‘Steven’ and ‘Dead Babies’ see the arrival of the guillotine and beheading.
The monster makes a return to the stage during an outrageous and highly energetic ‘Teenage Frankenstein’ which proves an excellent way to end the main set.
Returning for an encore it’s incredible to believe that ‘School’s Out’ hits it’s 50th Anniversary this month. One must wonder if he ever gets fed up of playing it. Judging by tonight, I guess not. It’s a great way to finish and we can only hope that it’s not too long before we get to experience Alice’s macabre exuberance again.
Feed My Frankenstein
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Bed of Nails
Fallen in Love
Shut Up and Rock
Go Man Go
Under My Wheels
Roses on White Lace
Billion Dollar Babies
Black Widow Jam
I Love the Dead