LIVE: A Paranormal Evening With Alice Cooper @ the Palace Theatre, 10/4/18

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“The Man in the Mirror”
A Halloween Tale by Mark Alexander Hudson

Vincent slumped forward in his chair backstage at the Palace.

It was happening again. He could feel it. He could also hear the incessant chant of the crowd, always the same, increasing in volume like a drill in his brain.

“Al -ice! Al – ice! Al – ice”…

He drew his shaking hands down his lined face and noticed that his fingernails were now varnished jet black.

He stared ahead into the lightbulb encircled mirror before him and Alice’s face, not his, looked back at him, the trademark spidery mascara caked around his eyes.

Vincent felt tired. And old. He wasn’t sure he could do this again. He had said as much to Alice some days before.

“Retire?” Alice had sneered, “We’ll retire when we’re dead… and maybe not even then!”

But now the music had started, and Vincent found himself on stage, twirling his swordstick like a baton, the head cheerleader of the damned.

He looked left and right at the musicians around him. Three guitarists jumped and swirled like marionettes, blazing riffs and solos so fast that it was hard to tell who was playing what. A maniacally grinning bass player ground out the low end, while behind him a jackhammer blasted out the unforgiving beat.

When Vincent reached the mic it was not his voice that he heard back through the monitors but rather Alice’s raspy growl.

There were props and costume changes, a blood streaked doctors coat, a straitjacket and a glittery bomber. He was stabbed by a psychotic nurse, chased by a giant, guillotined.

And the songs – the hits kept coming like ice cold water splashed in Vincent’s face again and again – the ’70s hits, the ’80s hits, new songs, old songs. They fed the beast that was the audience, and their energy in turn fed Alice. Fed his Frankenstein.

By the time he was singing “I’m Eighteen” Vincent was no longer tired – he almost believed the words. “I’ve got a baby’s brain and an old man’s heart, I’m eighteen and I LIKE IT!”

Then the band tore into the unstoppable undeniable mega-riff of “School’s Out,” the confetti cannons fired, the huge balloons floated out into the theater, and Alice stood before his people, luxuriating in the waves of
applause that crashed over him like breakers.

There was no more Vincent.

Only Alice.

Alice ascendant.

Alice resplendent.

Alice triumphant.

Alice alive again… for that which is undead can never die.

Dramatis Personae:
Alice Cooper and Vincent Furnier were played by themselves.
Featuring Nita Strauss, Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henriksen as the three guitarists.
The maniacally grinning bass player was Chuck Garric.
And Glen Sobel as the jackhammer.

Chapters:
Brutal Planet
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Under My Wheels
Billion Dollar Babies
Grim Facts
Lost in America
Serious
Fallen in Love
Woman of Mass Destruction
(Nita’s solo)
Poison
Halo of Flies
(Glen’s solo)
Feed my Frankenstein
Cold Ethyl
Only Women Bleed
Paranoiac Personality
Ballad of Dwight Fry
Killer (excerpt)
I Love the Dead (excerpt)
I’m Eighteen
Post script:
School’s out (incorporating Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall)

3 Comments
  1. Daniel D. Hogan says

    great review!

  2. Dave Render says

    I just read “What You Want Is In the Limo” by Michael Walker, which tells of the megatours of 1973 by Led Zeppelin, The Who and Alice Cooper. A great read! I never knew “Alice Cooper” started as a whole band and later morphed into the person. They were the first band perform on a multi-tiered stage.

  3. Dave Render says

    PS: cool review, Mark!

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