"The four legends who are all lucky to still be walking on this earth take their places as an 'All Bad Things Must End' vocal loop reminds us this is it"
They’ve been touring our shores for a coupla weeks now so their stage outfits must be honking.
One of Alice Cooper’s sexy guitarists, Tony Henderson, wears a T-shirt that reads “I’m not Johnny Depp” and another, Nita Strauss, sports one that reads “Stay Humble...”. Do airport sniffer dogs sniff out unwashed laundry? Cooper’s set rushes by so fast! Department Of Youth becomes No More Mr Nice Guy then Billion Dollar Babies. Glen Sobel’s drum sticks shoot out fire – what even!? The python is permitted in Perth for Welcome To My Nightmare and, just as we’re trying to work out what side Cooper hangs in those spray-on trousers, there’s a costume change; he takes off his gnarly scarecrow hat and puts on a blood-spattered lab coat that conceals his junk. When Cooper is ‘electrocuted’ and becomes the ginormous ‘FrankenCoop’ puppet it’s off its head and the altered singing voice Coop provides is perfect for the purpose.
That nurse should’ve come out during Welcome To My Nightmare; she haunts us with those speed-freak contact lenses. How that executioner spits into and then pashes Cooper’s severed head night after night is beyond comprehension. After introducing his spectacular band, Cooper adds, “And playing the part of Alice Cooper tonight: ME!” How has Coop not guest starred on American Horror Story yet?
“Alice Cooper shocks, Perth ROCKS!” he concludes and thank God (or probably Lucifer, in Coop’s case) Cooper’s not retiring as well or that would just be too much to bear. And Cooper alone is worth tonight’s ticket price.
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Mötley Crüe’s So Long, Farewell (from The Sound Of Music) intro tape goes down as contender for best-ever. The four legends who are all lucky to still be walking on this earth take their places as an All Bad Things Must End vocal loop reminds us this is it (although many seem to have not got the memo and keep insisting the band will pull a Farnsey despite the fact they’ve signed a Cessation Of Touring Agreement). Primal Scream plus enormous directional flames is pretty unbeatable. Vince Neil’s blinged-out mic stand and decorative codpiece are very Vegas and his “Sin City” guitar strap is to die for. He flashes back to the Crüe’s beginnings as “four drunken teenagers” roaming the streets of LA who decided to make some fucking music. Nikki Sixx struts constantly and his true sign of endearment to individual fans is the double bird. We’re already up to Too Fast For Love and there’s still a flat vibe in the arena, on which Neil calls us out: “You all are too fucking quiet!” One exhibitionist chick makes a big deal about getting her boobs out while sitting atop someone’s shoulders then a dude hilariously clambers up on a mate’s shoulders and flashes his chest. The Crüe’s version of Sex Pistols’ Anarchy In The UK really is exceptional.
Tommy Lee’s Cruecifly just never gets old – one drum skin reads “Ya fucking sick cunts”. The glitter that falls from that structure highlights the magic. “Let’s fucking fly, baby!” he enthuses and it really is a thrilling ride. Mick Mars seems more mobile on this tour than he’s been in a while. Close-ups on Mars’ fingers celebrate his virtuosity. During Live Wire, Neil shouts “Who’s alive over here?” and he definitely has a point since all are seated (except this scribe). It’s sad to see Mars needs help (just a hand behind the back, mind) when walking at times. Girls, Girls, Girls then Kickstart My Heart make us feel like we’ve double-dropped and close out the main set. Lee kicks his sticks out so that seats beyond normal piffing range score souvenirs and demonstrates quite a mean kick.
Our four favourite miscreants wander down, stage left, to the second stage towards the back of the stadium while shining torches into the crowd. Some crowd members have already left before their Home Sweet Home encore but, pleasingly, most of those who remain are now upstanding (for the first time all evening). It’s hard to drag your eyes away from nostalgic footage of the band on the screens once you clap eyes on those outlandish outfits. The cherrypicker B-stage is way cool, but whatever happened to the Cruesnest? Frank Sinatra’s My Way plays out while the death-defying dudes walk back towards the stage handing out plectrums and high-fives. And they’re done. No more will Australian audiences witness all four Crüe members sharing the stage.