Scott Stapp – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC. October 1st, 2019)

This was a show I was really eager to see.  I became I real fan with Scott Stapp’s 2nd solo album ‘Proof of Life’ and when he released his third solo album ‘The Space Between the Shadows’ and announced a tour, I was all over it.  I got on line and bought 2 tickets and we were able to get 2nd Row.  And to top it off, the show was at the McGlohon Theater in Charlotte which is a really small venue and it was an old church.  A great spot for a show.

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The show started at 7:30 and we ended up getting there around 7:00 which was early….at least I thought it was.  There weren’t too many people there, so I thought I had the time wrong.  I mean it was sparse.  When the opening act Sunflower Dead came on, the crowd was pretty thin.  I give the band some credit as the crowd just sat there like a bump on a log and these guys were up there giving it their all.  Sunflower Dead is a Metal band from California who  used to wear make-up and costumes but now have a more normal look, you could say.

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They were pretty great.  Heck, my wife enjoyed it and that is saying something.  The lead singer, Michael Del Pizzo, was a beast on stage.  We were so close and when he would come to the end of the stage, he would look right at you and give you this look.  I swear I thought he was going to jump down and kick my ass (I’ll admit, he would have won).  And the coolest thing, he played the accordion.  Yes, that is right.  They are an Accordion metal band.  Hell to the Yeah!!!

Continue reading “Scott Stapp – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC. October 1st, 2019)”

Queen + Adam Lambert – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC – August 23, 2019)

On a dark stormy night in August, Queen + Adam Lambert came riding in to town for the very last show of their Rhapsody Tour.  Yes, Charlotte, NC was able to bid farewell to this legend of a band who has seen a massive resurgence thanks in large part to the movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and in small part due to the current singer Adam Lambert.

There is no exciting story to tell leading up to the show except the Rain Gods were nice to my daughter and I by not raining on us.  We got in to the Spectrum Center and about 5 minutes later the skies opened up.  People were coming in dripping wet, but no one cared because everyone was there to have a good time and listening to everyone’s favorite band, Queen.

When we finally arrive to our seats after a long line at the merch table and a long line at the bathroom and a short line at the refreshment stand to grab a couple of $5 waters (each), we were greeted to this…

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A giant crown wrapping the stage.  It looked so real and like it was made out of metal.  Impressive.  Even more impressive was the fact it was a giant TV screen.  The graphics, detail, clarity, hell everything about it was impressive.  It looked 3D without the glasses…amazing.

Continue reading “Queen + Adam Lambert – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC – August 23, 2019)”

Kiss – The End of the Road Tour – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC August 10, 2019)

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming of Tuesday’s Memes to bring you this special announcement…

August 10th, 2019, Kiss bid farewell to the city of Charlotte, NC.  The End of the rode made a stop on a beautifully, hot night and a venue that holds 19,500 people was pretty freaking packed!!  If it wasn’t sold out, it wasn’t by much.  The place was filled with young and old alike and the costumes and make-up were a plenty including leather pants so tight, I don’t know how the women got them on (or off for that matter).

My first show was December 26, 1983 and August 10, 2019 was my last.  That is according to Kiss as this is the Farewell Tour or so they say.  I tried to drag my kids to it, but in the end, my oldest was the only one to go so I let her bring a friend.  My youngest has a few issues with noise sensitivity and after the show, I realized, she was probably right not to go as it would have been too much for her as the explosions and music were pretty darn loud.  Hell, my ears are still ringing a little this morning as I type.

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With tickets in hand, we found our seats and were ready to see “The Hottest Band in the Land…KISS”

But first, we had to sit through the opening act.  No, not a rock band.  Nope, not a comedian either.  We got the great pleasure of having David Girabaldi doing some performance art…painting.  What?  Painting is a performance art?  I was not aware of this.  David is immensely talented and whipped through 3 paintings in about 30 minutes. He did one of Jon Bon Jovi, while their music played.  His final one was of Kiss which was raffled off with proceeds going to Make a Wish Foundation which is cool.  The 2nd painting was of Ozzy!!  And it was really great…heck…they all were. The problem was it was so boring and unexciting.  The crowd liked it somewhat, I thought it sucked.  I would have liked a band to play, a young up & coming band or someone that had toured with Kiss before…Actually, Bruce Kulick’s band would have be the bomb!!

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Kiss – Look Wot You Dun To Me (Bootleg Series) – Album Review

The second review in the series is for a bootleg of the 1988 tour of Crazy Nights.  And of course, this is another tour that I saw.  This one was recorded on April 18th, 1988 at the Castle Hall in Osaka, Japan.  Now, I saw the tour on February 10th at the Omni in Atlanta, GA.  At my show they only played 13 songs.  They played those same 13 songs in Japan plus 6 more tracks.  Yes, just like the Japanese Edition of CDs, Japan gets extra tracks during live shows as well.

Now the packaging for this release is not quite as nice as the first review.  It is a double LP, but not a gatefold.

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There is no pictures or posters included, but it is a colored vinyl.  It is a pretty white with a white label on one and a black label on the other.

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Continue reading “Kiss – Look Wot You Dun To Me (Bootleg Series) – Album Review”

Greta Van Fleet – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC on May 15th, 2019)

One of the new bright spots in rock music is on tour and when they came through Charlotte, I thought I needed to check them out.  So, we bought tickets for the whole family as my kids enjoy them too.  Now it is unusual that we all like the same band which made a perfect time for all of us to go see a show together.

That band is Greta Van Fleet. Yes, they catch a lot of heat for sounding so much like a former band that the press on that is old and we need to move on.  I have their E.P.s and their lone album on vinyl and I dig everything they do.  The question left for me…Can this band pull it off LIVE!!!???  If they can, they are real, legit and people should stop giving them a hard time.  These guys are new in the industry and only in their early 20’s so this was a big question mark for me.

Before the show, I cheated and checked out the set list from some previous shows and I was very disappointed.  They were only playing 10 shows!!  They are the headliners…how can they only have 10 songs?  I told my daughter the only way the can turn it in to a full show is that they are going to have to stretch these songs out way longer than they were done on the records.

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Before we talk about how they did, let’s see the setlist…

  1. The Cold Wind
  2. Highway Tune
  3. Black Smoke Rising
  4. Edge of Darkness
  5. Flower Power
  6. You’re The One
  7. Age of Man
  8. Black Flag Exposition
  9. Watching Over
  10. When the Curtain Falls
  11. Safari Song (Encore & Drum Solo)

Continue reading “Greta Van Fleet – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC on May 15th, 2019)”

Ida Mae – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC on May 15th, 2019)

The opening act for Greta Van Fleet was a duo named Ida Mae.  It is a husband and wife duo out of England who now reside in Nashville, Tennessee.  At least they have for the last 10 months as they just moved to the States to seriously pursue this thing called music.  The husband is Chris Turpin on guitar and vocals and his lovely wife Stephanie Jean also on vocals.

And they are all you got as the opening act.  It was just Chris and Stephanie on stage for their 6 song set.  And let me tell you that was all you need as they were beyond impressive.  They did some covers and played some of their original songs for an album that will not be released until June 7th.

They were selling that album though at the Merch table and, of course, I picked it up on vinyl (review will come later as I need time to dive into it fully).  I wanted to get them to sign it, but since they didn’t come out until after the show, I was unable to hang around and wait.  My kids had to go to school the next morning and it was already 10:45 and we still had to drive 45 minutes home.

Anyway, about the music.  The setlist was as follows:

  1. My Girl is A Heartbreak
  2. Me and My Chauffeur Blues (Memphis Minnie cover)
  3. What Did the Deep Sea Say (Woody Guthrie cover)
  4. Reaching
  5. Boom Boom Boom
  6. Feel Them Getting Closer

Continue reading “Ida Mae – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC on May 15th, 2019)”

Bryan Adams – Shine A Light Tour (Charlotte, NC 5-4-19) – Concert Review

Bryan Adams kicked off his North American Shine A Light tour in Charlotte, NC on May 4th, 2019 at the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre.  I am excited to say, I was there and witnessed a spectacular show and loved every minute of this 2 hour show and 28 song set.  At the tender age of 59, Bryan still rocks like he is 18 and I guess he will til he dies!!!

The night started out a little rough.  Thunderstorms and rain were pushing through Charlotte and I was wondering how wet I was going to get.  I arrived with only about 20 minutes to spare before the show started and had my poncho ready.  Just as Bryan took the stage some rain started to fall and the poncho went on (just like about 1/2 the crowd did as well).  By the end of the song, no rain…not one drop the rest of the evening.  Someone up above was looking out for us and for Bryan and his band.

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Let’s talk about the show.  The opening act was none other than NO ONE!!  Bryan doesn’t need no stinking opening act.  Nope!  This was an evening with Bryan Adams and only Bryan (well, his band was there including the amazing Keith Scott, but more on him later).  The stage set-up was really simple. A big Video Screen that covered the entire back of the stage, a drum set on a small riser, a baby grand piano and keyboards and few guitar stands around the stage.  Add a small lighting set-up that was quite simple and that was it.

Bryan came to play music and have a good time and that is exactly what he did and a good time was had by all.  Now, do you want to see this monster setlist??  I am sure you do so here we go…

Continue reading “Bryan Adams – Shine A Light Tour (Charlotte, NC 5-4-19) – Concert Review”

Turntables & Vinyl #19 – She Met Sabrina Carpenter

Turntables & Vinyl is my journey through music.  Most of the time it is about my vinyl purchases, but occasionally it is about my musical experiences.  This time it is actually about my youngest daughter’s musical experience.

My youngest keeps bringing up the fact she has never met anyone famous while her older sister has gotten to meet so many famous people including Matt Nathanson, Tori Kelly and actor Keegan Allen.  So, when she found out former Disney star, Actress and Singer Sabrina Carpenter was coming to town she mentioned she wanted to go to the show.

Now, my daughter never really asks to go to concerts (except for Shawn Mendes, but that is another story) so I immediately told her we would go.  She asked about getting to meet her and I reminded her that if it was too expensive, we would not be able to do it.  On the day of pre-orders for the tickets, I go online and look up ticket prices and you know, they weren’t terrible for the meet & greet.  Well they were, but her birthday was going to be shortly after the concert and I thought it would make a great early present.

They were offering two packages, the expensive one that gave you a tour of the Tour Bus as well as a personal meet & greet with Sabrina for individual pictures.  The other lesser expensive one (but still expensive) was no meet & greet, but Sabrina was going to do a  Q&A with the VIPs and a group picture, no individual photo.  You also would get an autographed show setlist and a special gift from Sabrina.

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Continue reading “Turntables & Vinyl #19 – She Met Sabrina Carpenter”

Kiss in Concert – The First Time to The Last Time

Back in October, Kiss announced their final tour called “End of the Road” World Tour.  The tour would last three years according to them and that is one helluva a long tour.  But it has made me sad for many reasons.  One, all the rockers I grew up idolizing and following are getting old and are not going to be touring for too much longer.  As a result, I need to catch as many shows now as I can before they are all gone.  Two, It means I am getting Old.

But this is Kiss.  One of the very first concerts I ever saw was Kiss. I think it was the 2nd concert I had ever been to see.  This a different sadness.  Thanks to the influence of my big brother, I became a huge fan of the band.  I have seen them only 7 times so far, but next to Def Leppard, that is the most I have seen any band.  I thought I would go through my Kiss journey in form of all the concerts of theirs I have seen.

It all started in 1983. Christmas morning to be exact.  I was turning 15 years old. I think it was a Birthday present and not a Christmas present (as they are the same day).  My older brother, Gary, gave me a ticket to see Kiss for my birthday.  That was a big surprise.  The other surprise was, the show was the very next day on December 26th.

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Kiss was touring in support of their album ‘Lick It Up’.  It was the first time they were performing without makeup.  It was a big deal…well it was to me!!  I never had seen them before so I was just happy to finally see them live in all their glory.

The opening acts were Pat Travers and the band Axe and the show was at the Omni which has since been torn down and became Phillips Arena (which I think just changed it’s name to State Farm Arena or something like that).  The stage was still the Tank stage from the Creatures of the Night Tour and was completely badass to this 15 year old.  It was pretty cool.  The lead guitarist at the time was Vinnie Vincent and Eric Carr was on drums. I am glad I got to see that  line up of the band.  Vinnie was fired after this tour.

Setlist:

  1. Creatures of the Night
  2. Detroit Rock City
  3. Cold Gin
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Firehouse
  6. Guitar Solo (Paul)
  7. Exciter
  8. War Machine
  9. Gimme More
  10. Guitar Solo (Vinnie)
  11. Bass Solo (Gene, duh)
  12. I Love It Loud
  13. I Still Love You
  14. Drum Solo (Eric)
  15. Young & Wasted
  16. Love Gun
  17. Black Diamond
  18. Lick It Up (Encore)
  19. Rock And Roll All Nite (Encore)

That was a damn fine setlist. Songs on here they will never play on their final tour.

On January 9th, 1985, brought me to my 2nd Kiss concert and back at the Omni.  The opening act was Krokus and they were great.  The tour was for the Animalize Tour and the lead guitarist on this one was supposed to be Mark St. John, but he was fired in December.  Bruce Kulick took over duties for the remainder of the tour and for years later. I hate I didn’t get to see Mark. He is the only Kiss guitarist I have not seen live.

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This time I bought a souvenir as I would have had a job.  I bought one of their big ass programs.  I still have the Tour Program from that show and it still had Mark St. John throughout since they didn’t have time to change them up.

The setlist for this show was similar to the last with some minor tweaks.

  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Cold Gin
  3. Creatures of the Night
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Heaven’s On Fire
  6. Guitar Solo
  7. Under the Gun
  8. War Machine
  9. Drum Solo
  10. Young & Wasted (Eric now on vocals)
  11. Bass Solo
  12. I Love it Loud
  13. I Still Love You
  14. Love Gun
  15. Black Diamond
  16. Oh! Susanna (Encore)
  17. Lick It Up (Encore)
  18. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

I started 1985 with a Kiss concert so I had to end it with a Kiss concert.  This one was on December 31, 1985 and where else, but at the Omni.  This show was for the Asylum Tour this time. The opening act for this show was Black n Blue.  Gene had produced their album so no wonder they opened. Same line-up as the earlier show so nothing really new.  I had to get another program…of course.

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This setlist was different in the sense that Rock and Roll All Nite was not the encore.  This encore was a big jam session with a lot of covers

  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Fits Like a Glove
  3. Guitar Solo (Paul)
  4. Uh! All Night
  5. Cold Gin
  6. Under the Gun
  7. Guitar Solo (Bruce)
  8. I Still Love You
  9. Bass Solo
  10. I Love it Loud
  11. Tears Are Falling
  12. Drum Solo
  13. War Machine
  14. Love Gun
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite
  16. La Bamba (Encore)
  17. Whole Lotta Love (Encore)
  18. Heaven’s On Fire (Encore)
  19. Oh! Susanna (Encore)
  20. Won’t Get Fooled Again (Encore)
  21. Lick It Up (Encore)

The 80’s still weren’t done.  Time for another show.  We are now in February 1988.  February 10th to be exact.  They were now touring for the Crazy Nights album.  The show was less pyrotechnics and more of a rock show.  Gene did spit fire though.  The opening act, if I remember correctly, was the one and only Ted Nugent.  For me, this was a dream come true as I hadn’t seen him before and I was a huge “Cat Scratch Fever” fan.  I was not disappointed.  He is a mad man.

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No tour book this time as I had been to so many concerts over the past 12 months and ticket prices were now up to $17.50 up from the $11.50 that cost for my first show.  Since it had been about 3 years since the last show I had seen, had the setlist changed much?  Let’s see

  1. Love Gun
  2. Cold Gin
  3. Bang Bang You
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Crazy Crazy Nights
  6. Shout it out Loud
  7. Guitar Solo
  8. Drum Solo
  9. War Machine
  10. Reason To Live
  11. Heaven’s on Fire
  12. Bass Solo
  13. I Love it Loud
  14. Lick It Up
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite
  16. Detroit Rock City (Encore)

This was a shorter set and a much shorter encore.  They must have been bored or something.  But some cool songs that they don’t play now like Bang Bang You.

Now we jump to the 90’s. The first show for me of this new decade was none other than…KISS!!  It was July 20, 1990 and this time it was at the Coca-Cola Lakewood Amphitheater.  This was a great show.  The opening acts were Danger Danger for sure and the other act was possibly Slaughter. This show got me hooked on Danger Danger so that is why I remember it.  I was already a fan of Slaughter, but Danger Danger was better live. The tour was for the album Hot in the Shade and had a huge Sphinx for the stage setup.  Ticket prices were now over $20 at $24 after fees.

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This one is probably my favorite setlist so far.  They played mostly old songs and some new and just a great mix of songs.  Plus a lot I hadn’t seen live yet.

  1. I Stole Your Love
  2. Deuce
  3. Heaven’t on Fire
  4. Crazy Crazy Nights
  5. Black Diamond
  6. Shout it Out Loud
  7. Strutter
  8. Calling Dr. Love
  9. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
  10. Rise To It
  11. Fits Like a Glove
  12. Hide Your Heart
  13. Lick it Up
  14. God of Thunder
  15. Forever
  16. Cold Gin
  17. Tears are Falling
  18. I Love It Loud
  19. Love Gun
  20. Detroit Rock City
  21. I Want You (Encore)
  22. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

The next time I saw the band was the big Reunion Tour in 1996.  Kiss reunited with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.  The make-up came back on and they did a massive tour.  I am glad to say that on October 1st, I got to see them finally in their make-up. I never thought I would get to see that and I never thought I would get to see Ace & Peter.  My dreams were fulfilled.  The opening act was the Verve Pipe.  Yeah, don’t remember their set at all.  The ticket price was $42 with fees, but I paid nothing  as my sister-in-law worked for the company that built the Omni so we were in their box.

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It was such an amazing show and my favorite so far. I got to see them do what they do best.  Gene looked so much more comfortable back in the make-up and the blood and fire spitting were back in full force.  I remember it was the best Kiss show I had seen because it was them in Make-up.  Ace doing his guitar solo with the smoking guitar and shooting fireworks.  It was what I wanted to see when I was a little kid, but I was too young.  I was in my late 20’s at this point so no longer too young!

The setlist was nothing but classic 70’s Kiss. No 80’s crap here (not really crap, I like the 80’s music too) since Ace & Peter were’t really there in the 80’s.  It was fan’freakin’tastic.

  1. Deuce
  2. King of the Night Time World
  3. Do You Love Me
  4. Calling Dr. Love
  5. Cold Gin
  6. Watchin’ You
  7. Firehouse
  8. I Stole Your Love
  9. Shock Me
  10. Guitar Solo
  11. Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
  12. Shout It Out Loud
  13. Strutter
  14. Bass Solo
  15. God of Thunder
  16. Drum Solo
  17. New York Groove
  18. Love Gun
  19. 100,000 Years
  20. Black Diamond
  21. Detroit Rock City (Encore)
  22. Beth (Encore)
  23. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

Damn!!!

Now, there was a long, long stretch before I saw them again.  In fact, it was 16 years.  The next show I remember was on July 19th, 2014 after we had moved to Charlotte.  It was Kiss’ 40th Anniversary Tour and the opening act was Def Leppard!!  That is right.  The 2 bands I have seen in concert the most were playing together in the same show.  Wow!!

My brother, my sister and her husband drove up to Charlotte to see them with me.  If I am being honest, Def Leppard was absolutely amazing.  Probably the best show I have ever seen them do.  They blew the doors off Kiss that night. Kiss has become a well organized, choreographed Las Vegas show and it felt forced.  It did not have the excitement as did Def Leppard’s.  However, it was still an awesome time and I am so glad my family came up to see it with me.  That meant a lot.  I can’t find a stub, but I have a shirt and some pictures!!

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And what about the setlist?  A little shorter as they are older and it was a double headlining show so both acts put on full sets.

  1. Psycho Circus
  2. Deuce
  3. Shout it Out Loud
  4. War Machine
  5. Hotter than Hell (Gene breathes fire)
  6. I Love it Loud
  7. Lick it Up (with Won’t Get Fooled Again)
  8. Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies to rafters)
  9. God of Thunder
  10. Hide Your Heart
  11. Cold Gin
  12. Love Gun (Paul flies out to audience)
  13. Black Diamond
  14. Detroit Rock City
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite

I thought this would be my last time seeing the band since I was a little disappointed (only a little).  But when Kiss announced their End of the Road Tour, I changed my mind.  I decided to take one more final ride.  This time I am taking my wife and two daughters whether they like it or not.  I want them to see, just one time, the band that has been a part of my life for so long and has meant so much to me.  I took my wife and oldest daughter to see my other favorite band Def Leppard just last year.

We have our tickets.  Four of them.  For August 10th, 2019 at PNC Pavilion here in Charlotte, NC.  It will be a sad and joyous day for me.  But one I am eagerly anticipating.  I know it is a long way away, but I can’t wait.  Once the show is over, I will definitely write about it, but until then I hope you enjoyed this walk back through my Kiss Experiences.  It has been a fun ride.

I haven’t seen them near as many times as those diehard fans, but I have had my fair share.  As my final sign-off for this post…here are the ticket stubs for my first time and what will be my last time!!! Prices have gone up a little.

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Alice Cooper – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC 10-9-2018)

Ok, I am in no means an Alice Cooper aficionado, I am a casual fan at best.  However, I have always wanted to see Alice live, but never actually went.  Well, as I am getting older and so is Alice, I realized that we won’t be around much longer and I better go see him while I am still around and so is he.  So after my pal Deke went and wrote about it at Thunder Bay Arena Rock, he convinced me to finally do it.  And let me tell you, I am so glad I did.

Now, if you want better pictures go to Deke’s blog as he had front row I believe.  I wasn’t so lucky and I am too cheap!  But I did get pictures and they suck because my phone sucks.  So I apologize up front for that.

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My wife decided to join me on this concert experience and I am glad she did as it made the night that much more special that she was with me.  Plus, it is nice any time we get a date night.  No kids!!!

Now my wife is a little height challenged so she had trouble seeing. Me, I am 6’2″ so I had only minor issues as the guy in front of me was a little taller than me.  But that is okay, I got to see most everything.  Okay enough about that, let’s get to the show.

The show opened with Alice’s voice welcomes you to the nightmare and the band comes exploding out with “Brutal Planet” which was such a great opening song and there was no holding back.  Alice comes strolling out with this coat and cane and never has a 70 year old man looked so cool!!  He owns the stage and has such presence that you are completely drawn to him.  And the way he swings that cane around, those band members better not be standing close or they will get knocked on their ass.  Hell, Alice swung the cane so hard against a speaker that the damn cane broke.

Continue reading “Alice Cooper – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC 10-9-2018)”