Welcome to Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle!! That is how the show opened and what a nightmare it was, but in a good way. This was my second time seeing Alice as I saw him 3 years earlier, almost to the day and I am glad to be back to be terrified, freaked out and entertained by the legend himself. This time around, my daughter joined me as she figured if her mom liked the last show, maybe she will and I think she did, but more on that later.
As we were standing in line to get through the vaccine check (negative covid test check) and the metal detector, we noticed people wearing Nita Strauss T-Shirts. It was cool seeing people that were coming to the show to see her. If you don’t know her, she is “Hurricane” Nita Strauss and she is Alice Cooper’s lead guitar player (one of three), but she is the featured one that gets all the press because she is pretty freaking awesome!!
After watching Ace Frehley Open the show, the crowd was pumped and ready. We only had to wait just under 30 minutes to get the stage transferred over and turned in to this giant 2-Story castle and full of horrifying things. But what wasn’t horrifying, but electrifying was the setlist…take a look at what he has to offer this time around…
I am a little behind on reviews, so excuse the lateness of this one. I almost passed it over due to the lateness, but I felt this one needed to be done. Nita Strauss’ ‘Controlled Chaos’ is nothing short of spectacular so I had to talk about it.
Instrumental albums are hard for me to write-up as I am not a guitarist (although learning) or a musician. I mean how many times and how many ways can I say the guitar work is sensational. Well, I will say it at least a few times. Nita’s guitar work is sensational…she is a beast…she is one of the most exciting guitarists out there today. Plus, you know she is one of the best if Alice Cooper has her in his band. I saw them tour last year and she was quite phenomenal!
And another way I can tell you it is great is the fact I actually bought a physical CD. I normally stream new music and buy used vinyl and special edition box sets. New releases only get bought, if they are beyond exceptional and well, this is just that. So, I showed my support by actually spending my hard in dollars on her album. People should do way more of that.
2018 was another year with some great releases and way too many to get through them all so I am sure I missed a number of great albums and if you look around the web, there will be tons of Top Album lists you can get a pretty good idea of what you should check out in case you missed any of these.
This list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year. All other types of music will be for a later post. I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre. It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!
Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!! These are not the most popular or trendy albums. These are the albums that I connected with during the year and I kept coming back to again and again. And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2018:
My #1 Album of the Year:
Reach – The Great Divine: A modern, yet melodic rock album that just grabs hold and won’t let go from beginning to end. A band I had never heard of prior to this album and I am now wondering where they have been my whole life. Just a fantastic album with no songs to skip or delete. Almost pure perfection. The first album I bought that was new in 2018 and still listen to it today. With songs like “The Great Divine”, “Nightmare” and “Into Tomorrow” you can see they have the goods. The production value was great, the music, the vocals, it was all solid and my favorite album of the year!! Give it a try (and check out my original review by clicking the album title).
Wow! Another HUGE week of releases. There are a ton I am interested in and some I have bought already or will be very, very soon. There is a wide range of artists covering Rock, Metal, Country, R&B, Pop, Showtunes, Christian, Alternative, Hip Hop and many more. There has to be something you will be digging. If not, let me know and let me if there is. I love to know what people are in to and whether or not I am missing out on anything good. My choices are highlighted in Blue. Have a great weekend!!
Needtobreathe – Acoustic Live, Vol. 1 – (Atlantic Records): If you read my site, you know this is one of my favorite bands so it is no wonder this tops the list. The vinyl is on order and I hope I get it on release day, but doubt it since it is from the NTB webstore and not Amazon. Oh well! The album is a collection of acoustic tracks from their acoustic tour last year. All classic NTB tracks and these guys are fantastic live, so high expectations.
Chris Cornell – Chris Cornell (Deluxe) – (Universal Music): This set looks S.W.E.E.T.!! An extensive greatest hits compilation of his Soundgarden, Audioslave and Solo work among some rare treats as well. This is another must have in the physical form. It is on the Christmas list and if I don’t get it, I will immediately buy on Amazon Christmas Day.
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.
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.