Saturday, July 13, 2013

Alice cooper at the embassy

I took in my first Alice Cooper concert Wednesday night. It was at the beautiful (and historic) Fort Wayne Embassy Theater. I like seeing concerts there, and this one was a goody. I went by myself because Jane was having supper with a friend. I didn't decide to go until Wednesday morning. I went to the Embassy just before noon and bought the cheapest ticket they had ($29.50). I looked online beforehand and saw there were plenty of empty seats in the balcony so I bought the cheap one and then sat down in the middle part of the balcony (you just have to act like you know what you're doing). I don't know that there's a bad seat in the house other than the way up top ones. So I sat along the south wall just a few rows up from the stair entry. I can't complain.

Just getting into the show was interesting enough. I parked in the free lot across Calhoun and southwest. When I walked up there was a huge long line. They were patting people down before they let them in. It's been awhile since I've been patted down. Once inside it was a zoo downstairs. Some of the band members were apparently out at the merch table, so people were all crowded around. I tried making my way to the stairs on the far side, but finally gave up and went back and up the stairway just inside the door. It was smooth sailing from there on out - other than the drink line that wound back down the far staircase. I got there about 7:45 for the 8 pm show, so I had plenty of time. So I stood in line and watched the crowd. Wow. There were all kinds of people there. Many had their faces painted, some had elaborate costumes, some looked like bikers and some like conservative grandparents. It was fun to watch people. In fact, that's probably the biggest reason I come to things like this - to see the variety of people. The guy in line in front of me was dressed like Stevie Ray Vaugh and we started chatting. Then his wife and daughter came up and they were both decked out in total goth outfits with a cane and hat and everything.

Eventually I went in and took a seat and waited for the show to start. I think it is the 'Raising the Dead' tour, or something like that. The stage was set up like a freak show. Just after 8 the big backdrop was released and there was the band, and they just blasted us with sound! There were 3 guitar players (1 female), bass, a drummer (with double bass), and Alice. At the end when he introduced the band three of them were from Fort Wayne. I don't know if he just likes Fort Wayne musicians, or if he just hires local talent when he comes to town. It seemed they were a regular part of the band, but who knows.

Anyway, this was much more than just a concert. It was a show. The only time he talked was when he introduced the band at the end. Otherwise there was constant music and theatrics. Alice had a wide array of costumes and props. From his cane, snake, and several hats, to a giant coffee mug and guillotine and then some. Yes, they chopped his head off in the guillotine. They also built Frankenstein - who was like 10-feet tall and running around the stage. There was also a lot of confetti and balloons and necklaces and things tossed out into the crowd, as well as a steady stream of guitar picks from the guitarists. I heard from a friend afterwards who has seen him a number of times that this tour is basically just a piece of each of his tours. Kind of a 'greatest hits' of shows.

I don't know all of Alice's music, but I would say he pretty much played entirely his old stuff. Then at one point they played music from several 'dead' musicians: the Doors, the Who, Hendrix, and maybe a couple more. The crowd sang along almost all night.

Oh, and did I mention that it was loud?? Holy cow! I think that is the loudest show I have ever been too. It was mixed perfectly though, so it didn't hurt your ears, but there were a few times I wondered if the old Embassy building was going to hold up all night. The balcony was rumbling, and when I went into the bathroom things were rattling in there too. There was definitely some low end bass being blasted.

I think they ended just before 10 o'clock. It seemed to go by fast. I suppose it helped that there were no breaks and there was constantly something going on on stage. He certainly knows how to put on a show. And he can still sing and dance pretty good too for someone who is 65!

They did one encore and that was that. The roadies were out tearing stuff down. I stood at my seat and watched the crowd as they left, then hung around in the lobby for awhile. I saw a few people I know: Amish John and Randy (the windmill guy), as well as Chris who lives in the triangle near our house. I am definitely glad I went. A very nice time.