Alice Cooper Supported By The Mission, Leeds Arena
Graham Clark, Features Writer
The last time I saw The Mission was many years ago at a very sweaty gig at St George's Hall in Bradford. Seeing them nearly 20 years later in the sterile atmosphere of Leeds Arena, playing to an audience who were not necessarily there to see them, was probably not the best environment to reacquaint myself with the band.
Formed in Leeds in 1986 (as the banner behind them proclaims) only three of the original members remain. On paper it looked like a daunting task for the band, but by the time they had played Tower of Strength and Beyond The Pale as opening numbers they were on a winning streak. Their set dipped slightly midway but picked up with Deliverance towards the end, hopefully winning over some new fans.
You know exactly what you are going to get at an Alice Cooper gig: lots of theatrics, plenty of showmanship and the music is always going to be loud.
Surrounded by a very tight young band who seemed to use every rock pose in the book, it was a well rehearsed gig that was tighter than a Glaswegian's wallet. Cooper arrives on stage and is soon stood on top of his podium as he and the band blast out Brutal Planet from the album of the same name.
Already the fireworks had started physically and also with the on stage chemistry between Cooper and his band. Aged 69 years old he still looked in good shape.
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Cooper keeps changing his outfits throughout the show. Feed My Frankenstein sees him being tied up only for a huge Frankenstein to appear running loose on stage. The guillotine appears as usual with Cooper's head on the chopping block so to speak.
Of course Cooper appears back on stage with head intact, but this time not only has he been reincarnated but 3 members of the original Alice Cooper band are now on stage. Dennis Dunaway (bass), Neal Smith (drums) and Michael Bruce (guitar), might not have the youthful energy of Cooper's current band but it added a fresh touch to the evening.
I'm Eighteen, Billion Dollar Babies and No More Mr Nice Guy, tracks they all played on, sounded excellent.
As School's Out echoed around the Leeds Arena the 3 original band members were joined on stage with his new band. It made for a thrilling end to perhaps one of the best rock gigs of the year.
"May you have sick and twisted nightmares" he suggests as the euphoric gig comes to a close. For those attending tonight seeing Cooper and also with his original band had been a dream come true.
Alice Cooper Supported By The Mission, Leeds Arena, 12th November 2017, 23:30 PM