Ventura Theater; Ventura, CA; 09/23/02

Reviewed by Snidermann and R. Scott Bolton

Snidermann: The only thing better than seeing an Alice Cooper show is knowing that there will be another one in about 18 months. This show at the Ventura Theatre was not only the best Alice show I have every seen (and I've seen a half dozen or more) it was probably the best rock show I have ever seen period.

R. Scott Bolton: When you arrive at a theater several hours before show time, there's already a line forming out front, and there's three semi's parked outside, you know you're in for a hell of a rock'n'roll show. I was excited about seeing Alice, as always, but Gilby Clarke was opening and I was looking forward to that, too. Clarke didn't disappoint, delivering a solid rock performance that soothed the savage beast that was the audience waiting for Cooper to take the stage. Clarke played material from his various solo recordings, a Who cover, and a cover of Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door." Throughout, the show was excellent, with Clarke shining on guitar and vocals. My only disappointment: It would have been nice to hear a Guns N'Roses song or two.

Snidermann: When Alice finally hit the stage, not only did he play all the usual hits, he reached into his very vast repertoire of rock'n'roll tunes and delivered a truly stunning show that was enjoyed by all. Three songs I don't remember hearing often (it at all) included "Nurse Rosetta," "Department of Youth" and "I Never Cry." They all sounded great, too.

R. Scott Bolton: An Alice Cooper show is more than just a rock'n'roll concert, it's a theatrical event. This time, Alice had the stage set up like a dark and dingy street in the worst section of Chinatown you can imagine. Yeah, it was just the Brutal Planet set with some heavy redecorating, but it was still cool.

Snidermann: The master showman himself sang a load of tunes from his latest release, "Dragontown," as well as the aforementioned rarities. The stage show was extreme, complete with a beheading and Alice chasing a Britney Spears type with a big ax. (He actually catches her and chops off her head!) 

R. Scott Bolton: It was great to see Alice pull out the old guillotine, even though the stunt is painfully obvious in this day of David Blaine and David Copperfield. The onstage antics were as twisted and as comically violent as ever. It's amazing to me how dark an Alice Cooper show can get and still seem like family entertainment. 

Snidermann: The music was as tight as any live show I have ever seen and, with Eric Singer from Kiss on drums, this was a night my 13 year old son will never forget! Simply stunning!  

R. Scott Bolton: Alice's band was tremendous as always. Alice seems to know that if you can't pull off the music, it doesn't matter how much theatrics you put into it. Without a good band, the show would still suck. This band didn't suck. And Snidermann is right: Watching Eric Singer play drums is a major treat. I'm not one usually for drum solos but Singer is amazing. Also amazing is Alice's ability to sing these songs time and time again and still deliver them with conviction and style.

Snidermann: If you have never seen Alice Cooper live or it's been a while since you have, take my word of advice ... DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!!  Later Alice, until next time (and I hope it's not long!)

R. Scott Bolton: I'll go see Alice every time he comes to town. It's a rock'n'roll extravaganza and we don't have enough of those these days!

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Copyright 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.