Alice Cooper at CMAC

Alice Cooper at CMAC in Canandaigua, NY

It’s been several years since Alice Cooper has rolled through Western NY (they made two stops on Mötley Crüe’s final tour in 2014 and 2015). With that in mind, it’s easy to imagine how excited I was to catch their show when they came through town and performed in Canandaigua. This time around, the tour was absolutely stacked, with touring juggernaut Halestorm providing direct support along with horror-metal outfit Motionless in White to kick things off.

While Motionless in White may have seemed like an odd choice for the tour, they quickly put doubts to rest as they took the stage to open with “Rats,” from 2017’s Graveyard Shift album. Vocalist Chris “Motionless” Cerulli was quick to address the crowd, knowing full well that the fans who showed up for Alice Cooper might be a little overwhelmed. As any great front-man would, he welcomed them to the show and encouraged them to join in on the fun. They plowed through a short eight-song set, including new tracks “Broadcasting From Beyond the Grace: Death Inc” and “Brand New Number,” along with a few songs from the back catalog such as “Reincarnate,” “Untouchable” and “Voices.” This was my first time seeing them performing with new bassist, Justin Marrow, since he joined the band last year. Honestly, I loved their set, and I wish we had more of it! Look forward to some future coverage of Motionless in White as they’re just getting started promoting their latest album, Disguise, released a few months ago.

The show took a bit of a mainstream turn as Halestorm took the stage. They began with a trio of songs from 2018’s album Vicious including “Do Not Disturb,” “Skulls” and “Black Vultures” before heading into their breakout track “Love Bites (So Do I).” Shortly into the set, Lzzy Hale paused, set her lighter ablaze and proclaimed how proud she is to be a part of this tour and how proud she is to represent women in rock. I’ve got to say, Hale carries the banner extremely well. I’m always a bit torn as to what furthers the cause more, celebrating the differences (women in rock) or just getting out there and doing it. The truth is, I think there’s room for both. In the case of Lzzy Hale, she walks the walk. She and her band are some of the hardest working bands in rock and they’ve been going at it relentlessly for years now. She presents herself as an extremely charismatic frontwoman and is exactly the kind of role model I’d be hoping my young child would find. As a straight-ahead rock star, she’s got a signature scream that might be second only to Metallica’s James Hetfield when yelling into the mic. It’s hard to imagine anyone isn’t familiar with Halestorm yet, but if this show was the first dose for anyone in the audience, it surely won’t be the last!

Before Alice Cooper’s set began, I met a fan in the front row who had just come from a VIP experience. She was elated having just met Cooper, whom she had clearly been a fan of since his early days. In the most excited voice she told me that Alice Cooper had just given her his cane as she posed for a quick photo.

Alice Cooper took the stage by walking through a rear entrance as “Feed My Frankenstein” opened things up. As with every Cooper show I’ve seen, the place came alive immediately and never slowed down! The band immediately followed up with another monster hit, “No More Mr. Nice Guy” before jumping into “Bed of Nails” from Cooper’s 1989’s comeback album Trash. After pulling out another massive hit, “I’m Eighteen,” they performed “Desperado” for the first time since 2008, and then jumped right back into the hits with “Billion Dollar Babies.”

As a child of the ’80s, I’ve grown up with a massive appreciation for acts like Alice Cooper, but my highlight came in the form of “Poison,” performed right about mid-set, followed by a wild guitar solo from Nita Strauss. The action-packed set came to a close with an impressive pair of tunes for the encore including “Under My Wheels” and “School’s Out,” which featured Lzzy Hale returning to the stage to guest along with the band.

Collectively, this show made for a really impressive tour package. Any of these bands would have been fun to see on their own, but to catch them out together was just awesome! If you’re thinking about heading out to this tour, do yourself a favor and make sure you catch the whole show! What once made Alice Cooper so unique in his early days is what makes bands like Motionless in White stand out today. This was a fantastic bill and I’m thrilled to have caught it!

 

Alice Cooper

Halestorm

Motionless in White