It was Whit Monday and the city was still in long-weekend mood. I arrived at the Kjøbenhavns Boldklubs Hall, or what here we call K.B. Hallen, the rebuilt in 2018 concerts and events hall at Frederiksberg. Last time I was here was for my third shot of COVID vaccination, and obviously the whole place looked transformed… well to its original function. No long queues, masks, or anything that resembled that a pandemic had disrupted our everyday lives for the past two years.
The entrance hallway had fewer people than I would expect, with most of them gathered around the merchandise. TV screens were advertising the future concerts, Ian Anderson, Deep Purple, Gojira, while black and white posters above the doors showed the long memories of the venue, or actually of the original hall built back in 1938. Black Sabbath, Jimmi Hendrix… A little further online research revealed other giants: Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa.
But that day was booked for another legenδ, Alice Cooper, who has been performing at this venue since 1972!
At this point I should add that Michael Monroe is among my favourite musicians, so I would be very excited to see him and his band live. I mean, Michael Monroe and then Alice Cooper, what a night indeed! But for some reasons (which I know, but are not relevant to share), I kind of… forgot about it and mixed up the support bands with another show (I won’t say which because now the comparison would be embarrassing). So, when the organiser asked me if I want to take photos of the support band, I said, “Sure, why not? If they are good…”, to which she replied “They are very good”… Imagine now my surprise when I saw the familiar logo at the back of the stage, adding to my overall confusion.
The arena inside was still sparsely crowded. Maybe 200 people were gathered at the center front of the stage, while others were already sitting at the tiers. It was showtime! The support band was about to start. And there he was: The Finnish frontman with the relentless energy, who can sing while climbing, jumping, running around or even slightly clumsily (but much better than I could do) trying to find his footing after he steps on the monitors, while holding the mike on one hand, the stand on the other, sings and readies to make a pirouette for his landing. Still, I was happy to see Monroe a bit more structured, if I may say, compared to his last appearance at Sweden Rock a couple years ago.
The Monroe onslaught started at 20:00 precisely and lasted – a bit too short if you ask me – for 45 minutes. But that was not the last time we saw him that night.
Around 21:15, the lights went off and the stage was lit for a second time. On the background, the “Night on the Bald Mountain” by Mussorgsky set the vibe of the night, accompanied by an introductory narration, I assume by Alice himself, but that would fit so well on Vincent Price’s voice.
The place was already half full with maybe around 1500 people according to my poor estimates. The audience took a while to warm up, despite the killer kick off with an amazing performance of the whole band and super hits such as “Feed my Frankenstein”, “Bed of nails” and “Hey stoopid”.
The show had everything we would expect from an Alice Cooper show. A giant baby at “Billion Dollar Babies”, a bride with a blooded dress, the Frankenstein monster, Alice in straitjacket in “Steven”, a deviless at “Go to hell”, a dead baby in “Dead babies”, and the legendary decapitation and “I love the dead”. The band, consisted of Alice Cooper veterans Chuck Garric, on bass, Ryan Roxie on lead guitar, Nita Strauss and Tommy Henriksen on guitars, and Glen Sobel on drums, were constantly on fire.
After 90 minutes in the nightmare of Alice Cooper, the band took off, only to come back on stage, together with Michael Monroe, for “School’s out”, with a little tribute to “Another brick in the wall” by Pink Floyd. Wrapping up in a party mood, Alice Cooper presented exceptionally warmly the band and his wife, Sheryl Cooper, in various roles, but mostly that of the deviless. “She’s delicious, and she’s mine”, Alice proclaimed, before he presented himself.
A fantastic show that remains modern, terrifying, and most importantly, lots lots of fun.
Setlist Michael Monroe: One Man Gang, Last Train to Tokyo, Murder the Summer of Love, Trick of the Wrist, ’78, Ballad of the Lower East Side, Can’t Stop Falling Apart, Nothin’s Alright, Hammersmith Palais, Malibu Beach Nightmare, Up Around the Bend, Dead, Jail or Rock ‘n’ Roll
Setlist Alice Cooper: Feed My Frankenstein, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Bed of Nails, Hey Stoopid, Fallen in Love, Be My Lover, Go Man Go, Under My Wheels, He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask), Go to Hell, I’m Eighteen, Poison, Billion Dollar Babies, Guitar Solo (Nita Strauss), Roses on White Lace, My Stars, Devil’s Food, Black Widow, Steven, Dead Babies, I Love the Dead, Escape, Teenage Frankenstein, School’s Out (encore with Michael Monroe and Steve Conte)