By: Addie Hayes, Editor/Lead Writer, Regional Music Journal
On a sweltering day in late July, Oklahoma City fans converged on the Zoo Amphitheatre for one of the most anticipated concerts of the summer. Alice Cooper, along with Halestorm and Motionless In White, were scheduled to perform. The audience included fans young and old, revealing the impact of Alice Cooper’s music over five decades. The lineup proved to be a perfect match, with Motionless In White taking the stage to kick-off the show, followed by a powerful performance by Halestorm, and finally, Alice Cooper himself took the stage.
Metal band Motionless In White is impossible to ignore when they take the stage. The band formed in 2005 and released their debut album Creatures in 2010. Motionless In White is a great example of a band that exists because of an artist like Alice Cooper. Their style of metal is a hybrid of 90s industrial, synth metal and electronicore. When the band stepped onto the black draped stage, frontman Chris Motionless grabbed the microphone and screamed to the crowd, “let’s have some fucking fun this evening”. They immediately started playing the song “Rats” from their 2017 album Graveyard Shift. Following “Rats”, the band performed “Eternally Yours” from the same album and “Everybody Sells Cocaine” from the 2014 release Reincarnate. Several Motionless In White fans were in attendance and they sang along.
Motionless In White on stage at the Zoo Amphitheatre in Oklahoma City
Chris Motionless proved to be an amazing frontman, engaging with fans between songs and encouraging them to sing along on songs like “A-M-E-R-I-C-A” from the 2012 album Infamous. On June 7, 2019, Motionless In White released their fifth studio album Disguise. They thrilled fans with one of the first singles from the album, “Brand New Numb”. During their set they also performed the title track from their 2014 album Reincarnate along with “Untouchable” and finally “Voices”, both from the 2017 album Graveyard Shift. The band were fantastic and throughout their performance the energy from the crowd could be felt as it grew. Motionless In White is a band who reflects Alice Cooper’s influence on music. Their use of black stage dressing and makeup, which can be directly connected to the foundation laid by Alice Cooper.
Halestorm was up next. Before any of the band members came on stage, Lzzy Hale began singing, resulting in screams from the crowd. They kicked off their set with “Do Not Disturb” from the 2018 album Vicious, followed by crowd favorite “Mz Hyde” from the 2012 album The Stange Case of… Lzzy Hale is one of the best female rock singers on the scene today, with a powerful voice, excellent guitar skills and a commanding presence on stage, she has led the band to amazing levels of success. In 2013, Halestorm won the Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for the single “Love Bites (So Do I)” and they have toured with today’s top rock and metal artists, including a successful tour in 2018 with In This Moment and New Years Day.
Halestorm performing at the Zoo Amphitheatre in Oklahoma City
During their set at the Zoo Amphitheatre, they performed songs from their 2018 album Vicious, including “Black Vultures”, along with the Grammy nominated hit “Uncomfortable”. One of the highlights of a Halestorm performance is the drum solo by Arejay Hale. He is an exciting drummers to watch, showcasing his fantastic skills and sense of humor during his drum solos. Throughout the remainder of the set, Halestorm performed “Freak Like Me” and their Grammy winning song “Love Bites (So Do I)” from the 2012 album The Strange Case of…”, “I Get Off” from their 2009 debut self-titled album and a new track called “Chemicals”, a song which appeared as a B-side to the limited edition 7 inch vinyl release of “Buzz”. The band closed out their set with the hit “I Miss the Misery”, a song that peaked at number 2 on Billboard rock charts and is one of Halestorm’s most recognizable songs. Halestorm consistently delivers a great performance and they continued to build the energy leading up to Alice Cooper.
Alice Cooper is one of the pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal, alongside legends like MC5, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin to name a few. But he also bears his own distinction as “The Godfather of Shock Rock”. Cooper’s early music mixed heavy metal and punk and often contained controversial lyrics. Because of his innovative style of music and the theatricality of his live shows, we have artists today such as GWAR, King Diamond, Marilyn Manson, In This Moment, Mayhem, Rob Zombie and his current tour mates, Motionless In White.
Cooper’s prolific career has produced 26 studio albums and earned the artist awards like Classic Rock Magazine’s Living Legend in 2006 and Classic Album for Welcome to My Nightmare in 2015, along with Kerrang Magazine’s Icon award in 2011 and Legend award in 2015; he has also received three Grammy nominations. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Alice Cooper released an album every year, except for 1974, 1979, 1984, 1985 and 1988, however, in 1973 he released two albums, School’s Out and Billion Dollar Babies. Alice Cooper has remained relevant and impactful for five decades, which was evident with the crowd at the Zoo Amphitheatre in Oklahoma City. There were fans in their seventies and eighties alongside teenagers; three and four generations of families attended the concert to share the experience.
The stage was draped in a black curtain with large eyes looking out over the crowd. “Years Ago” played over the PA system followed by the dramatic “Nightmare Castle”, then the curtain dropped revealing the band, standing in front of a large castle set, as they started performing “Feed My Frankenstein”. Alice Copper emerged from a smoke-filled doorway in the stage set, clad in all black leather, a top hat and carrying a cane. At one point during the performance, he threw the cane to an audience member. During the guitar solo, a large, Frankenstein figure came out on stage before quickly being wrangled back off stage. Next Cooper performed “No More Mr Nice Guy”, which was a hit with the crowd.
The set continued with classics like “Bed of Nails”, “Muscle of Love” and the popular “I’m Eighteen”. During the performance of “Billion Dollar Babies”, streamers were shot over the audience and cascaded over the crowd as they reflected the light from the stage. When the beginning of “Poison” started, the energy of the crowd swelled and continued to grow when guitarist Nita Strauss was left on stage to perform an amazing solo. “Roses on White Lace” was the next song and Cooper returned to the stage carrying a bloody dagger and wiping it on his white shirt. During the song, a dead bride came out and made her away up the stairs and onto the turret of the castle. The song ended with the bride approaching Cooper and embracing him before leaving the stage.
Fans enjoyed every minute of Alice Cooper’s performance at the Zoo Amphitheatre in Oklahoma City
A few songs later, Copper came out on stage in a straight jacket with two handlers wearing coveralls and baby masks. Cooper began the song “Steven” and a nurse with a baby stroller made her way on stage. This is a performance die hard Alice Cooper fans know well. Cooper breaks free from his straight jacket restraints and grabs the baby. In the background, images of demented and possessed babies flashed on the curtain while a large baby head can be seen inside the castle turret. When Cooper tries to kill the baby with a meat clever, the handlers and nurse stop him and guide him to the guillotine. Cooper is beheaded and the large baby comes out of the turret and dances around to “I Love the Dead”, performed by the band.
Cooper went on to perform “Escape” and “Teenage Frankenstein” before leaving the stage. After a short break, he returned for a two song encore and closed out the show with “School’s Out”, featuring Lzzy Hale.
Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale joined Alice Cooper on stage to perform “School’s Out”
Alice Cooper is the best show to come to Oklahoma City in 2019. All three bands delivered stellar performances and Alice Cooper proved why he has been successful for five decades. To fully understand and appreciate the music of Alice Cooper, you have to see his live performance. He is currently in Europe but will return to North America later in the year.
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