Alice Cooper and Company Storm Topeka

Alice Cooper performing at the Stormont Vail Events Center in Topeka. Photo by Josh Chaikin

We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy! Like many children of the 90’s, my first memory of Alice Cooper was in the movie Wayne’s World. 30 years ago, Alice burst through a skeleton during the opening of Feed my Frankenstein; last night, he descended a staircase, with as much intensity as intensity as he had decades earlier.

After a little more of a year of no concerts, no touring, the band was ready to play, and the crowd at the Stormont Vail Events Center were ready to rock out. License plates from around the Midwest dotted the parking lot, as people drove in from all over to experience Alice Cooper’s nightmare.

The Godfather of shock rock started his career playing the outcast, someone the “others” could relate to; Alice realized more could be done if he positioned himself as the leader of that crowd. At 73 years of age, Alice still commands the audience, and directs things masterfully.

While some musicians might break from the music to banter with the audience, introduce songs, or reminisce about the city their in, Alice and his band plowed through a set of 22 songs. With a band of six, the stage itself becomes almost another member of the band. Giant baby heads pop up in the castle walls during Billion Dollar Babies, and a lady in a bloodied white dress, dances around the stage for Roses on White Lace; it is not just a collection of hits, but a theatrical experience, and Alice keeps us enthralled through it all.

With a heavy touring schedule, Alice is undoubtedly playing near you. Every time he’s come near me, something has prevented me from seeing him, and my only regret is not seeing him sooner. If you’re like me…Hello Stoopid…go and buy your tickets now.

Set list: Feed my Frankenstein / No More Mr. Nice Guy / Bed of Nails / Hey Stoopid / Fallen in Love / Go Man Go / Under My Wheels / He’s Back / Rock ‘n Roll / I’m Eighteen / Poison / Billion Dollar Babies / Nita Guitar Solo / Roses on White Lace / My Stars, Devils Food/ Black Widow / Black Juju (drum solo) / Seven / Dead Babies / I Love the Dead / Escape / Teenage Frankenstein / School’s Out

Words and Photos by Josh Chaikin

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