It was a chilly fall evening last Saturday night at Blossom Music Center, but the amphitheatre got warmed up when Hall of Famers Alice Cooper and Deep Purple took the stage.
Alice was the second act on the triple bill but by all means, he should have been the headliner as he brought out all of his usual tricks and played the longest set out of the three bands.
Backed by an impeccable band that features guitar goddess Nita Strauss, guitarist Ryan Roxie, guitarist Tommy Henriksen, bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Glen Sobel. This band is very tight and they are clearly having as much fun on stage as Alice.
Cooper is out supporting his latest album Paranormal and his latest single “Paranoiac Personality” fit nicely in the set.
Not only does Cooper put on one of the best theatrical live shows that you will ever see, but he also has the songs that can stand on their own. “Under My Wheels,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Billion Dollar Babies” were played early in the set. Most bands would save those hits for the end, but with Cooper’s catalog, he can easily play those hits early on and have plenty left to close the show.
Of course, no Alice Cooper show would be complete without the guillotine being brought out and Alice getting “beheaded” after singing “Only Women Bleed.”
His 15 song set ended with the anthems “I’m Eighteen” and “School’s Out.” On the latter, Cooper told the audience it was “party time”as confetti rained down and huge balloons were brought out on the stage and he stabbed them with his sword if any got close to him. During the end of the song, the band went into Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick In The Wall” as the band and audience sang “we don’t need no education.” It was a great way to close his show.
2016 Rock Hall inductees Deep Purple headlined the show and are out supporting their latest release Infinite. It has been over twelve years since the British rockers have played in Cleveland and there were several people in the audience who were seeing them for the first time.
The band did not disappoint as they opened with “Highway Star” and never slowed down.
Mark II members, drummer Ian Paice, bassist Roger Glover and singer Ian Gillan were joined by guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey. Gillan’s voice was in fine form and the rest of the band sounded fantastic. Sure, some fans may miss the great Jon Lord and Ritchie Blackmore, but this lineup allows people the opportunity to hear this great music performed live by three of the men that created it.
The band played through most of their hits like “Knocking At Your Backdoor,” “Perfect Strangers” and “Space Truckin’.” They also threw in some deep album cuts such as “Uncommon Man” and “Fireball.”
Deep Purple closed the show just before the 11:00 curfew by playing the iconic “Smoke On The Water.”
Edgar Winter opened the show with a five song set. Normally when bands only play five songs, that usually ends up being about 25 minutes on stage. Edgar chose to extend “Tobacco Road” and “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo” with vocal scats and drum solo’s and those 5 songs ended being close to 45 minutes on stage.
I appreciate some scat, but when it drags on for over 10 minutes, it just becomes redundant. It was great to hear “Free Ride” and “Frankenstein” but he could cut down on the improvisation and played a couple of more songs.