Sunday, December 11, 2011

Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" Tour

I caught Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" tour in Erie, Pa., last night. I was really blown away by what I saw. I had heard of his amazing stage show but did not realize just how great it is until I saw it with my own eyes. Having front row seats was also pretty cool!

The opening act was a UK-based alternative rock trio band called Livan. I had never heard of them before and I did not expect much from them. But, I was wrong. They gave the audience an energetic and theatrical stage show, along with some pretty awesome hard-hitting music.

After the show, I met the singer, Livan (aka Cosmas Livanos) and drummer Damon Wilson. They were really nice guys. This will likely be the first of many times you read about them here.

After Livan's set, my brother Alex and I took a walk through the Warner Theatre while the roadies set the stage for Alice Cooper. We met some interesting people, including a guy who hung from the stairway rails, proclaiming he was, "the king of the world" and a woman who had a few too many drinks and was harassing the guys in the men's restroom. As they say, it takes all kinds.

The show began with a recorded intro by the late horror actor Vincent Price. Moments later, Alice Cooper appeared on stage atop a large ramp. He had spider arms attached to his body and began singing "The Black Widow," a song from the Welcome to My Nightmare album.

While Cooper dominated the center of the stage, I was mesmerized by guitar player Orianthi Panagaris. I immediately recognized her. The first time I had seen her was in a music video on the Disney channel a few years ago. Then she was selected as the guitar player for Michael Jackson's "This Is It" tour, which sadly never came to fruition due to his unexpected passing. Now, she plays for Alice Cooper! It's great to see someone like her as the lead guitarist in a rock group. She has some serious talent and I cannot wait to see what she does next!

Cooper included all of his signature songs ("I'm Eighteen", "Billion Dollar Babies", "School's Out", etc.), but "The Man Behind The Mask" was notably absent from the set list.

Along with Cooper's signature songs came his signature stage props, including the snake, rag doll, guillotine and a Frankenstein-like character.

When the band threw things from the stage, I ended up getting a ribbon, one of Orianthi's guitar picks and a faux $100 bill with Alice Coopers face on it. My brother got a ribbon and a pick from bassist Chuck Garric.

The show was awesome and definitely one I will never forget!

As a relevant side note: My Dad, who writes crime and weird news for The Huffington Post, got to interview Cooper prior to the show. Check out this exclusive sneak peak – a tidbit Cooper shared when asked if he will ever collaborate with his close friend, pop sensation Lady Gaga:
"Oh I wouldn't doubt that one bit at all," Cooper said. "I have already worked with Kesha and I know Gaga very well. She really gets it."
The full Huffpost article on Cooper will run tomorrow. I will be sure to link out to it. In the meantime, check out this YouTube video we shot of Alice Cooper getting beheaded:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Constant Source Of Disappointment

I recently discovered a really cool punk rock metal band from Blackpool, England, called Constant Source Of Disappointment.

Embedded below is a video for their song "Burnt Bridges." The video is killer and the music is just as intense.

If you want to hear more from these guys they have several other videos on YouTube. I'm sure they would love it if you checked them out!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Top 13 Metal Guitarists

I have struggled with this list for some time. I base it on my own personal opinion as a guitar player and what I have heard from other metal musicians.


13. Brian "Buckethead" Carroll (Death Cube K)

12. Dave Mustane (Megadeth)

11. Scott Ian (Anthrax)

10. John "John 5" William Lowery (Rob Zombie)

9. Kerry King (Slayer)

8. Yngwie Johann Malmsteen (Yngwie Malmsteen)

7. James Hetfield (Metallica)

6. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)

5. Kirk Hammett (Metallica)

4. Darrell "Dimebag Darrell" Abbott (Pantera)

3. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)

2. Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne)

1. Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)

I realize other guitar players reading this list will have some different opinions on this and that’s cool. I am sure I missed someone important. There are plenty of great guitarists that did not get on the list. Feel free to leave a comment and be sure to vote in the poll on the right side of the page!