Trust Arena is not an easily accessible venue which makes it hard when there are gigs out there. I finish work at 17:30 so to try get out there by the first act (19:30) is not easy, especially as I rely on public transport. I did end up having to taxi because I would have also missed the 2nd act as well. Transport difficulties aside, I got there!
I’ve found if there’s a big gig at Trust there’s usually a lot of people around and getting close to the venue is usually impossible. But as I arrived I had to second guess if I was at the right place as it was quite quiet. The venue is currently undergoing renovations so it also wasn’t that easy to access the small ticket box office either. But once I got in, it all began.
As I entered the venue Airbourne were playing. There was probably half to a third of the crowd. Some sat in the allocated seats and some standing down the back. It felt weird to be at a seated show as most people just seemed to want to stand. They had a large banner gracing the back of the stage – it was insanely huge. That combined with the 4-piece’s high-energy and strobe-like lighting really made it feel like quite the rock show.
The crowd was seated, which made it hard to read if they were enjoying it or not. But that didn’t deter Airbourne from playing like it was their show. They tried to get the crowd hyped up regardless and even chucked a few beers into the crowd. Lead vocalist Joel O’Keeffe was on point with his vocals throughout the whole set. I don’t know how he does it because the rawness in his voice sounds as though it would hurt after a while.
Now I was already feeling a bit bad for missing MC50 but when Airbourne let the crowd know they were “honoured to be on the bill with MC50” – I knew I had REALLY missed something special. But one thing I love that Airbourne did was giving a shout out to Alice Cooper’s road crew who had worked since early hours to get everything ready and the crowd cheered and clapped for them. It was a lovely acknowledgement to those who work behind the scenes. But it’s true, there really are a bunch of hardworking people who make the shows we see happen.
After Airbourne departed the stage the lights came on and a large curtain with Alice Cooper’s eyes printed on it, dropped in front of the stage. As the wait progressed, red lights lit up the centre of the eyes. It was quite creepy. But then the main lights started glitching in and out. It was almost like a signal to the crowd that the lights are about to go out and the shows about to start.
The room went black and the curtain dropped to reveal a stage lit in red. Alice Cooper was lit by a bright light as he took the stage. There were chandeliers hanging above the stage. The room was full, both the seats and at the back standing space.
Now if you haven’t seen Alice Cooper live, it is not just a rock show. It is theatre! The stage was a large castle. It was quite a bit to take in but it was incredible! The first song was ‘Feed My Frankenstein’ and when the large Frankenstein version of him started running around the stage, I was a bit scared. It really startles you quite a bit. But that won’t be the first time this happens.
Alice Cooper had a 5-piece backing band, most who had been playing with them quite a bit. Guitarist “Hurricane” Nita Strauss was definitely a highlight for me but I have to say it was because it was awesome to see a wahine standing solo and just doing her thing up there amongst the guys. There is a reason she has the accolades she does, that’s for sure! I loved that throughout the show, the band got to have their own moments and show the crowd why they are a part of his band. Alice Cooper would even interact with them as they did their thing.
But that is not to say Alice Cooper didn’t do anything musical. He played the harmonica at one point, which somewhat surprised me because being such a small instrument, you couldn’t see it until he played ‘Fallen In Love’. He also played the maracas during ‘Muscle of Love’.
As for the crowd, only about 1/5 were sat down. The rest were standing and just singing along and rocking out. The heat in the room had increased and it actually made me feel quite tired. I don’t know how a sports venue that holds concerts, doesn’t have AC.
Another moment that freaked me out was the creepy baby visuals that were projected during ‘Billion Dollar Babies’. But to top that off, a large giant baby burst out of the castle and ran around the stage with Alice Cooper’s head after they chopped it off in the guillotine. You know as you casually do. Alice Cooper had a few subtle outfit changes from a white bloody shirt to hats and even a straight jacket.
I thought it was amazing to see his wife, Sheryl Cooper, playing roles on stage with him e.g. ‘Roses on White Lace’ – An undead bride. She moved gracefully and played the different roles very well.
Alice Cooper didn’t speak all night except at the very end. Acknowledging the lack of conversation he said “This is the part where I actually talk to you” and he used that time to introduce his band and his wife. I really respected him for that in some way. There was bubbles and confetti everywhere on the last song – ‘School’s Out’.
There is a lot I can tell you about his show but I don’t want to tell you everything. Just try go experience one of his shows. This was my 2nd time seeing him and it was still great. The theatre and details to it all is really incredible and though those things can almost detract from a performance, it amplified his. It really was an incredible show! Ol’ Black Eyes is still going strong!
Feed My Frankenstein
No More Mr Nice Guy
Bed of Nails
Raped and Freezin’
Fallen In Love
Under My Wheels
Muscle of Love
He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)
Billion Dollar Babies
Roses on White Lace
Black Widow Jam
I Love the Dead
Department of Youth