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Hollywood Vampires 7/9/2016
Venue: Seneca Niagara Casino(outdoors)
Location: Niagara Falls, New York
Review by Bucky
When I first read that one of my all-time favorite artists Alice Cooper was working on a project called the Hollywood Vampires with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry & Hollywood star Johnny Depp I was both intriqued & psyched. The name "Hollywood Vampires" was a drinking club at the Rainbow Bar & Grill in L.A. in the 1970's with the principal members being Alice Cooper, Keith Moon, Mickey Dolenz, Ringo Starr, & Harry Nillson. Honorable members when in town were John Lennon, Keith Emerson, Marc Bolan, Bernie Taupin, & John Belushi among others. The show Saturday night was basically a tribute to many of the fallen heroes & drinking buddies of Alice(actually for a few years now Alice has paid tribute to his friends/heroes who have passed on such as Keith Moon, Hendrix, Lennon, & Morrison during part of his own live show).
Saturday evening's show was supposed to begin at 8pm so my wife & I arrived at 7:15pm & went right to the merchandise table to buy us each a t-shirt. As I got up to the front I noticed that the sky became dark with clouds so I said to my wife "I better pull out the charge & get us each a ball cap too!" Sure enough I purchased the merchandise, the wild downpour began & we were soaked. Luckily, I found out there was a table selling rain ponchos for $5. The rain continued, ponchos ended up selling out, & the casino began handing out trash bags to people.
The rain continued & the show was delayed until 9pm but by then the rain had stopped. The show opened with a recording being played of the opening track on the debut album of the Hollywood Vampires "The Last Vampire" which is a reading by the late Christopher Lee. The Vampires than launched into "Raise the Dead" an original tune also from their debut followed by Spirit's "I Got a Line on You". This really was a supergroup as not only did the Vamps feature Alice, Depp, & Perry but it also featured drummer Matt Sorum(The Cult & Guns & Roses), bassist Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), guitarist Tommy Henriksen (Alice Cooper, George Lynch, Doro...etc) & keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Bruce Witkin. The band continued as Depp played the begining riff to the late David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel" which then went right into "Suffragette City". The band really seemed to be enjoying themselves onstage & at age 68 Alice Cooper hasn't lost a step. Joe Perry looked & played phenomenal all night long. The band paid tribute to Jimi Hendrix on "Manic Depression" & after that Alice talked of one of his drinking buddies...Jim Morrison. The band played the Doors"5 to 1" which featured some great guitar licks between Depp & Tommy Henrikson & that led into "Break on Through." The original "As Bad as I am" written by Depp, Witkin, & Henriksen worked great in the set.
The Hollywood Vampires ripped through 21 rocking tunes including some T Rex("20th Century Boy" & "Get it on Bang a Gong"), The Beatles "Come Together,"the Who's "Pinball Wizard" & "My Generation," & "Sweet Emotion"which kept the crowd on their feet for the entire performance. The highlights for myself were when the band performed a wild version of Love's "7 & 7 is" & during the ending Alice pulled out a harmonica & then launched into a very cool version of "Whole Lotta Love", the bluesy "Stop Messin' Around" which featured Joe Perry on vocals & showcased the band including Coop on harmonica, "I'm 18", the original tune "My Dead Drunk Friends", the encores....a kick ass cover of "Train Kept a Rollin'" & "School's Out" & the final big highlight for me was Alice saying that the last time he saw Lemmy he told Alice he had given up whiskey & then said "I now drink vodka!" The band then jammed "Ace of Spades"as a tribute to Lemmy which was awesome. At the end of the concert Alice said "Remember to give blood....to us! This concert was so much fun & if you get a chance go see the Hollywood Vampires.