Thursday, July 31, 2008

Alice doesn't live here anymore

When I was a teen, I loved Alice Cooper. I knew that some of his lyrics were a bit dark but I liked the music and I enjoyed singing along to it. This really seemed to bother my mom, as I remember. She thought of him as demonic.

So, when I first learned that Alice was coming to town, I thought that would be a great concert to see. I remembered the stories of his old concerts but after all, this was the new 62 year Christian know, the one who works with kids down in Arizona and is a scratch golfer. I figured he would probably have all of his old songs but would temper down the theatrics. Boy, was I wrong.

Trin and I got to the event center just as it opened and found seats right up front. Then my friend, Ron Alvarez asked me to help save some seats for his family so we moved over to his area which was about five or six rows back. We bided our time until the concert started and Ron ended up sitting next to me with KC at the end of the row. Ron had already been backstage and told me that there were lots of props including a gallows and I guess that it was about then that I wondered just how the concert would go.

I took notice of one big thing. The generation gap had certainly been crossed with what seemed to be about four generations and many of them right up front. With a steady drum beat and wails from the guitars, the anticipation began to grow for the beginning of the show.

A silhouette came up on the curtain that looked like Alice. Then another stood next to it, raised a sword, and thrust it through the first just as the curtain dropped and the lights blared on. I have no idea how both of the silhouettes looked so real but the one stabbed turned out to be a dummy and Alice was rolling into his first numbers.

Everyone seemed to be having so much fun singing along with the old lyrics and rocking to the beat.

There were two seats in the reserved section for Hooker Creek right in front of us and a very busty lady in a dress seemed to leap over the seats to get to them with a couple of security guards right behind. They began to argue with her as she did not have a pass to get into the section. She would not budge and as the concert was going on, the security seemed to give up and leave her alone. Shortly thereafter, her boyfriend showed up and stood in the seat in front of me. The security guards showed up again and told them to leave. They moved like they were going to until the guards moved away and then popped right back into their seats. Other than him holding up his camera to record the show which blocked my view a little, they really didn't seem to be a bother so I settled down to watch the show.

As the show got more advanced, it and the crowd seemed to get wilder. Alice began flinging his props into the crowd so the crowd began throwing back at him...which was mainly underwear. A couple of the guitarists hooked bras on to the end of their guitars and it looked as if Alice kicked a pair of panties back into the crowd.

The lady who had invaded the seats in front of me stood up on the back of her seat and began to dance sticking her butt in my face. I tapped her on the back and asked her to sit down. She yelled something back and Trin asked her to sit also so she reluctantly moved down but only after scowling at us both.

Alice brought out some beads that he was throwing out to the crowd as he sang. The lady in the couple in front of Trin got on her boyfriends back pleading for Alice to throw her way. So, the lady who had invaded the seats in front of me decided to do the same. Now, her boyfriend was a pretty good sized guy but she was not small and he grimaced as he raised her up. She immediately dropped her top, exposing herself and hoping that Alice would see her and throw to her. At the same time, her boyfriend lost his balance and as she was pulling her boobs back in, she was not holding on and they both came crashing down.

Just about that time, Alice threw all of the rest of the beads and one came right at the two couples. They both missed and it dropped to the floor. Trin was lightning as she reached under the chairs in front of her and retrieved them. The looks she got from both of the women were unbelievable. I thought they were going to come back and beat her up for the beads that she now wore proudly around her neck. After another set of death stares, I told Trin to give me the beads before they tried to rip them off of her neck. She handed them over and I placed them in my pocket.

Then some drunk came out of nowhere and ended up between the two couples in front of me. He looked at me and said, "Hey, do you remember me!". He then began to tell me that he was the son of an old friend of mine who had died of cancer around ten years ago. "You have to let me sit here.", he said, "My parents spent so much money in your diner that they should have owned it.". "I cant help you.", I said. I then pointed to the show and told him that he should be watching the show. I watched as he almost got into fights with various guys around him.

Ron had ducked out when someone ran on the stage and dove into the crowd. I think he felt responsible to assist with the security as it was their (The Twins) show. To keep the drunk from spying his seat, Nan, Ron's wife and I kind of stepped over a little so that it would not look like there was an empty seat. Eventually with a little prodding, the drunk moved on.

Now, the room was stifling hot and someone up front had just the ticket to help cool us off. He had brought spray water bottles and began to pass them around. People would spray others cooling them off and then pass back the bottle. The woman in front of me got the bottle, turned around and sprayed a couple of us and then passed it on to someone in Ron's party. Someone must have stopped spraying because I heard the lady in front of us scream, "If you aren't going to use it, give the damn thing back!". She reached back and grabbed it from someone and then then did the unthinkable or better, the unbelievable. Jumping up on the back of the chair in front of Nan, she pulled up her dress exposing her nakedness to the crowd and then sprayed herself. She giggled as she dropped her dress, jumped back down and then threw the bottle up towards the front.

I turned to Nan who had a shocked look on her face. I leaned over and said, "I think I have seen it all now.". Nan just shook her head and explained that she could not believe that had happened.

Now, I thought I had seen it all but it was only just beginning as Alice blew into the dark part of his show.

He began singing Only women bleed and had a young lady up on the stage and began to simulate beating her up and finished by slitting her throat. He then blew into Dead Babies of which he ended up hammering a stake into the heart of a baby in a crib. He picked up the doll baby with the stake through it and blood dripping off of it.

Head covered men came out from behind the stage and put a straight jacket on Alice. As he sang his next song, he worked his way out of the straight jacket only to be caught again. This time, the gallows was brought out. The executioner and the men with covered heads put the noose around Alice's neck and a man with a Alice mask called for the execution. Alice was hanged and the gallows were taken off of the stage.

Now, I was not enjoying the show. I looked at the rest of my row and it seemed like non of them were especially Trin. Nan was now sitting down as I believe she had had enough. I was wondering if she had wished she had not brought her sons. I began to think back at my mom's reactions to my listening to this type of music and I could see much better why she felt as she did.

Trin leaned over and said, "If this is what a rock concert is like, I will stick with country.". Nan told her that this wasn't a typical rock concert.

Although I really enjoyed hearing some of the old songs that I had loved so much as a youth, I was rather happy to see it all end. Both our ears were ringing as we exited the event center and headed towards our car.

We had parked it out where we thought we could get out ahead of most but thinking that the middle road was opened for the exit from the fair, I ended up in the wrong line and in grid lock. An hour and a half later, we gladly started down Hwy 97 back to Bend and our beds.

I felt the need to write this down as it was fresh in my head. Although some of his songs still will bring back memories of my youth, I think that I have been to my first and my last Alice Cooper concert.

Schools out for the summer, Schools out forever, Schools been blown to pieces. And so has my admiration for the man. Sorry Alice fans. And the telephone is ringing...or is it my ears.


SJacobus said...

What an experience. I have been to very few concerts country or otherwise for just that reason. People seem to think it's time to let go of their inhibitions and do everytyhing they wouldn't normally do in public. I'll stick with cd's and the local county fair concert for the most part.

diner life said...

That is part of the problem in my mind. This was a local county fair concert. With tons of kids present.

Hopefully, the fair board will take this as a learning experience.

Jen F said...

Sounds like it was quite the experience. Glad to hear Jay wasn't there, I can't imagine how it would feel if I took a kid to a show like that.