The ever provocative Alice Cooper will be storming That Tent on Saturday, June 9, at midnight for an hour-and-a-half set. With a time slot in between the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Skrillex, Cooper's set will be a unique one you definitely won't want to miss.
Performing since the late 1960s, Cooper's shows have been known for their theatrics, like guillotines, electric chairs and a lot of fake blood. Cooper, born Vincent Damon Furnier, took some time to talk with reporters about his upcoming Bonnaroo performance and what the youngsters attending can expect.
Cooper told reporters that a stripped-down version of his big theatrical sets is not in the Tennessee cards.
It's going to be the full-out Alice show, he said matter-of-factly. And, in fact, that's kind of what I'm really looking forward to. I always sort of like to put Alice where he doesn't belong.
When thinking of the Bonnaroo-ians that come decked out in tie-dye and other hippie-esque gear for the four-day weekend, Cooper and his fake blood and dark eye makeup really don't seem to belong. But what's great about Bonnaroo is that everyone accepts the unknown as a good time, and Cooper's set is bound to be that.
Cooper believes that 80 percent of the audience attending has never witnessed Cooper. They've only heard of Alice, he said mysteriously, his on-stage theatrics obviously carrying over.
For Cooper and the rest of the band, playing for an unsuspecting audience is actually the best. Performing for 45 years, Cooper is used to an Alice audience and looks for opportunities to reach different people, citing that as one of the reasons they will be going out with Iron Maiden.
I can't wait to kill this audience, because they're not expecting me at all, he said, adding with a laugh. I mean, I think that they might be expecting, you know , the old scary skinny guy.
So what can Bonnaroo-ians expect? It'll be the full-out Alice Cooper show. I mean, you know, if you're in the first 20 rows, you'll probably get some blood on you.
Continuing about his upcoming performance, Cooper mentions that the guillotine will make an appearance. As for his band, The band is probably the best band I've ever had. So it's going to be probably the highest-energy thing they see all night. ... My band has the instructions to kill the audience.
In Cooper's band is Michael Jackson's former guitarist for the This Is It concert series, Orianthi. The 27-year-old is a blonde Greek Australian musician, also known for her single According To You, which was released in 2009.
Ori's one of the most unique because she is, you know, when you look at her you go, 'Wow, pretty girl,' Cooper says of his guitarist. She's one of the best. ... She' s maybe the most metal guitar player. She could go from being really metal to pure blues.
Cooper's kind words on Orianthi don't echo his feelings on most new rock bands, though. I just hope that this generation gets a big shot of testosterone, because a lot of the bands just don't seem like they want to be rock stars, he said, describing most of them as buying their clothes at the Gap and acting timid. It's almost like folk rock rather than hard rock.
At Bonnaroo, Cooper hopes to find new bands that are garage bands. The next Guns N' Roses, the next, you know, Nirvana. Those are the bands with some energy that I kind of want to see. ... I really hope that bands become less anemic.
I'm not one of those guys that sits around in their rocking chair going, 'Well, in my day,' Cooper said comically. He wants the audience to feel like the band is attacking them.
I don't go up there with the attitude of 'Gosh, I hope you'll like me tonight.' I go up there ... you grab them by the through and shake them. I mean, when they get done, hopefully they're going to go, 'What was that?'
Aside from Bonnaroo, Cooper commented on the recent phrase he has been stuck with from the movie remake Dark Shadows: ugliest girl in the world.
As soon as [Johnny Depp] said that, I went, because it got a big laugh in the movie theater, 'Oh boy, I just got stuck with a new one.' You know, here, go watch the Cooper woman, he said laughing. Yes, I think we're going to get T-shirts made that say, 'Alice Cooper is the ugliest woman I've ever seen,' you know, that Barnabas Collins.
Cooper also took the time to ease minds on the hyped-up apocalypse, which, according to the Mayans, will be this Dec. 21. I know that's impossible, because we have a show the next day, he laughed, saying he doesn't believe the Mayans are right in the least bit. The show always comes first. In fact, I'm trying to remember the last time I asked a Mayan about anything. Let me see. No, I can't think of any Mayans I even know.
So there you have it. Cooper says the world will go on.
You can check out Cooper's bloody (and bound to be very entertaining) performance Saturday, June 9, at midnight at That Tent.
Judging from the conversation with Cooper, I think the audience will walk away from the stage saying, He lives up to the legend.
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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