Choice Classic Rock

Alice Cooper – A Paranormal Evening At The Olympia Paris

From on A Paranormal Evening At The Olympia Paris:

Having been a recording artist for well over 50 years the original shock rocker (…move over MARILYN MANSONALICE COOPER is still going strong as a recording artist in 2018 as his peers collect their pensions or recycle old classics around him. Cooper’s last album, 2017’s quite frankly cracking Paranormal, continued to keep him relevant and the resulting successful tour ended with a show at the historic Olympia in Paris. Recorded here over a two disc record, it’s a consistent, fresh 18 (how apt) track career spanning record filled with classics and deep album cuts alike.

Evident from the beginning is how musically tight the band are surrounding Cooper, with the trio of Ryan RoxieTommy Henriksen and Nita Strauss providing a solid sonic attack across the records two discs. When artists get into their later years the first thing you notice is the voice going, step forward Roger Daltrey, but Cooper‘s voice is at the top of its game here, with the classic throaty rasp intact. The set starts off with the RAMMSTEIN-esque Brutal Planet from the album of the same name. Sounding relevant and brutal as when it was first released back at the end turn of the millennium, its musicality and lyrics are still relevant today, in today’s troubled times.

Leading his merry band of misfits through classic after classic, Cooper pulls out Poison, Billion Dollar Babies and School’s Out with consummate ease. On most albums, the greatest hits are all that is played but here we take a diversion into some obscure songs played far less frequently. Namely, Woman of Mass Distraction, Pain from his diverse 1980 record Flush The Fashion and The World Needs Guts from the return to form record Constrictor. If you’re a sports fan, the term used would be ‘strength in depth’ or simply after the big guns have been played, there is still more to play with. Pulling out the ice cold, percussive 11 minute Ballad of Dwight Fry is a rare treat indeed.

Live albums can be hit or miss, when they miss you get QUEEN‘s Live Magic but when a band hits you get THE WHO Live At Leeds or the Seattle set from METALLICA‘s Live, Shit, Binge & Purge boxset. A Paranormal Evening at The Olympia Paris falls somewhere in the middle, not quite a classic but far from a dud. The production is clear, separation of instruments is sonically smooth and the atmosphere of the stage show is felt throughout. You can almost smell the stage smoke and fake blood.

Over the 90 minute set, ring leader and master of ceremonies ALICE COOPER commands the crowd to his every whim which years of live shows has honed, other shock rockers take note, folding Schools Out into Another Brick In The Wall concludes the show, in an ultimate rock mash up. A sublime set of songs delivered in a slick package, and in the words of Garth from Wayne’s World, “we’re not worthy” of such a classic set but thankful for it none the less.

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