This has been a dreadful summer for live music up here in our corner of Wisconsin. There haven’t been any must-see shows around here.
That, and our local casino took down the big tent in which it used to have summer shows and moved the shows inside, into the ballroom. It’s a nice venue, but hardwood and air conditioning isn’t quite the same as pavement and big overhead fans. Just not the right vibe for summer.
Of all the big shows scheduled out at the casino for the rest of the summer, the one I’m most seriously considering is Alice Cooper. I’ve had other opportunities to see him, but I’ve passed. Just a casual fan, I guess.
The other night, I put on Alice’s “Killer” album from 1971. (It still has the foldout 1972 calendar that came with it.) I hadn’t listened to it in quite some time, and was pleasantly surprised. The stuff accompanying the big hits — “Be My Lover” and “Under My Wheels” — is every bit as good. Lots of solid performances. It’s held up well. I was just going to rip a couple of cuts and wound up ripping the whole album.
Then I thought a little more seriously about popping for the $25 to see Alice Cooper on a Sunday night next month. And then I thought a little more about the show I’m likely to see and hear after 35 years. I doubt I’m likely to hear much of the interesting stuff from “Killer.”
So I remain on the fence. Your wise counsel is welcome.
In the meantime, enjoy a couple of those vintage cuts.
“Halo of Flies” and “Desperado,” Alice Cooper, from “Killer,” 1971.
The first cut jams lots of ideas and styles into a piece that runs 8 minutes plus. The second cut is about the Doors’ Jim Morrison … or about Lee, Robert Vaughn’s on-the-run gunfighter in “The Magnificent Seven,” depending on which version of Alice’s tales you choose to believe.