Alice Cooper played five classic songs with his band’s original Seventies lineup at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center on Sunday. Cooper previously reunited with the four surviving members of his band in 2015 at an intimate gig in a Dallas, Texas record store.
After the shock-rock pioneer’s requisite beheading by guillotine, the Tennessee theater went dark and Cooper’s touring band, save for guitarist Ryan Roxie, ceded the stage to the Seventies lineup: bassist Dennis Dunaway, guitarist Michael Bruce and drummer Neal Smith.
With the album cover to 1973’s Billion Dollar Babies unfurled behind them, Cooper emerged in a gold snakeskin suit to lead what was billed as a “mini set” of “I’m Eighteen,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Muscle of Love.” Both current and vintage lineups joined forces for the show-closing “School’s Out,” with Cooper donning a Nashville Predators jersey (No. 18, naturally) to show support for the playoff run of Music City’s NHL franchise.
The reunion marked the first time the Alice Cooper band has performed together with any elaborate stage production since their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, and their appearance at the Golden Gods Awards that same year. Smith, Dunaway and Bruce have been collaborating with Cooper in Nashville, where the 69-year-old singer recorded his new album Paranormal with longtime producer Bob Ezrin. The project, set for release July 28th, features U2’s Larry Mullen Jr., ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Deep Purple’s Roger Glover and includes a special bonus disc of three new songs by the classic lineup.
The original Alice Cooper group played together from the mid-Sixties through 1975, when the singer launched a solo career with the same name and released the album Welcome to My Nightmare. Cooper’s original guitarist Glen Buxton died in 1997.