Alice Cooper at the Northern Quest Casino – Airway Heights, WA – 11/17/2012
On Saturday night, The Natural Stoner (TNS) and I made our way over to the Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, WA to see the legendary Alice Cooper. I had wanted to see Cooper for years, but sadly never got around to going one of his shows before. Yeah, I know, I’ve only had more than thirty years to make that happen. However, after watching the stream of his 2012 Bonnaroo set, I knew that I would be there the next time he played the northwest.
TNS and I arrived at the casino a couple hours before the show started. I figured we would grab a few drinks, tour the casino floor, and maybe win some cash along the way (unfortunately, that last one didn’t quite play out). So we strolled around the casino, checked out the merch table (t-shirts started at $40), and wasted time until the show began at 7:30 p.m.
We headed into the venue and took our seats at about 7:25 p.m. I had a nice little buzz going and was ready to have a great night rocking out to some awesome Alice Cooper hits. The lights dimmed and Cooper hit the stage to the unmistakable guitar opening of Hello Hooray. The sold-out 1,300-seat theater erupted in cheers, especially from TNS who had been hoping for months that this song was back in the set list after it apparently went missing from some of his shows over the summer.
The ninety-minute set was packed with classic Alice Cooper hits such as Welcome to my Nightmare, I’m Eighteen, Poison, and School’s Out. What really made it all worth it for me was the four-pack of songs that I had wanted to hear—the previously mentioned opener Hello Hooray, Under my Wheels, Be My Lover, and a song that forever is burned into my childhood memory as a result of watching Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives about a hundred times, He’s Back (the Man Behind the Mask).
The show had everything you would expect from an Alice Cooper show, including strapping on a gas mask and then morphing into a giant Frankenstein’s monster during Teenage Frankenstein. Of the many highlights throughout the night, one that will stand out for many is Cooper’s twenty-minute Raise the Dead tribute to Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and Keith Moon by covering Break on Through (to the Other Side), Revolution, Foxy Lady, and My Generation, respectively.
Cooper is the original master of the macabre and has been influential to many artists over the past forty years. There are not many performers who can still work a crowd the way Cooper does, puting on one hell of a rock show. Backed by a great band, and with such an extensive catalog of hits, Alice Cooper brought fans to their feet with an amazing experience. For those of us who were lucky enough to be there, it was a show that we will remember for a long time.