There was a definite buzz of excitement in the air on May 18th at Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario. The crowds swarmed into the sold out venue to experience the super group, Hollywood Vampires.
This being one of the few North American shows for the band, it helped fuel the roar of excitement as the first notes of “I Want My Now” blasted from the stage. The godfather of shock rock, Alice Cooper, who formed the band Hollywood Vampires in 2015, movie star Johnny Depp, and Aerosmith guitar legend Joe Perry, ignited the audience with a non-stop mixture of rock, blues and images of deceased music stars.
It is hard to imagine any show that Alice Cooper is a part of not to have a cornucopia of macabre intertwined within the show. However, there was just enough shown on the huge back screen, that constantly changed from band logo to images of expired musicians to suit each song, and to accompany the scarce stage set up.
Mixed between original songs from the Hollywood Vampires, (including: “Raise the Dead”, “My Dead Drunk Friends”, “As Bad as I am” and “The Boogieman Surprise”), dynamic covers of AC/DC‘s “The Jack”, Motorhead‘s “Ace of Spades” sung by bassist Chris Wyle, and “Baba O’Riley” by The Who with a drum solo from Glen Sobel, to name a few, provided a seemingly never ending blast of high energy music.
Joe Perry, dressed in a black jacket, black jeans, bright red shirt and metal chains, had nothing to prove to the audience. Joe played each note with charisma and power. He and the multi-talented Tommy Henriksen shared guitar duty while Johnny Depp – who let’s be honest, was the focus of more eyes throughout the show – occasionally smiled to his fans, quietly handled rhythm guitar for most songs.
Of course, there had to be songs from the Alice Cooper’s band – “I’m Eighteen” and ”School’s Out” – and Joe Perry’s Aerosmith – “Combination” and “Sweet Emotion”.
The theme of the Hollywood Vampires concert centered around honouring the legendary musicians who have died, in most cases, as a result of an excessive rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. And it was only fitting to have Alice Cooper, who controlled the Vampires with the energy of a teenager, make this an unforgettable and incredible concert.