Alice Cooper / Live at Montreux / DVD Review

Eagle Rock Entertainment

If there’s one thing in rock that you can always count on, it’s that Alice Cooper will give you a great show. Oddly enough, this DVD comes from the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. The swords, crutches, dancers, guillotine, top hats and canes are all here. Taken from his 2005 Dirty Diamonds tour, Cooper takes a rocking trip through the demented and perverse.

The first half of the show is a straight up rock and roll concert with minimal theatrics. Of course, you don’t really need the theatrics when you’re doing songs like “I’m Eighteen,” “Billion Dollar Babies,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and the title track for his new album. Cooper prowls the stage and owns every inch of it. Even when the show is light on theatrics, the guy is still fun to watch. He acts out the songs by staggering around like and old man or mock hanging from a tree. He moves around like a guy half his age and sounds better than he did 30 years ago. Compare Cooper’s vocal performance on this release to his performance on the 1975 Welcome to My Nightmare DVD and it’s like night and day.

The real highlight of any Alice Cooper performance is the 2nd half morality play. After literally disappearing at the end of “Go to Hell,” Cooper returns as the Showman to blast through Brutal Planet’s Gimmie. Then it’s on. After assembling pieces of a body in a coffin during “Feed My Frankenstein,” the Welcome to my Nightmare heavy medly begins in earnest. He creeps around with a knife during “Steven” and “Killer” and beats his woman during “Only Women Bleed.” “Ballad of Dwight Frye” is next and sees the singer wrapped in a straight jacket. This song provides the most intense visual of the show. The picture goes to black and white on just Cooper while the surroundings and other band members remain in color. It’s an incredible portrayal of the isolation that one feels when locked up and makes the “I’ve got to get out of here” even more intense. Of course, once he frees himself, he’s led to the guillotine and promptly beheaded before returning in top hat and tails for “School’s Out.”

It’s always great that Cooper knows his fans so well. He has to perform certain songs, but he always throws in a few tracks strictly for the die hards. On this outing, it’s From the Inside’s “Wish I Was Born in Beverly Hills” and Alice Cooper Goes to Hell’s “I Never Cry.”

The video presentation on this release is super crisp hi def. The soundtrack is presented in both 5.1 and DTS which will have your home theatre rocking out. This release also includes a companion CD of 19 tracks from the show. It’s basically an Alice Cooper rock show minus the theatrical section from the end. It’s about as much of a bare bones rock show as you’re going to get. It’s a nice bonus and definately makes the $14.99 price tag worth every penny.