Concert Review: Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Edgar Winter Group, September 2, Budweiser Stage

Alice Cooper

The fact that Deep Purple, on the road in support of their latest release Infinite, are calling their current tour The Long Goodbye is perhaps a not so subtle hint that the band is probably going to slow things down as far as extensive touring goes. If that’s the case, they’ve chosen to go out strong with a touring package that also includes Alice Cooper and The Edgar Winter Group.

Edgar Winter Group started things off early with their 6:45 set, opening with “Free Ride” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” before moving on to “Tobacco Road,” which Winter dedicated to his late brother Johnny. He would go on to pay further tribute to his brother by playing a version of “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” later in the set. Winter and band put on a fairly impressive show that featured him switching instruments throughout and also featured an unusual amount of scat singing. At one point, he even engaged in a scat vs guitar solo battle with his guitarist. It was kind of cool but also kind of weird. They closed it all off with the classic instrumental “Frankenstein.”

Speaking of Frankenstein, a giant Frankenstein monster would later appear onstage during Alice Cooper’s set as the band played (what else) “Feed My Frankenstein.” Out of the three acts on the bill, Alice Cooper displayed the most showmanship, adding the kind of spectacle and theatrical flair that you’d expect from him. Pyrotechnics, a dancer, a woman dressed as a nurse (Or maybe she was an actual nurse? I mean, Alice is getting up there in age …) and, of course, a guillotine set up for a mock decapitation all made an appearance. One would expect no less. Also as expected, there were a few costume changes during the show and perhaps unsurprisingly, there were also a few concert attendees who dressed up like Alice with makeup and top hats and such. I have to wonder if they also made some time to head over to Fan Expo during the day, just to get the most out of their costumes. I mean, how often does one get to dress up like Alice Cooper? The set ended with “School’s Out,” though the fact that they played that song just a couple of days before school would actually be back in again seemed kind of wrong.

Alice Cooper’s theatrical set may have been a bit of a tough act to follow, but Deep Purple still put on a solid show, coming out strong with the opening trifecta of “Highway Star,” “Fireball,” and “Strange Kind of Woman.” The band still sounds great after all these years, but their secret weapon would have to be organist Don Airey, who threw down a keyboard solo mid-set that incorporated everything from snippets of classical music to sounds that would be right at home on the Doctor Who soundtrack. The night ended on a satisfying note, with the band’s best known song “Smoke On The Water,” though following Alice Cooper, Deep Purple’s performance couldn’t help but feel slightly anticlimactic. Still, if this is indeed the band’s final tour, I’m glad I got to see them do their thing once more.

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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