It can be quite intimidating when Alice Cooper stares you down at close range, but the results are worth it…to quote his official social media post from earlier today, which featured a few of our preview shots, “Loving every second, every moment, every scream. Thank You Johnstown.”
We can confirm that everyone loved every second from the show overture of “Lock Me Up” to the return of hurricane Nita Strauss to the finale of “Elected,” the audience couldn’t get enough. The crowd filling the arena spanned generations, and raised their fists (and their camera phones) throughout the night as the theatrics brought us through the eras of Alice. The second show on their current tour, the Alice Cooper band treated Johnstown, PA to “an evening with” featuring more than 20 songs as they made a quick departure from their shows with Motley Crue and Def Leppard, with their next stop in Columbus, Ohio tomorrow evening.
Alice is joined by his wife Cheryl Cooper and a cast of evil villains including a larger than life Frankenstein’s monster, and the new additional of a photographer gone rogue, who met his maker during “Hey Stoopid.” Yikes, I’m glad I never on-board a flash during a concert!
His band consists of long-time guitarist Ryan Roxie, his Hollywood Vampire’s bandmate Tommy Henrikson, the returning queen shredder Nita Strauss, Beasto Blanco’s Chuck Garric on bass, and Glen Sobel on drums.
It was a treat to watch Nita taken on the wicked anthem of “Black Widow” and to watch her trade leads with Ryan and Tommy at a speed that could give even the most seasoned photographer whiplash. Other highlights included the slithering “Snake Bite;” the dark “Cold Ethyl;” and the equally sinister “Dwight Fry,” which always foreshadows the head-rolling anthem of “I love the Dead,” lead by Chuck Garric given that Alice is…um unavailable in that moment…
And, as the evening wound down we couldn’t help but watch in awe as Glen Sobel spun his sticks in the type of unison that would make a majorette squad squeal in delight. It reminded us of sparklers on Independence Day as Alice surrounded himself in red, white, and blue with pleas to be “Elected” during a larger than life finale.
With a growing number of shows rolling through neighboring Johnstown, PA, it was inevitable that we would be making a road trip to the Cambria County War Memorial Stadium, which is now branded as 1st Summit Arena. About an hour drive from Pittsburgh, it is certainly accessible and with acts like Alterbridge and Mammoth WVH on the calendar, we expect more local fans to be making the drive…so here’s the scoop.
The venue offers folding chair seating on the floor, along with typical hockey arena bowl seats above the boards and penalty box. Not a large scale area like PPG by any means, so there’s really not a bad seat in the house. If there was official parking, we didn’t find any. Instead, we simply followed the masses and found a lot at a nearby medical facility that was closed for the weekend and walked a block to the show. Concessions included alcohol, water and soft drinks and treats like cotton candy, but it was challenging to come and go from the floor as there were minimal exits.
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Recap and Live Photos by Editor and founder Kara Marie Uhrlen for The Pure Rock Shop. Posted on 8/7/2023.