On this date in history, 6/29/1980, I saw Alice Cooper at Market Square Arena for the 3rd time in 3 consecutive years. He was touring in support of his album Flush The Fashion, an experiment in punk/new wave sounds and fashion.
I quite enjoyed the music, but wasn’t prepared for the change in Alice’s appearance. His band all wore matching military styled uniforms and Alice himself was sporting a similar outfit with a green beret styled hat and apparently had cut his trademark long black hair off.
He was carrying around a short riding crop which he brandished like a whip, looking like some lunatic drill instructor. During the recording and touring cycle, the Coop hit rock bottom with his alcoholism and nearly died. Indeed, he appeared severely gaunt and haggard (even by Alice Cooper standards), but he still delivered an amazing performance.
A lot of the new wave influence suited his singing style quite well and his young band were a perfect fit. When he came out for his encore, we all received a happy surprise, as Alice appeared in black leather pants, a torn t-shirt, and his trademark eye makeup and long hair released from the cap it had been hidden under throughout the show.
Alice gleefully asked us if we really thought he was gonna cut it off, knowing he had fooled us all along. He proceeded to do a mini-greatest hits show, complete with boa constrictor and concluded another classic Cooper concert. Billy Squier was the opening act and he was rock solid. Too bad he never worked out as well as a headliner, because he was definitely a good warmup act.
Alice Cooper – Poison
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic