On August 3, 2013 Alice Cooper and his band played to a crowd of 80,000 people as a part of the Wacken Open Air Festival. That performance is now available to the rest of the world with the release of “Raise the Dead: Live from Wacken.” The set is available on a combination of a two cd set, as well as DVD and Blu-Ray packages. If you have never experienced an Alice Cooper show before, this release is your front row seat into the world of Alice. If you have seen Alice live, this set is the perfect way to relive the experience all over again.
The album is a full Alice set made up of 23 career spanning songs. The show is broken up into three acts. The first is composed of some of the icon’s greatest hits, including such classics as “House of Fire,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and “Under my Wheels.” Alice himself describes the second act as “Dark Alice,” highlighted by the performance of “The Ballad of Dwight Fry.” This act contains all of the classic theatrics that are associate with a Cooper show and culminates with the famous execution of Alice. Getting a close up view of the guillotine bit alone makes this video a must buy. Cooper’s rises from the dead to return to the stage for the third and final act of the show, which is dedicated to “The Hollywood Vampires.” Cooper explains that the Hollywood Vampires was a drinking club that convened at the Rainbow Bar and Grill on The Sunset Strip. The Vampires included the likes of Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, and the occasional visit by John Lennon. Alice pays tribute to his old drinking buddies by performing a few covers of their songs. While all of the covers appear on the cd, the video is short two of the performances. This covers portion of the show is a nice segue for Cooper’s covers album which is due in 2015.
Everything about the music and performance included in “Raise the Dead” makes this a must buy set. The only flaw that can be found is in some of the camera work. The camera shots are noticeably choppy and way too frequent. There does not seem to been any rhyme or reason to the cutting of camera shots. You will see a moment begin between Alice and a band member and the camera cuts to a random crowd shot. Then there are numerous shots of the back of drummer, Glen Sobel’s head. As the show goes on it does seem that the camera work improves. While this note is distracting, it is certainly no reason not to purchase this concert film.
“Raise the Dead” is successful on two different levels. The first is that is shows that Vincent Furnier still has the goods. You don’t see a man going through the motions with a tired and uninspired performance. Rather you get an energetic from a man who has been doing this now for over forty years. While you get all of the classic Alice bits and showman ship, the most impressive thing is how strong his voice is after doing this for over forty years now. The second level of success of the film is that the talented band that supports Cooper is showcased as well. These are not nameless faces that are confined to the shadows. Each member is given multiple opportunities to show just how skilled they are at their craft. The best band moment comes during the performance of “Dirty Diamonds.” The band’s abilities are showcased during an extended jam session filled with solos and capped off with some killer synchronized guitar poses at center stage. Alice praises his band in an interview portion of the film when he says that the last thing he has to worry about is the music because his band is so tight.
“Raise the Dead:Live from Wacken” sets the bar for how a concert film should be. While the music is ultimately the star of the show, i highly recommend buying the set that includes the video as well. An Alice Cooper show is something that truly has to be seen. Alice and his amazing band will be hitting the road in early 2015 in support of this release, as well as the upcoming covers record. After you see this film, you will want to rush over to alicecooper.com to see where the band is coming and secure your tickets to experience Alice Cooper live in person.