Alice Cooper - Live At Montreux 2005 (DVD/CD)
Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hard Rock
Disc 1: 27 songs (93'00) Disc 2: 19 songs (66'03)
Release year: 2006
Alice Cooper, Eagle Rock Entertainment
Reviewed by Marty
Alice Cooper sets the perfect example of how not to be labeled as simply a classic rock act and playing all the 30+ year old greatest hits time and time again. By constantly releasing new quality material every couple of years, he is able to sprinkle his set list with selections from his latest albums and have them fit in so well with his older classic material that it does justice to both. It makes the classic material seem all the more timeless and the new material a very relevant addition to his legendary live performances. The year 2005 marked the very first time that Alice had graced the stage of the world renowned Montreux Jazz festival while on tour in support of his latest album Dirty Diamonds. Looking and sounding far better then he did even in the heydays of the 70's, Alice and his band serve up the type of performance that proves beyond any sense of doubt that he still has it and more importantly, lives up to the very high standards that he puts upon himself and his band. In a recent interview, he stated that he will keep going as long as he is physically able to do so. So far, he is still holding up exceptionally well for a man who is into his early 60's. On any given night, he feels that he and his band can blow just about anyone off the stage and the day that they don't believe they can is when it's time to hang it up. If this live DVD performance is any indication, it's going to be quite a while before he rides off into the sunset.

Opening with Department Of Youth from the Welcome To My Nightmare album, Alice and his band consisting of guitarists Ryan Roxie and Damon Johnson (Brother Cane, Slave To The System) as well as bassist Chuck Garric (Dio) and drummer Eric Singer (Kiss, Badlands) deliver a set that in just over 90 minutes, covers 27 tracks (many abbreviated) as well as highlighting a career that has spanned well over 35 years. The set list has been changed around considerably from past tours in that No More Mr. Nice Guy, a track that is usually featured near the end of the set or as an encore is introduced as the second song in the set. Other classics include Billion Dollar Babies, Be My Lover, I'm Eighteen, Is It My Body, abbreviated segments from Killer as well as I Love The Dead and the ever present School's Out and Under My Wheels which will likely be played at every Alice Cooper show until he finally retires. A real highlight begins with Go To Hell then ends with the band taking over the show for the instrumental segment which then morphs into an awesome instrumental version of Black Widow; giving Alice a break and allowing his band to show off a little bit. Another high point comes with a little mini-opera that begins with an abbreviated Welcome To My Nightmare including segments from The Awakening and Steven from the same album. Alice's daughter Calico emerges as a dancer in this segment and gets abused and thrown around before the "sentimental Alice" kicks in for small piece of Only Women Bleed in which he shows regret for his actions. But, he roars back and just before he attacks her with a knife, he is subdued, put in a straight jacket and delivers a killer version of Ballad Of Dwight Fry, a track from the Love It To Death album. He eventually gets loose before being "apprehended" again by Calico and a host of others before the guillotine appears and it's off with the head once again.

Other mentionables are an amazing acoustic version of I Never Cry where Alice shows that he still has a strong voice and is actually a great singer who can handle the upper registers that this track demands. Besides a couple from Dirty Diamonds like the title track and Woman Of Mass Distraction, we also get What Do You Want From Me and Between High School And The Old School from The Eyes Of Alice Cooper as well as Gimme from the very underrated Brutal Planet,Wish I was Born In Beverly Hills from the From The Inside, Poison from Trash and Feed My Frankenstein from Hey Stoopid. Lost In America is the only one from The Last Temptation and the Dragontown album is ignored completely. The late 70's and the 80's era i.e albums like Lace And Whiskey through to Special Forces, Da-Da etc. have been ignored for many years from the set list and since they were part of the "darker" period of his life when he almost died several times from excessive alcoholism, they likely will never be revisited anytime soon. This DVD release also includes a shortened audio version of the show that covers most of the material but unfortunately is missing the Go To Hell/Black Widow combo as well as most of the "mini-opera" segment that I mentioned earlier.

Right from the very first track through to the end, he really commands the audience. He is a true performer in every sense of the word and fully realizes that people come to see a show and that's exactly what they get. His current band (aside from the classic early line-up) is easily the best and tightest line-up that he has ever had. He recently re-united for a Christmas show with the surviving members of his old band, Michael Bruce, Neal Smith and Dennis Dunaway (guitarist Glen Buxton died many years back) that was a rousing success; fueling rumours of other shows and possibly even a small tour. I've seen several other live DVDs from Alice Cooper and Live At Montreux 2005 is by far the best one yet. The performances are excellent as is the sound and camera work and there's a little more variety in the classics that he covers, even digging a little deeper and dragging out a few tracks that likely haven't been performed in many, many years. Part rock 'n roll villain, part macabre vaudeville artist and with the type of stage presence and voice that sets him miles above most other performers, he still is the master.

Killing Songs :
Department Of Youth, No More Mr. Nice Guy, Be My Lover, Lost In America, I Never Cry, Go To Hell, Black Widow, Ballad Of Dwight Fry and Wish I was Born In Beverly Hills
Marty quoted no quote
Other albums by Alice Cooper that we have reviewed:
Alice Cooper - Along Came A Spider reviewed by Marty and quoted 83 / 100
Alice Cooper - Dirty Diamonds reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
Alice Cooper - The Eyes Of Alice Cooper reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
Alice Cooper - DragonTown reviewed by Danny and quoted 40 / 100
Alice Cooper - Hey Stoopid reviewed by Chris and quoted 97 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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