Skeletons, guillotines, and straitjackets - it wouldn't be an Alice Cooper show without them. Along with hit favorites like "I'm Eighteen" and "No More Mr. Nice Guy," Alice Cooper is playing material off his new album, Brutal Planet. I caught the show toward the end of the US leg (before that, it had completed a three-month trek in Europe that started in May and ended in Moscow). The tour will appropriately end with a show in New York on Halloween. There is talk of doing more dates in Japan, Australia, and then Europe again.
Working double-duty as both LD and production manager for Alice is Mick Thornton. "In this situation we have a very good crew from Bandit Lites and Showco. We're playing large clubs to arena-size venues; I like to think I'm a flexible designer in the sense of walking into a venue and working with what you've got, not saying `I can't work with this' and making matters worse. Upstaging is doing the trucking, with three semis, one for lights, one for sound, and one for Alice's backline and all the stage set.
"The actual stage design was done by Bob Phaup along with input by Alice, then I was brought in to design the lights around the set design, a kind of post-nuclear stage set which has a haphazard style to it. In the rig we have about 120 PAR cans, we've also got four Nocturne 650 UV units with an ultraviolet-sensitive backdrop made by UV/FX. It's quite nice, the 3D effect you can get with it. I have four-way sidelighting underneath it to give it depth. Then we've got 18 Martin MAC 500s, and standard gobos. For theatrical looks we have nine Death Star strobes which are nice and punchy, three PAR cans on the floor for set lighting in collaboration with the ellipsoidals, and then a single PAR can under Alice to give him that classic ghoulish, deep-cheekbone look. All in all, I'm very happy with the way the show looks - it's developed a bit since the beginning of the tour. It's a fun tour to be on."