ALICE COOPER brings his nightmare to Harriet Island for the annual Taste of Minnesota Festival
The background of this page hails from my high school art class back in ‘88 or ‘89 when I used to copy all my favorite album covers no matter what the assignment was. In this case it is Raise Your Fist and Yell, currently my second favorite Alice Cooper album; my first being the Neil Gaiman collaboration The Last Temptation. Anyway, I scanned the ‘original’ copy-art and messed with it a bit in photoshop. And that is where the background came from. All photos by Kayleigh except the one immediately below and the two of Chuck Garric. Those were taken by Nate Dressel .

Well over a week after the release date of Dirty Diamonds it was impossible to find in any record selling store in Rochester. I know because I looked after reading very positive reviews of it. Maybe some of these stores have it now, but I don’t have a job now, so I can’t buy it now; the “Lost in America” syndrome. For that matter I haven’t heard the previous album The Eyes of Alice Cooper which, according to one of my best friends, is also unavailable in Rochester. So I went to the free show having not heard any of the songs from the last two albums. No wonder I didn’t recognize half the band.

And so I interrupt this photo-review with a necessary rant. Rochester, the third largest city in Minnesota, is home to about 100,000 music listening individuals, and we don’t have a single fucking music store! We are stuck buying cds from big corportations like Best Buy and Walmart who don’t give a flying fuck about stocking albums for their official street dates unless they want to make a quick buck on a trend. It seems the death of mom-and-pop music stores is also the death of the availablity of new records when they are supposed to be. There is much more to be said on this subject and I will probably write an article on it later but for now let’s get back to the review.

Being that the annual Taste of Minnesota Festival is a multi-cultural event and not specifically a metal festival, it wasn’t just the usual heavy metal crowd. Instead, it was a mix of metalheads, the curious and those completely without a clue. This was immediately apparent as we walked onto the concert grounds a few hours early and saw that a flock of village idiots had spread their lawn chairs, blankets, picnic baskets and whatnot right in front of the center stage barricade. My friends and I had a good laugh as we knew the trampling that was gonna take place if they were still there by the time Alice Cooper emerged from the shadows of backstage. Thankfully, they were moved even before
“The Dreamweaver” Gary Wright opened in his red pajamas and slippers.

Speaking of laughter, when the very passionate Mr.Wright evangelically inquired, “do you feel the love?” pausing for a crowd reaction before fanatically following it up with, “no, do you really feel the love?” - we just about fell over laughing hysterically. Whose idea was it to have a guy open for Alice Cooper whose songwriting comes across as nothing more than elevated elevator music? Whatever the case, we thank him for a good laugh. We were practically in tears.

Alice and white masked bandmates finally appeared at 7:pm in black sun-baked glory and the sun-cracked crowd went predictably nuts in headbanging fist in the air fury. Almost immediately the previously mentioned clueless ones had panic issues. In particular the mothers who took their small children up front with them. How could they be so stupid?

Haven’t these people heard of the 1988 Castle Donington disaster where several Guns and Roses fans were trampled (two of them to death), at the outdoor festival? Not to mention that that certainly wasn’t the first or last time people have been killed or injured at shows.
I’m an ex-marine who keeps in fairly decent shape and there have been a few times where I've been almost crushed at various festivals. The front of a rock concert, whether indoor or outdoor, is no place for a small child period.
You would think that of all people, mothers of young children, would especially be aware of this. Maybe they thought seeing Alice Cooper would be like going to a church puppet show. If so, boy did they get a shock.

White masks removed after the first song, the band played with their confidence set to maximum overdrive and their enthusiasm splattered in guillotine red. The set consisted of greatest hits such as “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” lesser known hits such as “Lost in America” (a personal favorite of mine), and a few songs from the newer albums. Disappointedly nothing was played from Raise Your Fist and Yell, however, considering that there was nothing in the setlist to whine about and that Alice has so much material to choose from; I really can't complain about not hearing "Freedom" or "Time to Kill."

Having never seen Alice Cooper before, I was very impressed by both the peformance of the band and the storied over-the-top theatrics. Especially delightful were the deranged antics of Alice's daughter Calico.

Keri Kelli, Chuck Garric and Alice
The one and only Alice Cooper. Vital, valiant and very animated.
Looks like Alice is psyching up for a head-on collision with the blade of a guillotine. Maybe he should head for the hills?
Ace Warloch Philosophy: Anyone who lets their daughter cut their head off with a guillotine must have previously lost their mind.
Is anyone else curious as to how Alice can manage to keep his head even after he loses it?
Look, not only does he already have his head back, but he's got a nice looking top hat as well. The insanity of it all.
Bassist Chuck Garric

Another shot of Chuck. Did you know hes played with Dio?

There are no pictures of drummer Eric Singer not because we don't like him but because from where we were standing we just couldn't see him very well.

On the far right is Damon Johnson. Did you know he is in a band with Queensryche's drummer? They're called Slave to the System.
Look what Alice brought for show and tell scream.
Keri Kelli, Chuck Garric, Alice Cooper and Damon Johnson.