The Event Center at the Borgata, Atlantic City, NJ
Sunday, July 3, 2016
After a two-year absence it was back to the Borgata for the rock super group Hollywood Vampires for the second show of their first US Tour. The group was formed by Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry (Aerosmith) to honor the music of rock stars who died from excess partying. Backing the band was Tommy Henriksen on guitar (The Alice Cooper Band), Matt Sorum on drums (The Cult, Guns N Roses), Robert DeLeo on bass (Stone Temple Pilots), and Bruce Witkin on piano, organ and guitar (Johnny Depp’s band The Kids). At 8:15 the band took the stage and on the jumbo screen behind the stage appeared a book entitled Hollywood Vampires and it opened to say They Came, showing pictures of late musicians and the band’s Hollywood roots. Then the page turns to They Drank, with more late musician photos, and the page turns to They Died; and as the book closed, they opened with “Raise the Dead”, one of just three originals from their debut self titled album released in Sept., 2015. Next was “I Got a Line on You” (Spirit), “7 and 7 is” (Love), and “Suffragette City” (David Bowie) and after this song Depp says thank you for coming out tonight and that was about all he had to say for the evening.
As they played “Manic Depression” (The Jimi Hendrix Experience), the crowd was really into the show. Cooper, at 68, is in full command of the stage as he prances from side to side and back to front. Cooper now says to the crowd that, “I used to drink with this next guy and he was really bad;” talking about Jim Morrison before going into “Five to One/Break On Through to the Other Side” (The Doors). Next, a new single “As Bad As I Am”, a real rocker which they hope will be on the band’s second LP. Then “20th Century Boy” and “Bang a Gong, Get it On” (T. Rex), and “Come Together” (The Beatles) and “Cold Turkey” (Plastic Ono Band). As the covers kept coming it was “Whole Lotta Love” (Led Zeppelin) and after Cooper addressed the crowd again, saying that the Hollywood Vampires came from a drinking club at the Hollywood’s Rainbow Room and that he is the only Vampire left from that group. He then says the next song (and an original ) was written for all his late friends simply titled “My Dead Drunk Friends”. Cooper now says there is someone else who wants to sing a song as Joe Perry takes vocals on “Stop Messin’ Around” (Fleetwood Mac) with Cooper playing a mighty impressive harmonica. Now it’s time for drummer Matt Sorum’s turn on vocals as Cooper now says the last time he saw Lemmy (Motorhead), he told him that he quit drinking whiskey; he now drinks vodka as Sorum belts out “Ace of Spades” (Motorhead). Before closing out the first set Cooper did say that their debut LP was made for a tribute with deep respect for every fallen rock star; and then went into “Pinball Wizard” and “My Generation” (The Who) and “I’m Eighteen” (Alice Cooper) and “Sweet Emotion” (Aerosmith) to end the first set. Cooper then introduced the band members and at the end said “and playing the part of Alice Cooper tonight’, ME!! He says to the crowd, “if we haven’t played one of your favorite covers tonight, “they’re probably not dead yet”.
After a short break they returned and opened with “Train Kept A-Rollin” (Tiny Bradshaw) and “School’s Out” with a snippet of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”, with (Alice Cooper) roadies bringing out large balloon balls and throwing them into the crowd; and if any got back to the front of the stage Cooper would pop them with a knife. As the show ended Cooper said to the women in the crowd that if any were interested, that Johnny Depp was staying on the 20th floor in room “20 something.”
It was great to get back to the Borgata. What a great place to see a show and a lovely venue also. I’ll be checking my calendar to see who else is playing that venue. Stay tuned and for all info please check their website, TheBorgata.com
– Gary Crouthamel, Concert Photojournalist
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