Bristow, VA – Dark castles, statues of angels, lightning, thunder, HALE and a HURRICANE were the perfect setting for a horror movie of Boris Karloff proportions! On August 13th at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, VA, an all-star cast with Motionless in White supporting the angels, Lzzy Hale and Halestorm doing their part with Nita Strauss playing the part of the Hurricane, and Alice Cooper in the lead role vacated by Boris Karloff of original Frankenstein fame. No horror movie would be complete without the thunder and lighting. This important role was played by none other than Mother Nature herself.
Act 1 started as the sun, which was occasionally obscured by clouds, was setting on the Virginia horizon. Motionless in White (MIW) took the stage. No horror story would be complete without cherub statues, wings spread and glaring down on the subjects below. MIW, consisting of Chris “Motionless” Cerulli (lead vocals), Ryan Sitkowski (guitar), Ricky ‘Horror’ Olson (guitar), Vinny Mauro (drums) and Justin Morrow (bass), took the stage hard and fast. Their set included songs such as, “Rats”, “Reincarnate”, and “Voices”, which fit in well with the metal / horror theme for the night. Act 1 was short lived, but entertaining none the less. MIW had a considerable following at Jiffy Lube Live, giving them a deserved ovation as the curtain closed on act 1.
A horror themed night also requires some sort of inclement weather to set the mood. Halestorm, led by Lzzy Hale (vocals), brother Arejay Hale (drums), Joe Hottinger (guitar), and Josh Smith (bass) took the stage by…. well… storm! Leading off with the hard pounding, “Skulls”, Halestorm put an end to the thought that there would be calm before the storm. “Love Bites (and So Do I)” brought the storm intensity up a notch or two, making for a quite a light show with an accompanying rhythm and bass line.
It became obvious that Jiffy Lube Live was not the only show in town, as flashing lights on the horizon approached. About half way through Act 2, well into the Halestorm, Mother Nature made an uninvited cameo appearance. Not to be outdone by Lzzy and company, she delivered a very impressive light show, complete with a bass line that was certainly moving, however out of sync. It was apparent that Halestorm was winning the battle until Mother Nature released her secret weapon, a torrential downpour that drove those still in the lawn area to cover.
Eventually Mother Nature seemed to give up and start to fade, however Halestom kept up the energy. Two notable moments of the show were Arejay’s use of big (ok, HUGE) drumsticks… not only was it fun to watch, but he was good with them. Thanks so much to Max for bringing them out! Lzzy later told the story of how, at 11 years old, she brought an Alice Cooper CD to a slumber party… it was on that night she realized she ‘was not like other girls’… and we are all thankful for that! The CD story was a perfect lead into the song, “Freak Like Me”.
As the curtain started to descend on Act 2, Halestorm finished with a number which set the table for the finale about to arrive. Lzzy belted, “I Miss the Misery” much to the pleasure of the audience. In a matter of minutes, the misery would return… in a fun way.
Intermission A shout out to the Jiffy Lube Live staff! During the intermission, it was obvious that the staff had taken the weather seriously and made sure all were safe, helping them find cover under the JLL roof. They did so with minimal, if any, disruption of the show. The JLL staff, from those assisting with the storm effort, running the stands, or interfacing with the media, was outstanding and made for a great night… thank you! End of intermission.
Well, actually, a huge curtain with the ‘eyes of Alice Cooper’! It did not open, it fell, exposing the set for the remainder of the unfolding story.
Enter rock’s alter-hero – the one, the only, ‘Coop’. With a guitar intensive opening lick, Alice came out and performed an appropriate start to any Boris Karloff worthy horror act, “Feed My Frankenstein”. The band, consisting of Nita ‘Hurricane’ Strauss (guitar and the storm in Act 3), Ryan Roxie (guitar), Chuck Garric (bass), Tommy Henriksen (guitar), and Glen Sobel (drums), flaunted their immense talent making for a grander than grand entrance for the star of the show.
In true Hollywood horror fashion, the show went from scene to scene in Act 3. The backdrop for the entire act was a castle, obviously haunted by the ghosts of Alice past. The band brought the music of yesteryear back and added life to the more recent. Much of the action was shown on the big screen, however, quite often, it was the action that was on stage and not on screen that was the most fun.
This tour marked a change in the show. Alice added several songs that had not been done routinely in quite some time including “Raped and Freezin’’ (Billion Dollar Babies), “Muscle of Love” (Muscle of Love), “Roses on White Lace” (Raise Your Fist and Yell), and “My Stars” (School’s Out) to name a few. Pumping life into the songs once thought dead, never to be heard (a)live again was great and actually fit well into the Frankenstein / horror theme of the show.
Just as Alice reincarnated several hits from the past, the backdrop for the show also got a considerable overhaul. The last time I saw him, the backdrop was almost creepy carnivalesque. The setting has been transformed, once again in line with the Frankenstein / horror theme – an ancient castle, complete with torches, towers, and battlements.
The show continued, leading to the expected but still macabre scenes that bring the show to a close. Some may not be certain when the trail to the final horror began. Some may say it was with “Devil’s Food”, others may say, “Roses on White Lace”. No matter where it began, “Steven” was truly the most disturbing, as Alice was met and escorted by two ‘boys’ whose appearance put chills down my spine. His act in “Dead Babies” was quite frightening… thankfully, as we all know, it was an act.
Now it was time for the grand entrance of Nurse Sheryl (played by Sheryl Cooper). The heroine ultimately escorts the doomed Alice to meet his maker. No Cooper show would be complete without the death scene, this time performed via guillotine (which is a pretty impressive stage trick, by the way). Nurse Sheryl and the others on stage rejoice at the death of the evil one, parading his severed head around the stage to the song, “I Love the Dead” (sung by the band members).
To conclude the main part of Act 3, Alice performed another song not heard in years, “Teenage Frankenstein” (yes, Boris had to be smiling in heaven), complete with a large Frankenstein walking the stage. As the lights went down, we all anticipated the encore. We were treated to two songs and several special guest appearances by cast members from Acts 1 and 2. Lzzy Hale played alongside Roxie, Chuck, and of course, Nita, for some awesome guitar duos. Joe Hottinger and Chris Cerulli also made appearances in the finale. It was a fanfare-filled way to finish off what should be an award winning production.
In the end, as with all shows of horror, the good and bad guys will be back to do it again tomorrow. As I left that night, saying goodbye to the Frankenstein before they travel to the next nightmare, all I could think was, “until we meet again… “
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MOTIONLESS IN WHITE Photo GalleryFacebook l Twitter l Instagram l Website
Alice Cooper Set List
Feed My Frankenstein
No More Mr. Nice Guy
Bed of Nails
Raped and Freezin’
Fallen in Love
Muscle of Love
Billion Dollar Babies
Nita Strauss guitar solo
Roses on White Lace
Black Widow Jam
I Love the Dead
Under My Wheels
School’s Out (with Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger from Halestorm and Chris Cerulli from Motionless in White)
Show Date: 8/13/2019
Alice Cooper ‘Teenage Frankenstein’ (classic video)