Alice Cooper, with Ace Frehley
7:30 p.m. Saturday at Daily’s Place
$ 29.50 to $ 249.50
Lots of Detroit are coming to Jacksonville this weekend, with a little New York groove for good measure.
Legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper is headlining a Saturday night concert at Daily’s Place, with former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley opening the show. Cooper said he and Kiss were going a long way back.
“We got to know Kiss when they were still Wicked Lester. I think we told them where to buy their makeup,” Cooper said last month in a phone interview. “Bowie was the Spacemen. I was the Phantom of the Opera and with them these four comedic characters. I never felt any competition with other theater groups.”
Cooper is on tour to support his new album, “Detroit Stories”. He made his Motor City debut when Alice Cooper was the band and he was just Vince, the lead singer. He said he didn’t have a concept for the album when the work started, so he went back to his roots.
“We went to Detroit and wrote the songs there,” he said. “The players in Detroit play differently. They are hard rock players but they have a bit of R&B in there.”
He recruited a who’s who of Motor City rockers to play on the album. MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Grand Funk Railroad’s Mark Farner, Mitch Ryder’s Steve Hunter, and Detroit Wheels and the Rockets’ Johnny “Bee” Badanjek all play on the album, as do several members of Alice Cooper’s original band.
“We cut all the tracks in the studio live,” Cooper said. “That’s when you can tell a group is a big group.”
For the tour, he assembled a band capable of delivering “Detroit Stories” and its classics on stage, with guitarists Ryan Roxie, Tommy Henriksen and Nita Strauss and bassist Chuck Garric.
“The best thing you can do in this area is surround yourself with the best players in the world. I pit my squad against anyone,” he said. “Every once in a while a guy will find a combination of people that is the perfect combination. It makes my life a lot easier.”
The pandemic forced Cooper and his band to take the longest hiatus of his career – he typically plays around 200 dates a year – and he said he was eager to get back on stage.
“We haven’t been on the road for a year and a half, which is really weird for us,” he said. “People want to go see live music. You can’t duplicate it on Zoom. You have to go see the music and let the bass and drums hit you in the chest.”