Well my first live review for Rock Zone UK was certainly a special one that i will never forget, thanks in part to my wonderful wife Pippa purchasing Meet & Greet front row tickets to this all star supergroup, made this an amazing & very sureal night for sure . The Hollywood Vampires, made up of Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and Johnny Depp were supported by not one but two bands on the night offering 4 hours of fun filled energetic rock n roll.
First up were The Damned, who were given a decent length set and delivered an entertaining set of gothic rock with a good mix of humour and showmanship. Frontman Dave Vanian commands the stage like he owns it, supported by the enigmatic Captain Sensible proving cruching guitars and vocals. Surprisingly its the first time I’ve witnessed The Damned play live and they didn’t disappoint delivering their trademark sound, with standout tracks, ‘Love Song’, ‘Wait for the Blackout’, ‘Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow’ and my personal favourite ‘New Rose’. A thoroughly enjoyable set and great way to kick off the proceedings.
The Darkness, not everyones cup of tea, a real marmite band, who me for one absolutely loves everything about this band. Totally over the top in every way. Justin Hawkins is like a cross between David Lee Roth & Freddie Mercury on acid….. he is true perfomer in every sense with a brilliant band to boot. They churn out hit after hit, including ‘Growing on Me’, personal favourite… the brilliant ballad ‘Love is Only a Feeling’, ‘One Way Ticket’ that gets the crowd bouncing and finishing off their over the top fun filled set with the classic ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’. The Darkness were truly brilliant tonight and i could have watched them play for another two hours …..
So finally to the main event… and me for one was curious as to how good the Hollywood Vampires would perform live together, thankfully i wasnt disappointed, from the first cord of ‘I Want My Now’to the encore ‘Schools Out’ these guys lived up to the Supergroup status. Original tracks. ‘I Want My Now’ & ‘Raise the Dead’ are quickly followed by The Spirit cover ‘I Got A Line On You’ and the Love cover ‘7 and 7 Is’. Next up a personal favourite is another original Vampires tune, the rousing ‘My Dead Drunk Friends’. Consumate performer Alice Cooper is amazing tonight, a true leader and focal point of Hollywood Vampires who holds everything together; in his leather-clad ringleader outfit complete with top hat and whip.
I must say though that Alice never tries to over shadow anyone else in the band, as everyone gets their turn to shine in the spotlight. Time and space are given to the esquisite guitar master, Joe Perry and consumate perfomer Johnny Depp throughtout this amazing set. Great covers of the AC/DC tune ‘The Jack’ and a powerful version of the classic Motorhead anthem the ‘Ace Of Spades’ are lapped up by this very appreciative Manchester crowd tonight. Highlights for me included the all time classic Alice Cooper song ‘Im Eighteen’ & Aerosmith favourite ‘Sweet Emotion’, but the one song that sent chills down my spine was the cover of the David Bowie hit ‘Heroes’ which featured Johnny Depp on lead vocals, it was truly stunning . Together with a rousing version of The Jim Carroll Band tune ‘People Who Died’ featuring Johnny Depp again on lead vocals.
This entertaining and memorable set was brought to a close with another cover tune ‘Train Kept A Rollin’ by Tiny Bradshaw, which was made famous by Aerosmith and finally the fans favorite and Alice Cooper’s own anthem ‘Schools Out’.
So tonight myself and another 15 thousand screaming fans we were taken one one hell of a ride, in short Hollywood Vampires were outstanding and i challenge anyone not to enjoy this show and it will be remembered for quite some time.