By photojournalist Dave Moto
Rock Legends Alice Cooper and Ace Frehley invaded Tampa and the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre Monday night with a thunder loud enough to register on the Richter scale, serving notice to the crowd and younger bands that the old guys can still rock the stage! Alice and Ace have a friendship of more than 30 years and the combination of that and both bands current lineup made this a perfect partnership for a solid tour. Concertgoers apparently agreed as merch lines were full as attendees lined up, despite tough times, buying $50 t-shirts in bulk!
Ace took to the stage first, just as darkness settled in for the evening. We were treated to a guitar clinic as he ripped through classic Kiss songs as well as Ace’s solo music. He also gave us some covers from Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix that showed the amazing abilities of his current band roster that includes fellow guitarists Ryan Cook and Jeremy Asbock. Philip Shouse handled the bass and drummer Matt Starr kept a solid beat all night.
Alice Cooper took center stage with a theatrical circus that he has perfected over a 50 year plus career! With so much happening, it’s sometimes hard to concentrate on one thing, but most eyes were glued to one of the most amazing guitarist in the industry. Nita Strauss is not only beautiful to look at, but can rip on the guitar! She was incredible to watch as her and fellow guitarists Tommy Henriksen, Ryan Roxie, Bassist Chuck Garric and drummer Glen Sobel along with Alice played to perfection decades of classics. The absolute highlight of the show was actually the final song of the evening. Ace Frehley joined Alice and krew onstage to a pure magical rendition of “Schools out” that was mixed with verses and riff’s from Pink Floyd’s “Brick in the Wall”. Every fan was on their feet singing and cheering as tons of confetti and beach balls rained down on us to make this an absolute special moment.
Im not sure how many more opportunities we will all have to see these legends perform, but if this show is coming to your city, DO NOT miss it!