Saturday, December 19, 2009

Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding @ Dodge Theatre

Every year for the past 9 years Alice Cooper has put on his Christmas Pudding concert. I've never actually been to one before last night, but I knew about the idea behind it. Alice puts together a large collection of bands and performers, local and national, and they each take the stage for 10 - 15 minutes or so, and there is an MC that tells jokes and performs magic tricks between the acts.

I enjoyed the quickness and the motion of the idea... it really kept things moving, and kept the audience entertained. However, I do know it's not THE most ideal job for a band or performer, because it is so quick, you maybe can't completely get your vision across... but the experience must be a lot of fun, I'm sure no one would say no to.

The highlights of the show for me were, obviously shooting Alice Cooper... comedian and "Johnny Cash looky-like" Gary Mule Deer, and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers. I'd heard a lot about Roger Clyne in the past, being a local boy... he definitely lives up the stories I've heard. Lots of energy and passion in the music.

Also on the bill was Alice's son, Dash. He's unsigned, and playing the music business game. His band was solid, not completely my cup of tea musically, but the crowd was happy to see Alice's spawn rock the house.

Once Alice and his band took the stage, the Dodge really came alive. I swear even, when the opening riff from "School's Out" started, the volume actually doubled in the venue. Alice commanded everyone to sing along and said "If this song hasn't played some part in your juvenile delinquency... well... something's wrong."

For this event, I had the rare privilege of "all access", which included backstage. After Alice's set, I ran backstage... if I had a chance to meet Alice, I had to jump on it. Being a fan of Alice and Wayne's World, I have a long standing pact with my wife that if I ever met Alice Cooper, I would ask him that immortal question: "So, do you come to Milwaukee often?"

While I was back stage I ran into Dash and his mother, Sheryl Cooper... Gary Mule Deer... Roger Clyne and Danny Zelisko. I got some time to chat with them all shortly, and took some photos. I was planning to make my way out when I ran into Alice and his family. I waited for the small crowd of people to disperse before I moved in.

I got a photo of Alice with Roger, shook his hand and asked him to sign my photo pass. The group of people surrounding Alice became a smaller, intimate group of Family and close friends... I would have felt a clot to ask Alice my silly question... so I respectfully just said thank you and passed through. It was a great time. "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!"

From a photogs stand point... my 5D again saved the day. At some points the lights on the stage of the Dodge were not quite sufficient, and backstage there was even less. Sometimes I don't know how I ever survived without it.

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