Gig Review by Zak Edwards with Photography by Bianca Barrett

There was a palpable buzz of excitement in the air at the prospect of seeing Hollywood A listers, Hollywood Vampires in Brummyland on Saturday night at the Genting Arena.

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In their first ever UK gig the musical powerhouse featuring Alice Cooper himself, Joe Perry of Aerosmith fame and fairly well known Johnny Depp, the band promised “rumblings in the ears and that they would blow people away”. They didn’t disappoint.

Support came from the evervecent The Damned – themselves ‘walking the boards’ since 1976 and the ever entertaining The Darkness. Unfortunately to a venue mix up (we ended up at the Arena – oooops!) We missed a large part of the Darkness’ set, but having seen them many times before and catching the last few songs, combined with the crowds reaction, it was obvious that they had delivered.

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One of the best things about Rock Gigs – music aside, is the band names on punters t-shirts. Particular props this time going to the gent sporting a ‘Vibrators’ top.

With what seemed like a gazillion guitars creating a wall of noise, the Vampires made their way on to the stage, akin to how a boxer enters the ring – one by one to a rapturous applause. All eyes on them and revelling in the glory.

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Cooper orchestrated affairs in a way not dissimilar to a circus master governs his top – directing his entertainers with his cane and gesticulating to the crowd like a mad scientist. It was like a Baz Lurman film in real time.

From the moment the Vampires belted out ‘I Want my Now’ till the final chords of Coopers own ‘School’s Out’ (with a cheeky ode to Brick in the Wall thrown in for good measure) the band were imperious. A cacophony of pure musical majesty. I could write war and peace about each song, but it would be a simple copy and paste job. My only issue would be finding enough superlatives and plaudits to laud upon the Supergroup.

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The problem with seeing the most star studded pseudo tribute band ever to exist, it’s hard to know where to look as they blast out classics like the Doors’ ‘Break on Through’, the Who’s ‘Baba O’Reily and a simply splendid rendition of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’.

Normally top of the bill, it’s not often that it can be said that Johnny Depp plays a secondary role, but he wasn’t even the supporting man last night. Imperious in every way, Alice Cooper was the consummate front man, vocally superb and thoroughly encapsulating, whilst Joe Perry proved why he’s so well thought of in the guitar world.

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Seemingly a little shy, or just not used to sharing the headlines, Depp – himself musically and vocally superb, sang a song about his ‘criminal father’ and aptly the splendid ‘Boogieman Surprise’ followed. It was the show that just kept on giving.

Ian Hunter of Motte the Hoople fame and long time friend of Alice, joined the guys on stage for a rendition of ‘All the Young Dudes’ and then Cooper did the obligatory roll call, but this time it was a who’s who of the music hall of fame.

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As a gig reviewer, we often use cliches and superlatives with gay abandon whilst caught up in the moment, but then upon reflection we accept that we may have been a little over zealous in our plaudits. Well, hand on heart, cross my heart and hope to die, this concert by the Hollywood Vampires knocked the proverbial socks off every single spectator. Truly amazing.

The Vampires have a number of gigs penciled in for the UK and in the unlikely event that tickets are still available, do yourself a favour and get them. At any price. I guarantee it will be worth it.
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See the complete photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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One Response to “Hollywood Vampires at Genting Arena, Birmingham, UK – 16th June 2018”

  1. Sara Reynolds Says:

    Wow Johnny makes a great looking rock star! :)

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