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Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back (Melbourne, FL, 11/5/19)

We’ve spent over five years covering Alice Cooper. During that time, we’ve discussed song lyrics, band history, books, interviews, and other interactions with Alice. He and his wife love, serve, and believe in Jesus Christ; it’s evident.

However, in many discussion groups, the topic of his stage shows and concerts attracts comments and nonsense from many trolls and naysayers. In hindsight, we somewhat understand their hangup. However, what we don’t understand is the blind judgment.

Many assume or label things evil because they don’t understand them. Without research or firsthand observation, it’s relatively easy to misunderstand or incorrectly “judge a book by its cover.” Perhaps that is why Christianity and the church have been given such a bad reputation.

As followers of Christ, we are called to a higher standard. We are called to reserve judgment (Matthew 7:1-5) and instead observe with discernment while testing the spirits (1 John 4:1-6).

We believe anyone willing to look genuinely would find the Coopers sincere in their faith. One would discover a mission from God—a mission committed to making “everlasting differences” in the lives of others.

With that, this week, we look back at our first up-close and personal encounter with Alice and his show. It was an eye-opening experience that inspired and amazed us by what God calls us to do.

Our assignments from Him may differ (and look stark in contrast), but the goal is always the same: Love God and Love People. In Alice’s case, he presents the aspects of good and evil with a straightforward declaration, “Don’t choose evil.

November 5, 2019 (Concert Review for Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back):
We covered Alice Cooper’s songs, interviews, and biographical content; now, let’s focus on his show. This is the hang-up for many believers and critics of Alice and his faith. The show is too dark, violent, macabre, etc.

When questioned about the theatrics and show, Alice asks, “What about Macbeth? Isn’t there more darkness and violence found in Macbeth than there is within an Alice Cooper show?” Isn’t that an appropriate question?

Isn’t there a lot of violence and darkness found not only within the arts but throughout the world? Cooper’s show can be compared to the stories reported on the news, the plots of most crime shows, and many other forms of entertainment. There’s a story being told; like many, there’s a dark side.

Isn’t God’s Word also filled with accounts of darkness and destruction? Many passages in the Bible, on the surface, are dark and bleak but pave the way to something greater (For example, The Great Flood (Genesis 6:9-9:17), Passover (Exodus 12), and the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 7:54-60).

There is something more magnificent than darkness in those verses, stories, and passages; we also find His plan. We see the groundwork for the path to Freedom through His Son. He offers us a way out of the darkness. All we must do is knock, and He will answer (Matthew 7:7-8).

Hopefully, this post will shed some light on how Alice Cooper’s show tells a story- a story of deliverance. At least, that is our perspective, anyway.

We attended the “Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back” show on Tuesday night in Melbourne, FL. From about 3-4 rows back, we were able to soak up the entire experience. It was captivating! If you’ve never been to a show, it’s well worth it. Get as close as possible and soak up the experience.

Those who have been to the show may already have an interpretation, already know much of this content, or don’t see the show as anything more than a theatrical performance set to music. That’s the beauty of expression. The arts mean something different to everyone.

Even artists are sometimes baffled by what someone else sees in their work. Some see one thing, others see something else, and still, others see nothing at all. But all opinions, reviews, and perspectives carry merit.

Remember, this is only our interpretation of what we have seen and experienced. With that being said, let’s dive into the discussion.

In the show, we were introduced to “Nightmare Castle.” Over the years, Alice has masterfully displayed much of the human experience through his or maybe, better put, humanity’s worst nightmares.

A good portion of the concert, some 30-45 minutes (9-10 songs), is just a good old Rock ‘n’ Roll concert. A display of incredible talent:

  • Alice’s vocals and a demonstration of his harmonica skills are used in the song “Fallen In Love.”
  • Three remarkably gifted guitarists (Tommy Henriksen, Nita Strauss, and Ryan Roxie).
  • Long-time bassist and multi-faceted musician Chuck Garric.
  • Last but not least, renowned (exhausting to watch) drummer Glen Sobel. (Seriously, Sobel’s drumming was amazing to witness, not only musically but aerobically–an insane workout).

After an introduction to the musical prowess of Alice and the band, the show transitions into a theatrical portion – the Nightmare begins!

An entity or spirit of a woman (portrayed by Sheryl Cooper, Alice’s wife of over 45 years) haunts Alice (and the band). Without going into much more detail, it’s evident that the history between this character and Alice has left a mark on him and altered his thought process.

Through a series of songs and other interactions with multiple characters and again with Sheryl (this time dressed as Mademoiselle Guillotine, an agent of the enemy), Alice is tempted, tried, convicted, and executed for his thoughts, but no crime is committed.

It’s evident temptation and contempt are present; the character is willing to kill – yet he doesn’t officially murder anyone. However, he has still taken the bait – the thoughts and darkness of his past have trapped him. Caught in a web of lies – he’s consumed by the dark and driven insane in the process.

Confused and alone, the character is obsessed with this and ultimately beheaded for his feelings and attempted crime. The nightmare ends after a somewhat jubilant display of all the characters that wanted him dead.

Then Alice returns, very much alive, with fanfare and celebration through the song “Escape.”

Before going further, stop and dissect that. What is the greatest fear for any human being in this life? Is it not for some sin we’ve committed (or maybe some future sin) to overtake and destroy our lives on this Earth? Or perhaps something from our past that haunts us, even as we try to move forward?

The thought of being trapped forever in darkness without hope or escape isn’t pretty. Life isn’t always pretty; it’s ugly and dirty more often than we would like to admit. Alice’s nightmare seems to be nothing more than humanity’s greatest fear.

The arena of free will is a fascinating thing. While the enemy continually throws himself at us, our Father gently whispers, Choose me, walk with me to everlasting life (Isaiah 30:21). The nightmare portrays a spiritual tug of war playing with our souls (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

The Holy Spirit tugs at our hearts while the enemy tries to entice our animal instincts (Pslam 46:10, 1 Kings 19:12, Psalm 55:1-3). One path leads to everlasting life, the other to death. There is a right and wrong answer. There is a choice that must be made.

So, here’s the question. Do we allow the enemy to pull us across that line into his territory? Or will we attach ourselves to God’s Word and forever dwell with Him?

Back to the concert. As Alice reemerges, the show’s atmosphere changes. There’s no dark, sinister plot – no haunting presence. Instead, there’s a celebration. Coop has survived the whole ordeal. The nightmare was only a dream. Or was it more than that?

Is this show only about this horrible nightmare, or is there a deeper meaning? Through a series of wardrobe changes and last-minute elements, we can also draw parallels to the supernatural realm of our Lord in Alice’s show.

Looking at this from the prism of God’s Word, would Alice’s beheading not represent the death of self (Galatians 2:20, Luke 9:23). Could it represent deliverance and redemption? The depiction of a man who has decided to walk alone no longer or live life without the guidance of His Creator?

Maybe this man is offering up his past life for a new one? A man willing to lay aside the things of this world for something greater. Is it no coincidence that as he’s resurrected into a new life, he’s rejoicing at the chance to “Escape” the ways of a less meaningful existence?

Alice also returns with Frankenstein, the monster, in chains. Whatever sin once controlled him is now shackled (because of his new life in Christ).

Through his transformation, the monster of wickedness no longer directs him. Instead, the Power of the Holy Spirit guides his course. The chains have been removed from this man through submission to God and transferred to the enemy (1 Peter 5:6).

Finally, at the show’s end, we find Alice dressed in black with white coattails and a white top hat. The top hat has small traces of blood at the very top of it.

Stop and think about that.

Does that imagery not portray a sinner washed white from the blood of our Savior? Are they no longer lost in darkness but instead covered by His Majesty?

If that wasn’t enough, stop and think about this as well. The very last song of the show is the age-old classic, “School’s Out.”

A massive celebration of confetti, giant balloons, and victory are displayed. Could this man be celebrating his redemption after learning from the headmaster, our Lord, and facing many lessons, trials, and tribulations on this earth?

Will we celebrate one day when this life is over? When there’s no more dirty looks, no more harsh lessons, no more pain, no more evil, no more vitriol. When school is indeed “out forever.”

It could just be us, but that’s what the Alice Cooper show was – a celebration of life. Not some crazy display of evil or demonic ritual, but the harsh truth of this life. Darkness wants nothing more than to influence and trap us. It wants us separated from our Creator.

We are offered a choice. Do we allow ourselves to be consumed by the darkness, or do we bathe in His Light? The character in Alice’s show was bombarded by evil and despair. The nightmare nearly claimed him. But ultimately, it didn’t.

Our experiences may be similar to those seen in the show. Our circumstances may seem dire, but since we were first formed in our mother’s womb, our Creator wanted nothing more than to personally guide and direct us with His Love (Jeremiah 1:5).

In conclusion, there you have it. Although it’s only one interpretation of the “Nightmare,” we are confident others see the significance. There’s a message there; with Alice, there seems always to be one.

Again, we believe it’s obvious. The Coopers are, and forever will be, His! They belong to Christ’s Kingdom and are working hard to bring that Kingdom here on earth. We are thankful for them and their commitment to Him and His mission.

May we all come to see and know His Love as they do! For what it truly is: a place of solace and shelter. Amen.

That’s it for this week. Be well, and catch you next Friday!

Until then, keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!

Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?

If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:

"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay.  I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"

If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you.  Please contact us at prayers@oceanfloorministries.com so we can welcome you into the kingdom.  We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.

NOTE: We’d also like to share the following resources used by “Fridays With Alice.” Without these books and sites, this would be a much more complicated endeavor. So be sure to check them out if interested.

Click the images to learn more about these resources:

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