Published Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 | 11:24 a.m.
Updated Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 | 12:57 p.m.
By Don Chareunsy, Vegas DeLuxe editor
“How lucky are we?” said fashion designer John Varvatos before welcoming rock legend Alice Cooper and his four-man band to the stage last night at John Varvatos Bowery NYC in the Hard Rock Hotel. Cooper et al performed an energetic and loud mini-concert to a very packed crowd on their day off, in Varvatos’ fashion boutique turned music venue, before a three-day run at The Orleans that kicks off tonight.
The color of the night was black -- not shocking at an Alice Cooper show -- as Varvatos, Cooper and his band all donned black apparel. Varvatos was introduced to the at-capacity crow as the king of men’s fashion, the fashion designer who deserves a PhD in rock and roll and one dude who knows how to throw a party. (The entry line stretched far back to Hart & Huntington even after John Varvatos Bowery NYC was filled to the max.)
Gotta give mad props to Varvatos, Cooper and crew for running a tight ship. The mini-concert was scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. -- and kicked off at 8 p.m., unheard of in this day and age of diva rock stars. The show ended half an hour and eight satisfying songs later, with Varvatos to the right of the stage much of the night rockin’ and singin’ along. Our contributing photographers Erik Kabik, Cody Boor and George O. Lyons captured the rock star action, and our loyal VDLX reader Richard Corey posted his video to YouTube.
Alice Cooper at John Varvatos Bowery NYC
Cooper, born Vincent Damon Furnier in Detroit (Varvatos is also from D-Town), hit the stage with his customary black cane, a huge WWE-sized belt with a skull buckle and an ornate black leather jacket, which would be replaced a few songs later with a simple John Varvatos black leather jacket -- as he slyly announced to the sea of Alice Cooper fan masks. He mouthed “wow” when he saw the size and energy of the crowd packed in such a small space. (Perhaps he, too, was worried about fire codes. Or not.) His band was three guitarists -- one with total rock star hair who was particularly sweaty -- and a drummer.
The eight-song mini-concert, which included audience requests, started with “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and included “Billion Dollar Babies and “I’m Eighteen.” He introduced one of his biggest hits, 1989’s “Poison,” as “the most popular stripper song in the world” (according to Wiki?) after asking if there were any strippers in the audience and later dedicated a song to Varvatos. Cooper closed with his 1972(!) hit “School’s Out” with Varvatos, two female backup singers and a young girl named Molly pulled from the crowd onstage for a group sing-along. (I spotted Molly with two adults I will assume were her parents after the mini-concert at Mr. Lucky’s.)
What’s left to ponder is what John Varvatos Bowery NYC looks like with clothes and other merchandise in the store, as it was cleared for the show.
Mr. Cooper is at The Orleans tonight through Sunday.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground. Read more of Robin's stories at VegasDeLuxe.com.
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