For more than 40 years, Alice Cooper has shocked audiences around the world with his live performances and wild stage antics. This unconventional style has made Cooper a staple amongst the list of “must see live” artists.

In 1975, Alice Cooper joined forces with longtime collaborator and producer Bob Ezrin to record his first solo album Welcome to My Nightmare, a theatrical concept album about the nightmares of a young boy named Steven. Now, Cooper has followed Steven into adulthood and presents Welcome 2 My Nightmare (2011), a new but familiar concept album about the fear, anxiety and disgust that haunt Cooper’s dreams in an era of Facebook, Lady Gaga, Sketchers and Angry Birds.

A wild, surreal odyssey, Welcome 2 My Nightmare provided Cooper and Ezrin the opportunity to work with numerous musicians and experiment with various musical styles. The three surviving members of the original band, guitarist Michael Bruce, bassist Dennis Dunaway and drummer Neal Smith, co-wrote three songs and they all played on “When Hell Comes Home,” a gritty ’70s-style rock track about the nightmare of domestic abuse. The collaborations with his fellow original band members stemmed from their 2010 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for which they reunited to play four songs

The first single from Welcome 2 My Nightmare, “I’ll Bite Your Face Off,” is about a gorgeous but deadly female who takes Alice by the hand and guides him through the various scenes of his nightmare. The song was co-written by Neal Smith and features a swaggering ’60s British rock rhythm, brash, bluesy guitars and sneering, seductive vocals. On “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever,” Cooper combines a tongue-in-cheek disco beat and rhythm with near-rap vocals and lyrics about taking a machine gun to zombie disco dancers who refuse to die. Then there’s the zany surf rock of “Ghoul’s Gone Wild,” the derelict down-on-his-luck slur of “The Last Man on Earth,” and the Beatles meet Gary Glitter show tune “The Congregation,” which stars Rob Zombie as a narrator describing such modern-day nightmares as telemarketers, lawyers, pimps, mariachi bands and mimes.

One of the highlights for Cooper is the throbbing, modern rocker “What Baby Wants,” which stars Ke$ha as the devil. Like The original Welcome To My Nightmare, which was highlighted by “Only Women Bleed,” Welcome 2 My Nightmare also features a lovelorn ballad, “Something to Remember Me By,” which was written with Dick Wagner back when they released “I Never Cry” in 1976.

Welcome To My Nightmare, which was released in 1975, was a landmark album for Cooper. It was his first solo release, following a historic string of anthems written and recorded by the original band between 1971 and 1974, including “School’s Out,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” “Elected,” and “I’m Eighteen.” A multimedia smash long before the dawn of music television, Welcome To My Nightmare proved that Cooper could remain popular musically and could take theatricality to an entirely new level of dream by exposing audiences to the crippling fears of a seven-year-old child with an active imagination.

Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson, whose real name is Brian Hugh Warner, was born on January 5, 1969 in Canton, Ohio to the parents of Hugh and Barb Warner. During his childhood, one of his neighbors molested him several times until the young Brian broke down one day and told his mother what happened. As an only child, he would often get into mischievous activities such as adventure through his grandfather Jack Warner's sex toys, shoot his BB gun with his cousin Chad, and create sex magazines to sell to his classmates. His parents raised him as an Episcopalian, and he attended the religious private Heritage Christian School. It was there that he became fueled with hate towards Christanity. During his tenth grade year, he convinced his parents to let him attend a public school.

After he graduated from high school, he and his parents moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida because his father got a better job there. He studied journalism and theater at the local community college called Broward, and being some place new and feeling lonely, he wrote poems and short stories. After being fired from his last job at a record store, he became entertainment journalist for a local magazine. He interviewed several famous musicians including Trent Reznor from the band "Nine Inch Nails". Along with his job and writing, he would also frequently go to rock clubs. He soon decided to create his own band. With musical influences from Ozzy Osbourne and KISS, he recruited other musicians with the same interests and started the band called "Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids". He got the name Marilyn Manson as a combination from the names of the movie star Marilyn Monroe and the psycho killer Charles Manson. The band's name would later officially change to just Mariyn Manson, and most of the original band members would leave and be replaced, too. Manson reunited with Trent Reznor and had his band tour with "Nine Inch Nails". Reznor would also produce Marilyn Manson's first three albums (Portriat of an American Family, AntiChrist Superstar, and Mechanical Animals) and an E.P. (Smells like Children). "Mechanical Animals" is Marilyn Manson's most successful album to date.

With the success, Manson became a controversial celebrity, because the anti-Christian message in his songs, and Satanist 'Anton Szandor LaVey' deemed Manson a Reverend for the Church of Satan. Also with fame, Manson started to mingle with other celebrities, and began a romantic relationship with the actress Rose McGowan. They became engaged, but broke off the relationship in 2001. He then fell in love with the burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, and soon became engaged. They had a fairytale, non-denominational wedding in a castle in Ireland. Meanwhile, Manson came out with two more albums (Holy Wood, and the Golden Age of Grotesque), and a best of album (Lest We Forget: The Best Of...). He also dabbled into acting by being in such movies as Jawbreaker (1999), Party Monster (1998) and The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (2004). He continues to make music and act in movies.

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Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson

Friday, June 7 · Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM at Anselmo Valencia Amphitheatre