Day 9: What does Alice Cooper and VGM have in common?

09 Aug

Blaugust Entry, Day 9

I don’t consider myself a hard rocker. For a period in high school, when I was first learning to play guitar, I was into bands like Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and B’z – a Japanese ‘Van Halen’-esque pop rock duo. I never went any further than that.

I was offered a free ticket to a Mötley Crüe concert that happened last night – this tour would be their final one after 35 years of rockin’ their testosterone filled music. Alice Cooper was to also share the set with the Crüe. I never followed either band and don’t really know their music, but I figured it would be something worth experiencing. So I decided to go.

I ended up enjoying Alice Cooper much more than Motley Crue. One reason was that Mötley Crüe’s performance sounded like it was their last tour. They were a little sloppy and the vocals not as powerful. The collective age of the band was getting to them. What kept the show moving was the constant, never-ceasing light show and the crowd’s nostalgic energy that filled the arena.

Alice Cooper, on the other hand, was just one aging man as opposed to a band of one. He had the luxury of hiring younger talent to perform his music. It was also more theatrical. As an outsider to the genre, I felt their music and their set had more craft, chops and musicality compared to the headliners.

They had three guitarists for their set; all young relative to Mr. Cooper, who is still performing strong at age 67. One of them caught my attention in particular. It was a rare sight to see in this world of chest-thumping alpha-males (or alpha-male wannabes) and their groupies. I saw a young, shredding, rock-n-roll machine – and she was a woman.

I mention her, because as we were waiting in between sets, I looked her up on my phone and discovered some interesting history about her which lit my eyes up in surprise.

Aside from being in various groups like the all-female cover band, The Iron Maidens, she was a member of the band Critical Hit, a video game tribute band put together by Jason Hayes, the composer for World of Warcraft. This is probably how her guitar playing also became a part of the soundtrack for Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, as well as Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

As a video game lover, this was a pleasant discovery. We can always use more electric guitars in video game music!

Her name is Nita Strauss. Go check her out.

To participate in this month-long blogging challenge, check out the official Blaugust

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Posted by on August 9, 2015 in Gaming, Music


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