No matter what you were doing during the month of January, and where you live in the world, the enormous bushfire crisis in Australia can’t have escaped your attention. Acres of land has been lost, thousands of people’s homes have burned to the ground, as many as half a billion animals might have been killed, and for many people, life in their home country will never be the same. Despite the fact that the attention of the world’s press has moved on to other matters, the fires are still burning in many areas. The danger has not passed.
As has so often been the case when major global issues requiring money have arisen in the past, a special charity concert has been arranged, with all profits going to the Australian National Bushfire Relief project. The show will take place on Saturday 16th February and the Anz Stadium in Sydney and will feature an array of the best and brightest names in Australian music – and American rock legend Alice Cooper, who will headline the event.
The name of Cooper, who will not be financially compensated for his appearance, appears to stick out like a sore thumb in a lineup mostly dominated by soft rock and pop performers, although Cooper’s co-headliners 5 Seconds of Summer are capable of writing a good heavy rock song when the mood takes them. Elsewhere on the bill are pop favorites like Delta Goodrem and Ronan Keating, with Olivia Newton-John also on the bill along with jazz and easy-listening singer Michael Buble. It looks like a very diverse event that’s likely to draw a very diverse crowd, although, given the cause, it’s a case of ‘the more, the merrier’ when it comes to people buying tickets.
We have no way of knowing whether anyone involved in the organization of the event contacted AC/DC, who released new album ‘Rock or Bust’ in December last year and have already confirmed that they’ll be touring during 2020. Given that AC/DC are Australian, they would seem to be a natural fit for the concert and would make for a formidable rock 1-2 punch at the top of the bill with Cooper. If nobody asked then, it’s a missed opportunity. If they did, we’re sure the recently-revived rock legends have excellent reasons for missing the concert.
Cooper doesn’t have a new album to promote just yet. He’s talked in the past about releasing new material in 2020, but so far there’s been nothing confirmed. That’s not to say that he hasn’t been musically active in the recent past, though. He released an EP called ‘Breadcrumbs’ in September last year and has also entered the world of casino games with an official online slots game featuring his music and likeness. Although that might sound like a strange place to turn up, online slots games have been the latest ‘must-have’ licensed product for big-name rock bands in recent years. Guns n’ Roses started the trend, and now Megadeth, Motorhead, and even Jimi Hendrix have their own soundtracked online slots available. In the latter case, death apparently isn’t a barrier to becoming a casino star.
As the Australia event has been put together at relatively short notice, further details on the show are thin on the ground. We can’t say how long Cooper will be on stage for, nor whether he’s likely to give us a sneak preview of any of his new material while he’s up there. Given the nature of the concert, we suspect that it’s more likely that he’ll keep the crowd happy with a set made up of crowd-pleasers and greatest-hits. There’s also the prospect of a crossover with British rock legends Queen. They’re at the show with their usual vocalist Adam Lambert, but Alice Cooper is one of the very few rock legends in the world never to work with the band. As they’re both in the same place at the same time and there’s a special occasion involved, this strikes us as an excellent opportunity to correct that glaring mistake. Who wouldn’t want to hear Cooper singing ‘We Are The Champions?’
Aside from Cooper, one of the more surprising names on the bill is K.D. Lang. In recent years the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter has been mostly absent from the world of music and has intimated in interviews that she no longer feels any urge to create or perform as she approaches her sixth decade on the planet. Having understandably accepted an invitation to appear on this show, we can’t rule out the possibility that this will be her last-ever performance, or at least her last on a stage this large.
Cooper’s appearance might be explained by the fact that he was already booked to be in Australia next year because of his ongoing ‘Ol Black Eyes Is Back’ world tour. When asked about the situation, though, he confirmed he would have agreed to perform even if the tour hadn’t been booked. He told News Corp that the country is ‘one of his favorite places in the world,’ and he would ‘do anything he could’ to assist with the situation. It’s understood that he’s also made a private donation to the charity as well as agreeing to perform for them. In doing so, he joins Hollywood stars like Chris Hemsworth and Nicole Kidman, who are believed to have donated more than one million dollars each to the cause. Pink has also made a personal donation of more than half a million dollars, and comedian Celeste’s various charitable enterprises are thought to have raised more than twenty-two million dollars in total.
Sadly, even if you live in Australia or would be willing to travel across the world to the concert, you no longer have the opportunity to. Tickets for the show sold out within minutes of it being placed on sale. It will, however, be broadcast around the world by way of streaming – albeit in Australian time. If you’d like to see Alice Cooper take to the stage for a major headline set on an Australian festival stage – which we imagine is all of you – you may have to stay up late to catch him. The concert is scheduled to end at 10 pm local time – which is 5 am Eastern. If we know anything about Cooper’s showmanship, he’ll make it worth your while!