Arizona’s Non-Traditional Christmas Pudding

Photography by Trystan Trenberth

Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding – December 9th – Celebrity Theater

Once again Alice Copper delivered tasty holiday fun at the Celebrity Theater with the 16th annual Christmas Pudding fundraiser to benefit The Rock teen center. This year included in the merriment of Rob Halford, Ace Frehley, Slash, Filter, and David Ellefson. This year was heavy and hard, but still had the variety that “pudding” is known to embrace.

The night began with the Solid Rock Bucket Brigade a percussion ensemble lead by Conrad Varela followed by the Cooper family coming on stage, rejoicing together with the announcement from Dash and Morgan Cooper that Alice and Sheryl were going to be grandparents yet again.

The Solid Rock Dancers took the stage in a disco inferno of energy and encouraged us all to shake that groove thing. The solo winner of the Proof is in the Pudding contest Amelia sweet-talked us all and won over our hearts with her rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. The Band Mariachi de mi Tierra the brought us all into the party mood with upbeat holiday staples “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”.

A festive vibe filled the air as Gary Mule Deer began to play songs and tell jokes, the best description of which would be Johnny Cash’s Music set to the back drop of my fathers best knee-slapping “dad puns”.

Filter picked up the music after the first auction was complete with the favorites “Take a Picture” and “Hey Man Nice Shot” that took my mental time machine back to my college days. Gary Mule Deer returned with Nashville’s band Sixwire, with more jokes before Ace Frehley rolled though KISS songs with the solid skill that is his calling card. Edgar Winter rocked out with Sixwire and attacked all the notes with aggression and passion that earned a solid standing ovation.

Rob Halford joined the stage with Nita Strauss and Slash with a flurry of studs and leather in an overcoat that encompasses all that is rock royalty. Opening with “Living After Midnight” and my personal favorite “Breaking the Law” with the focus rightly placed on heavy guitarists, since the line up consisted of these juggernauts of lead guitar. The cast of characters on stage rotated in and out adding David Ellefson to complete the menagerie for Cooper’s set which went strait for hard hitters “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Under My Wheels”. Joined then by Sheryl Cooper and Sixwire to add harmonies to the song “Poison”, brought to a crescendo with Slash coming back out and tore it up with “I’m Eighteen” and “Schools Out” to top off the headlining set. Causing this writer to remember why he is one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Unlike most shows of this caliber it felt less like a concert and more like a party, blistering rock punctuated with jokes, auctions, conversations, joy and yes, even a sample of some chocolaty pudding.

Special thank you to Chuck Tilley of Sixwire, Jimmy Chase, Jane Gordon, and of course Captain Kirk for making it all work.

Because someone has to watch the bands.

Daisy's Tumult

Daisy Fromkin

Daisy is a musician, journalist, and photographer from Phoenix. Her writing style is strikingly organic and her passion of live music and the arts shows through with simple observation, humility and respect of the human aspect to the world around her. Her long career in Photography allows her to find the beauty, definition, and clarity in the often unseen. Daisy continues to write about musicians and venues hoping to draw people back to live music.