The term supergroup often gets bandied around. Historically supergroups tend to be short-lived. But one such band that has been making waves is the Hollywood Vampires. With now two studio albums in their repertoire, the band has already proved that they have longevity and staying power.
Of course, it doesn’t get more Hollywood than the band’s guitarist, movie star Johnny Depp. Add rock icons Alice Cooper and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and it’s easy to understand why there is so much interest in this talented ensemble.
Once again Scarborough Open Air Theatre continues to attract high calibre artists for its summer season. And anticipation has been building in the North Yorkshire coastal town for the arrival of the Hollywood Vampires. The show was the first of the OAT’s 2023 season to be announced. Wednesday evening’s show was the first of the group’s current UK run and a full house was present to witness the show.
For those in attendance early in the evening Welsh Hard Rock group Those Damn Crows were the perfect band to warm up the Scarborough crowd. And with their high-octane anthems, they proved that just like the closing song of their set, despite what people say, Rock And Roll Ain’t Dead.
Johnny Depp’s arrival in Scarborough was not the actor’s first trip to this part of the country. Last year the Pirates of the Caribbean star was spotted in Newcastle when he made a surprise guest appearance at the Sage Gateshead whilst playing alongside the late great Jeff Beck. During the later stages of the show, a heart-warming tribute to Jeff Beck was featured in the set. Depp brought the guitar legend’s famous white Fender Stratocaster to the stage and raised the guitar aloft, to much rejoicing from the Scarborough audience. In this instance, Joe Perry played the historic axe of his now sadly missed friend.
The supergroup took its name from The Hollywood Vampires, a celebrity drinking club formed by Alice Cooper in the 1970s. And throughout the show, the group gave a nod to friends no longer with them, including former members of this elite club. There was plenty of room in the set for covers from legends of the rock genre, such as The Doors, The Who, AC/DC and Killing Joke, to name but a few.
Hollywood Vampires' original tracks, such as Who's Laughing Now, The Boogieman Surprise and Dead Drunk Friends featured in the band’s twenty song
setlist. Throughout the evening, Cooper, Perry, and Depp each took their moment in the spotlight to sing.
Of course, with a band full of legends, the possibilities for the set list of Wednesday night’s show were endless. With so much star power on stage, the audience didn't know which direction to look. Depp's rendition of Heroes by David Bowie struck a chord with the Scarborough Crowd. Chants of Johnny could be heard around the arena.
Staples from the Aerosmith repertoire, such as Walk This Way and Train Kept a Rollin' we're astounding. Aerosmith are presently on their final tour, and with no U.K. dates announced at present, this is perhaps as close as we will get to a farewell from one-half of the Toxic Twins.
Alice Cooper is the epitome of rock frontmen. The king of shock rock delivered a theatrical performance that entertained throughout. Whilst there were no signs of Cooper's guillotine on this occasion, classics from his repertoire, such as I’m Eighteen, were a joy to behold. And with summer in the air, an incredible airing of Schools Out perfectly rounded out the show and seemed fitting for the time of the year.
In this writer’s opinion, Wednesday night’s Hollywood Vampires' gig was the ultimate rock show from some of the biggest names in the game.
Scarborough OAT's summer season continues with rock legends The Cult, Tom Grennan and Pulp arriving in the region in the coming days. For further information, please visit https://scarboroughopenairtheatre.com/whats-on/.