Tag Archives: Manchester Arena

Walking with Dinosaurs Live with Michaela Strachan

I had just turned eight years old when I climbed into the cinema seat next to my mother. There I spent most of the 2 hours 7 minutes hiding beneath my mother’s cardigan, peeking out, completely terrified and enchanted by these giant lizard creatures on the big screen, cementing an admiration for all things prehistoric. If you hadn’t guessed which film I am talking about by now, it was Jurassic Park. For months after I would carefully open my bedroom door, expecting raptors to be waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. Talking dinosaurs took over my dreams.

Wasn’t I a proud mum when my very young son became obsessed with dinosaurs at the age of three. His dad happier than I to let him watch Jurassic Park at a young age. I was expecting him to react like I did – but he loved it! I now had an excuse to buy loads of dinosaurs – and believe me, I’m almost certain we have more dinosaurs in our house than were alive at the time! Over the past four years we have obsessively watched most accessible dinosaur documentaries, most notably the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs series, so you can imagine both of our excitement when we had the opportunity to see these magnificent creatures on stage.

Stupidly, my default arena is Manchester. It is where I go if I want to see a musician/band who is performing the arena scene, so I decided to do the same when Walking with Dinosaurs Arena Spectacular announced their shows. This meant I had to travel, what turned out to be, over five hours there and over four hours back, in one day, all for 1 hour 40 minutes. But it was worth it.

The show was packed full of children of all ages, my son skipping besides me with excitement. The merchandise was extortionate so we opted for a lanyard with laminated information cards for the dinosaurs in the show, which cost us £7 – this was perfect for my son who is consuming facts from dinosaur encyclopedias at the moment. Normally I would have bought the programme, but at £15, I couldn’t justify the expense. There are no words to express the excitement both my son and I felt, but the show was magnificent, exciting, informative, and engaging. It was well choreographed and considered all the members of the audience, making sure that everyone got to enjoy the sheer enormity of the creatures.  Michaela Strachan hasn’t aged a day since she hosted The Really Wild Show when I was a kid in the 90s, and was funny, smiley, and simply incredible. With not long left until the show retires, I would encourage any dinosaur fan to go and see the show. The volume of the music and sound effects were acceptable, as we had previously seen smaller dinosaur live productions where the audio was so loud it scared half of the crowd to tears. The loudest sounds come at the end with the T-Rex and the Comet impact.




Alice Cooper still has the Goth, Glam, and Morbid Magic at 69

Gig Review: Alice Cooper at Manchester Arena, 15 Nov 2017

Alice Cooper proves he still has it at 69. Goth, glam, and morbid magic.

Coming to the end of the UK part of his Spend the Night with Alice Cooper tour, the band made a stop at the Manchester Arena, to give an energetic performance to a dedicated fan base, warmed up by magnificent performances by The Tubes and The Mission. Rarely would I even mention the support band(s), but these guys warmed the crowd up so much, they were steaming hot for Alice.


Opening with ‘Brutal Planet’, Alice Cooper owned the night from the moment he strutted on to the stage, to the celebration of ‘School’s Out’ which closed the show with bubbles, balloons and confetti. Having seen Alice Cooper in London for his special Halloween show in 2011, there were certainly fewer gothic theatrics involved in this arena performance, with a focus on the music and the technical staging of the set, but not at the expense of the show. The oversized Frankenstein puppet made an appearance, as did the guillotine and cold Ethel, but this show brought something that the London 2011 didn’t, and that was the lighting – it was marvellously lit, with crisp and intended direction, bringing another dimension to the show, the likes of which I have not seen in the last few years of going to gigs.


As you would expect from an Alice Cooper show, the hits poured out in droves, with ‘Poison’ bringing the first wave of intense audience interaction, along with ‘I Love the Dead’. However, the final part of the evening was the highlight for many of the oldest Alice Cooper fans as the original Alice Cooper band took to the stage to perform the final five tracks of the night which included ‘I’m Eighteen’ and ‘Billion Dollar Babies’. The stadium was filled with an vigour rarely experienced, as the roughness of the 1970s screamed through the speakers of the stadium, demolishing the cleanliness of the previous songs performed by Alice Cooper’s current band, who, it is certainly worth pointing out, had a massive amount of talent between them, performing phenomenal solos throughout the night.


To complete the Alice Cooper experience, the merchandise stands were heaving with a variety of clothing and accessories, and served a consistent bombardment of fans wanting to preserve their night, but certainly not for a cheap price, with the t-shirts costing £30.00, the hoodie costing £70.00, and the official Alice Cooper teddy bear costing a massive £25.00. But this is THE Alice Cooper, and we must be true to ourselves as to how much longer he will be able to continue to perform at this level – though truth be told, he didn’t look like he was going to be slowing down any time soon and will most likely still be performing from beyond the grave!


Spend the Night with Alice Cooper Set List:

  • Spend the Night intro
  • Brutal Planet
  • Under My Wheels
  • Lost in America
  • Pain
  • Department of Youth
  • The World Needs Guts
  • Woman of Mass Distraction
  • Guitar Solo
    (Nita Strauss)
  • Poison
  • Halo of Flies
  • Drum and Bass solo
  • Feed My Frankenstein
  • Cold Ethyl
  • Only Women Bleed
  • Paranoiac Personality
  • Ballad of Dwight Fry
  • Killer
  • I Love the Dead
  • I’m Eighteen
    (with original Alice Cooper Band)
  • Billion Dollar Babies
    (with original Alice Cooper Band)
  • No More Mr. Nice Guy
    (with original Alice Cooper Band)
  • Muscle of Love
    (with original Alice Cooper Band)
  • School’s Out
    (with original & current Alice Cooper Band)