Hollywood Vampires sink their teeth into Scarborough

Hollywood Vampires – Scarborough Open Air Theatre – 05/07/2023

The Scarborough Open Air Theatre gets its fair share of big acts, and helping maintain the high bar is supergroup Hollywood Vampires (8), who are kicking off their UK tour on the coast. With enormous shows lined up at the likes of Manchester Arena & London O2 Arena, Scarborough’s Open Air feels like much more of an intimate show to get them on their way to provide something very special.

A packed crowd made their way into the arena early to solidate their spot in the beautiful sun as support act Those Damn Crows (6.5) made the most of an early crowd with their short and sweet set of alt hard-rock to get people loosened up for the main event. Frontman Shane Greenhall didn’t look out of place in front of a huge crowd as he stormed the stage, pointing out people in the crowd with a beaming grin on his face. Seven huge songs, closing with ‘Rock N Roll Ain’t Dead’ was the perfect way to liven up the crowd.

As the hype grows around the theatre, a delay of 15 minutes only makes the crowd more eager to get a glimpse of the supergroup. Fans have spent hours on end queueing outside to get to the front, most of which desperate to be at the barrier in front of guitarist (and movie star) Johnny Depp, but it’s not all about Johnny. Detroit’s very own rock star, Alice Cooper heads up the Vampires and on his other wing is none other than legendary guitarist Joe Perry, who’s cemented himself as a guitar hero through over 50 years of shredding with Aerosmith respectably.

The stage begins to pump out smoke as the screens load up illustrations of the band as skeleton vampires which is greeted with ear-piercing screams from the crowd. Out of the mist appears the band as they kick off the evening with their own track ‘I Want My Now’. The driven beat pounds through the theatre as Joe Perry & Johnny Depp both tear through the opening riffs, and from the depths of the stage emerges Alice Cooper, strolling to the centre in his frilly white shirt, red jacket, and leather gloves as he swings around his stick pointing out band members and people in the crowd whilst singing emphatically with a huge stage presence.

The Hollywood Vampires may be known for their blistering covers of legendary rock tracks, however they come well equipped with two albums worth of material themselves. ‘Raise The Dead’ picks up the pace instantly, and ‘My Dead Drunk Friends’ & ‘Who’s Laughing Now’ fit into the set perfectly with their huge riffs and grungy vocals from the frontman.

Spread throughout their set are some fantastic covers including The Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’, AC/DC’s ‘The Jack’ and The Door’s ‘Break On Through’ which go down well with the Scarborough crowd. Their cover of The Jim Carroll Band’s ‘People who Died’ was one of the best covers of the night. Johnny depp’s vocals suit the punk track perfectly for the Vampires slightly heavier take on the track, and the chorus sounds emphatic with the full band singing and chanting throughout, and the crowd can’t help but join in with the infectious song.

Johnny Depp takes centre stage for a warming cover of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’, before a special moment where Johnny addresses his love for his friend and legendary guitarist Jeff Beck, who we lost this year. He pulls from the back of the stage a white strat which belonged to Beck, proudly raising it into the air before passing it to Joe Perry to give the crowd a little tribute to the star himself ripping through a solo on his guitar.

It would be disappointing not to hear a few of Alice Cooper’s tracks as well as Joe Perry rip through some Aerosmith songs, so we’re treated to a handful of those too. Alice’s ‘I’m Eighteen’ features nice and early in the set, and Joe Perry & Aerosmith’s ‘Walk This Way’ features a little later in the set which thrilled the crowd with some of the loudest singing of the night.

Whether it be a track or cover of their own, or other bands material, The Hollywood Vampires would tear through each piece of the set with great confidence and sound incredibly tight not putting a single note out of place. There is clear chemistry between this group of Hollywood stars and their friendship and passion for music has built something incredibly in the form of this band, and it’s clear on stage with their presence that everyone is having the time of their lives. It’s refreshing to see a constant grin on the face of Johnny Depp after his struggles in recent times, and the support he receives from the fans and his followers is clearly cherished as he acknowledges every chant with a thank you gesture showing his appreciation for their loving support.

Joe Perry and Alice Cooper can’t stand still for more than 30 seconds, as the pair keep interacting with each other and other members of the band including guitarist Tommy Henricksen and The Cult’s Chris Wyse on Bass guitar who are always involved in the fun too.

A fulfilling night of rock concludes with the fun cover of Tiny Bradshaw’s ‘The Train Kept A-Rollin’, before the crowd raise the noise to the max for an encore of Alice Coopers ‘Schools Out’, which has giant orange and white balloons bouncing around the crowd as they sing together for one last time to the legendary track.

It’s an incredible performance from start to finish by one of the best rock supergroups around, and they’re in full swing just getting ready to take the UK by storm.

Check out the huge live in photos section of Hollywood Vampires at Scarborough Open Air Theatre HERE!


Photo Credit: © Danny Peart Photography 2023
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Danny Peart
Danny Pearthttps://www.dannypeartphotography.co.uk
Editor / Live Music Photographer / Journalist at Soundcheck-Live

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