Tucked back in a side street of Turtle Creek on the eastern end of Pittsburgh lies an unassuming little club called the Sub Alpine Society. It is here that a not so secret pre-party for the Alice Cooper show the next evening is about to happen. As the crowd begins to build, the excitement is palpable. For it is here in this intimate space that fans of Alice Cooper can get up close and interact with one of the tightest bands alive.
The band goes through sound check and clowns around…All photos AWelding photo © 2019
The Goon Squad was born out of an idea Ryan Roxie started years ago. Long-time Alice Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie has always been about the fans. Many years ago he started his “Rock N Roll Parking Lot Meet and Greet.” He would post where he’d be before or after the show on Facebook and he’d meet and greet his fans. Every show, every year he is always available. Roxie would meet and greets fans at local record stores and at bars or restaurants across from the venue he was playing. He’s done meet and greets at the merchandise table inside the venue. He has even gone out to the parking lot and met fans. Pittsburgh’s parking lot meet and greets are EPIC.
The Glen Sobel and the Goon Squad concert is just another aspect incorporated into his master plan. Roxie organizes these concerts when there is a day off while on tour with Alice Cooper. Three of the band members have their own solo projects. Roxie has a new solo album titled “Imagine Your Reality,” bassist Chuck Garric’s band Beasto Blanco has a new album coming out soon titled “We Are,“ and guitarist Tommy Henriksen latest album is titled “Starstruck.” Glen Sobel performs on all 3 projects.
Chuck, Roxie, and Tommy share lead vocal duties throughout the set. All photos AWelding photo © 2019
After the concert, the band enjoys hanging out with the crowd. It’s a great up and close and personal experience for the fans and the band. It’s all a part of Roxie’s plan.
Their third year in a row throwing this bash in Pittsburgh, previous years being at Moondog’s and The Smiling Moose, the show was truly a party with everyone having a memorable time. The band went through a slew of great cover song choices with picks from Cheap Trick, Kiss, The Stooges, Neil Young, The Beastie Boys, Metallica, Motorhead, and The Ramones, among others, and epic crowd participation on Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out”. True highlights were appearances by Calico Cooper (yes, Alice’s daughter), who has a fantastic voice which can be witnessed when she plays with bassist Chuck Garric in Beasto Blanco, and a very surprise appearance from Kyler Clark, best known as a photographer who often works with Alice Cooper (www.cerealkyler.com).
Calico and Kyle join the rest of the band as Glen holds down the beat throughout. All photos AWelding photo © 2019
The opening band for the event, The Borstal Boys, are a local Pittsburgh band featuring past members from Torn and Frayed, Dirty Charms, and Rusted Root, the band takes their name from a song by The Faces – one of the many bands from which The Borstal Boys draw influences. Read more about them here.