Last Saturday (December 4), Alice Cooper hosted his 19th annual Christmas Pudding charity benefit concert, and among its star-studded lineup of guests were former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, Aussie singer-songwriter Orianthi, Sugar Ray vocalist Mark McGrath and Collective Soul frontman Ed Roland, to name a few.
The event – which took place at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona – was Christmas Pudding's first edition since 2019, since it was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fretboard fireworks were in plentiful supply during the event. As reported by the Arizona Republic (opens in new tab), Ace Frehley took to the event's dizzying rotating stage to perform Kiss classics Shock Me, Parasite and Cold Gin, while Orianthi “shredded her way through a headbanging set of heroic guitar leads” from her tracks including Contagious and Sinners Hymn.
Cooper performed with his backing band, though his touring guitarist, shred extraordinaire Nita Strauss, was not present. The rocker tore through a set of classics including Under My Wheels, No More Mr. Nice Guy, as well as fresher cuts like Fallen in Love, from Cooper's 2017 album, Paranormal.
His set, of course, climaxed with a rendition of School's Out, before concluding with a cover of Chuck Berry's Run Rudolph Run.
The annual Christmas Pudding benefit concert was launched in 2001 as a way for Alice Cooper and his wife Sheryl to raise money to open a center where teens aged between 12 and 20 could be taught music, art and dance. 11 years later, in 2012, the couple achieved their goal when they opened the Rock Teen Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Proceeds from this year's 19th annual Christmas Pudding benefit concert will go directly towards funding programs at the Rock Teen Center.
The fundraiser also included performances from the Alice Cooper's Solid Rock Dancers, and the winners of this year's Proof is in the Pudding Musical Talent Competition, Cooper's own version of American Idol.