The 'Raise The Dead' Tour
Alice pays tribute to Jimi Hendrix on the 'Raise The Dead' Tour, 2012.
The 'Raise The Dead' tour began with a public rehearsal in Verona, New York, and the following day Alice fan sites and forums lit up with the news that there were SIX cover songs in the show. Were they serious?? The next show to be played was the opening night of the 2012 UK tour, one of Alice's traditional strongholds, and we went to the show dreading what was about to happen. The show opened well enough with 'Hello Hooray' and 'House Of Fire', running through hits and new songs as if everything was perfectly fine. Sure, the band hadn't quite hit their best - it was the first proper show and it always takes a few nights to get back in the grove - but there was a strange atmosphere in the hall. Then, after the FrankenAlice left the stage, a voice came over the PA to introduce the 'Raise The Dead' section of the show and they hit into 'Break On Through', the Doors classic. It was terrible. The audience, many of whom of course didn't know what had happened at the dress rehearsal, just watched in confusion, and from the front I caught one band members eye and he discreetly shrugged, as if to say "what can I do?" 'Backdoor Man' followed, another Doors song, as Alice stood behind a gravestone to his dead friend Jim Morrison. It seemed to go on forever. They followed that with The Beatles' 'Revolution' - Roxie trying to make the most of playing a song he obviously loved.. but it wasn't working. The general audience was starting to talk and go for beers, and the hardcore fans at the front were just baffled. And it didn't stop there.. 'Foxy Lady' came next giving Orianthi a chance to play her best Hendrix impressions, and the whole thing finally came to close with The Who's 'My Generation'. They closed out with 'Poison' and 'School's Out' but by then they'd already lost. Out of the 150 plus Alice Cooper shows I've seen this is the ONLY one I would ever name as being bad. It wasn't that the band played badly, they didn't. Nor was it that Alice wasn't on form, he was. It was the covers. The fans didn't want them and the band didn't really want them either.. and it showed.
Alice saw it as well. The following night in Wolverhampton 'Back Door Man' was thankfully jettisoned for good (The Who's 'I Can See For Miles' was the sixth cover played in Verona, but that was dropped the same night) and everything was tightened up a bit. It was certainly much better. A few days after the UK dates concluded Shep Gordon sent me an email to post on the site, explaining the idea behind the 'Raise The Dead' section of the show:
HELLO SICK THINGS!!!!!...HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!.....
Shep here... I had a chance this tour to get some quality time with many of the Sick Things. Really great to get to do more than wave while leaving the building........ Thank you all for your loyalty, honesty and concern... I know many of you are confused by the new show.. I read the postings and appreciated the comments, recommendations and concern... Glad to see most are feeling better.. A few more changes to come.....
I thought I would try and explain what our thoughts were in writing the new show which may help clear some things up for you, and for Alice and I...
Your comments that Alice breaks character at the tribute section was heard loudly by us. We realize we didn't explain what happens clearly enough. For over 40 years Alice on stage has done dispicable acts to society, has been killed for this and has immediiately returned reborn in white. This year Alice deals with the question of "what happens when Alice Cooper dies?" Is he burned in hell? No... he goes to join his friends who have also died... his friends from his drinking club THE HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES. He goes to the rockstar graveyard, as well he should, but nothing can keep Alice down.. it's not his time yet... so he raises the dead so he can come back!
Also please remember there are very special reasons for each artist as I'm sure as Sick Things you should know. Jimi Hendrix introduced Alice and I!!!!!! John Lennon gave Alice his first big show.. the show where the chicken was unleashed!!!!!!! Jim Morrison taught Alice how to REALLY drink!!!!!! And what needs to be said about Keith Moon.. He's Keith Moon and was Alices outrage buddy!!!!!! Who more fitting than Alice to raise these dead.
We are in the process of adding a few simple things to make this clearer to the audience, thanks to all of your comments..
THANK YOU SICK THINGS FOR CARING!!!!!!!!
The changes, which included bring back the guillotine, did help a great deal, and by the US tour the whole segment worked much better. The 'Raise The Dead' section apparently went down better in the US then had in Europe anyway, but then America had rock radio stations where these songs were played constantly. Europe, and especially the UK, really had no 24 hour rock radio to speak of. Maybe that was part of the difference. Whatever the reasons Alice stuck with the 'Raise The Dead' section of the show for the next five years but the fact remained, it didn't feel right to be watching Alice performing covers instead of 'My Stars', 'Elected', or any number of his own songs he could have played instead.
The 'Raise The Dead' show opened with a short burst of 'Hello Hooray', the front curtain dropping to reveal Alice and the band under a shower of sparks falling from the front lighting rig. Alice is in a garish red and black striped suit with large skull belt buckles. The stage has various doll heads, masks and other creepy stuff littered around. The backdrop looks cool, but unfortunatly it's almost impossible to work out what it actually is! I believe it's meant to look like a corridor leading to a tomb, but honestly it's hard to tell. Oh, and Glen has a nice new drum kit, red and black to match Alice's suit!
Of course Orianthi is immediatly noticable, being a woman and of course looking stunning. By now she was getting into the swing of things with blood stains on her face and arms and a blood splattered guitar. Many people didn't take to her presence on stage. She often came across as acting rather snobbish, like she felt she was too good to be playing this sort of stuff. It was a shame as much of it was simply part of the show, a character she was playing for Alice to play against. Away from the stage she was pretty shy and quiet much of the time, and if you caught her after a show (often not the easiest of thing to do) she would always be happy to chat and sign things.
The band proceed through 'House Of Fire', 'No More Mr Nice Guy', and 'Under My Wheels' in swift order before 'I'll Bite Your Face Off' gives Alice his first chance to really play off Orianthi, singing the words to her as she looks on with disdain. She storms across the stage with Alice chasing her. 'Billion Dollar Babies' follows with the money sword, then 'Caffeine' with Alice wandering the stage holding his head. He picks up a over-sized coffee cup and at the end of the song he pours the confetti contents onto the front rows. 'Department Of Youth' leads into 'Hey Stoopid' and on into 'Dirty Diamonds' with the necklaces and solos for Glen and Orianthi, serving as Alice's mid-set break.
The backdrop changes as thunder roars and 'Welcome To My Nightmare' begins, Alice appears at the back of the stage in an extremely tall tattered top hat. He walks to the front and draws a knife, waving it around before sticking it into the stage. 'Go To Hell' has the stage flooded with dark green and red lights, Alice shaking his maraccas. He brings out his bull whip, flicking it at Tommy and Ryan in turn.
A surprise edition to the show was 'He's Back', a song rarely played anywhere but Scandinavia for many years. The all guitar arrangement surpassing the original album version. The intro to 'Feed My Frankenstein' reveals Alice in a bloody lab coat ready to run through the FrankenAlice routine. This time 'Igor' appears with a friend, pulling a new Frankenstein machine. Alice dons a gas mask and stand against the new device, which starts to smoke and spark. There's a flash of light and Alice disappears, the giant FrankenAlice appearing to finish the song.
Alice and snake on the 'Raise The Dead' Tour, 2012.
'The Ballad Of Dwight Fry' begins on tape with the child's voices calling out "mommy, where's daddy?" before Ryan comes in on guitar. The nurse and her goons arrive and place Alice in the straitjacket. He escapes and goes to strangle her, but she pulls a pair of knives and stabs him first. As the final section of 'Killer' plays the guillotine is wheeled out and he's quickly dispatched to 'I Love The Dead'.
The stage goes dark and a tape loop from 'Under My Bed' plays, overdubed with a child saying 'da da'.. Alice is wheeled back to the stage on a stretcher, awaking as a voice announced "Alice.. Alice.. what are you doing here? Once again you've cheated death.. how fitting that you should end up in the graveyard of the Hollywood Vampires with all of your dead drunk friends... You are living on borrowed time Alice... So what are you going to do? Raise the dead?"
The stage now has gravestones around it, each marked with the name of a famous star who died. The back drop has also changed and now highlights the name of whichever dead friend Alice is currently singing for. First up is 'Break On Through' for Jim Morrison of The Doors, then 'Revolution' by the Beatles with Alice in John Lennon glasses. 'Foxy Lady' has Orianthi paying tribute to Hendrix, while 'My Generation' is for drummer Keith Moon. On later shows The Doors song included 'Five To Four', The Hendrix song became 'Manic Depression' while Lennon had 'Cold Turkey' and Moon had 'Pinball Wizard'. Finally be the very end of the 'Raise The Dead' period Lemmy was honoured with 'Ace Of Spades' (sung mainly by Chuck) and Bowie with 'Suffragette City' after they had both passed away suddenly.
Once the covers were over 'I'm Eighteen' attempted to pull the audience attention back to the present with 'Poison', 'Under My Wheels' and School's Out' completing the show. Originally only 'Poison' and 'School's Out' came after the 'Raise The Dead' section, but that really wasn't enough and the show ended rather flatly. Adding more Alice songs helped build the show back up a great deal.
The basic 'Raise The Dead' setup lasted over 5 years, as it was still being included during the first part of the 'Spend The Night With Alice Cooper' tour whihch followed it. There were many song changes here and there, backdrops and stage dresssing changed a little, and the covers changed, but it was basically the same show. For the hardcore fans who went to every show they could it was starting to become too predictable. Of course once you were there the shows were still great fun, but things really needed to be changed long before they actually were.
There was one last shake up before the 'Raise The Dead' era came to a close. In early June 2014 Orianthi announced she was leaving the band. She'd met ex-Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora and they where now a couple. She wanted to do her own thing including an album with Sambora which was finally released in 2018.
As much as Orianthi had become a popular member of the band Alice really hit gold with her replacement. Just four days after Orianthi's last show 'Hurricane' Nita Strauss was announced as the new guitarist in Alice's band. Nita was almost the complete oppersite of Orianthi. While Orianthi was influenced by Santana and the blues greats, Nita was a pure shredder - the more notes the better. Where Orianthi moved around gracefully with her long velvet coats and puffed up hair, Nita was tornado in spandex who never stopped moving. She exploded onto the stage all smiles and poses and she seemed to fit in with the rest of the band like the final piece of a puzzle no one knew was really missing. Plus she could play anything put in front of her. While Alice has never had a less then steller live band, Nita took them to the next level... And Alice knew it.
- Alice Cooper - Vocals
- Tommy Henriksen - Guitars/Vocals
- Ryan Roxie - Guitars/vocals
- Orianthi - Guitar/Vocals (Last show June 8th 2014)
- Nita Strauss - Guitar/Vocals (First show June 26th 2014)
- Chuck Garric - Bass/Vocals
- Glen Sobel - Drums
- Sheryl Cooper - The Nurse etc.
The 'Raise The Dead' Setlists
Because the 'Raise The Dead' section of the show was included for so long there were many, many changes, with songs moving in and out of the set or simply changing positions. There were also the shorter shows played on the package tours with Marilyn Manson and Motley Crue. You can see detailed setlist for every show shows by clicking here
The following songs were played at EVERY show between 2012 and October 30th 2016:
- No More Mr Nice Guy
- Billion Dollar Babies
- Feed My Frankenstein
- Ballad Of Dwight Fry
- I'm Eighteen
This next set of songs were performed for extended periods of time during the 'Raise The Dead' period:
- Hello Hooray - Opened every show until July 31st 2015. Replaced by 'The Black Widow'
- House Of Fire - Second song but dropped at short shows. Dropped in April 2016
- Under My Wheels - Played at almost every show but dropped on the 2015 UK tour.
- Welcome To My Nightmare - Played at every show until the 2015 UK tour
- Hey Stoopid - Played at every headline show, dropped for the short shows. Dropped when the tour became 'Spend The Night'
- Dirty Diamonds - Played atevery show until the 'Spend The Night tour.
- Go To Hell - Played until 'Spend The Night' tour except the Motley Crue tour 2015
- I'll Bite Your Face Off - Played at every show aprt from the Motley Crue tour 2015
- Killer/I Love The Dead - Brought in for the guillotine after early UK shows weren't working. Played at every show thereafter
While the 'Raise The Dead' section started off as six songs, two were dropped in the first two shows. After that there were three versions, each replacing the previous one:
Version 1 (October 24th 2012 - September 1st 2015):
Version 2: (October 29th 2015 - December 6th 2015):
- Break On Through - The Doors
- Revolution - The Beatles
- Foxy Lady - Jimi Hendrix
- My Generation - The Who
Version 3: (April 29th 2016-October 30th 2016):
- Five To One - Break On Through - The Doors
- Cold Turkey - John Lennon
- Manic Depression - Jimi Hendrix
- My Generation - The Who
- Pinball Wizard - The Who
- Love Me 2 Times - The Doors
Replaced by 'Ace Of Spades' after Lemmy died.
- Fire - Jimi Hendrix
- Suffragetti City - David Bowie
The last show to feature the 'Raise The Dead' section was on October 30th 2016.
And finally we're left with other songs that were played over the 'Raise The Dead' years.
These were only played at headline shows:
- Be My Lover - early shows and a few 2015 shows only
- The Congregation - 2012 shows and 5 shows in July 2013
- He's Back' - played at all headline shows except USA shows around the Manson tour in 2013. until February 12th 2015
- Brutal Planet - first three shows only
- Devil's Food - played at headline shows until the Crue tour and then dropped
- Caffeine - Played at headline shows until the 2015 European Tour when it as dropped
- Department Of Youth - Replaced 'The Congregation' in July 2013, dropped after last 2014 show
- Lost In America - Replaced 'Deparment of Youth' in 2015
- The Black Widow - Replaced Hello Hooray as opener on July 31st 2015
- Wicked Young Man - replaced 'He's Back' on February 14th 2015.
- Cold Ethyl/Only Women Bleed - returned the show in April 2016 when it changed to the 'Spend The Night' tour.
- Public Animal #9 - returned the show in April 2016 when it changed to the 'Spend The Night' tour.
- Long Way To Go - returned the show in April 2016 when it changed to the 'Spend The Night' tour.
- Halo Of Flies - returned the show in April 2016 when it changed to the 'Spend The Night' tour.
- Woman Of Masss Distraction - Added to the set May 10th 2016
- The World Needs Guts - replaces 'Woman Of Mass Distraction on August 17th 2016
- Is It My Body - joins the set list August 6th 2016