SickthingsUK: Welcome 2 My Nightmare

This sequel to Alice's first solo album seems him reunited with producer Bob Ezrin as well as the guitars of Steve Hunter (who also rejoined the live band). Guests include Rob Zombie, country star Vince Gill, pop star Ke$ha and, best of all, the original Alice Cooper band (Neal Smith, Dennis Dunaway and Michael Bruce). While revisting a well loved classic is a dangerous thing to do, here Alice and Ezrin pretty much pull it off with what has be described as Alice's best album since the 70s.


September 16th 2011 (UK Special Edition)
September 13th 2011 (US Edition)

Track listing

  1. I Am Made Of You (Cooper, Ezrin, Child) (5:32)
  2. Caffeine (Cooper, Ezrin, Keith Nelson, Henriksen) (3:25)
  3. The Nightmare Returns (Cooper, Ezrin) (1:16)
  4. A Runaway Train (Dunaway, Cooper, Ezrin) (3:51)
  5. Last Man On Earth (Cooper, Ezrin, Piggy D, David Spreng) (3:47)
  6. The Congregation (Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen) (3:59)
  7. I'll Bite Your Face Off (Cooper, Ezrin, Smith, Henriksen) (4:26)
  8. Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever (Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen) (3:36)
  9. Ghouls Gone Wild (Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen) (2:34)
  10. Something To Remember Me By (Cooper, Wagner) (3:17)
  11. When Hell Comes Down (Bruce, Cooper, Ezrin) (4:30)
  12. What Baby Wants (Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen, Kesha) (3:44)
  13. I Gotta Get Outta Here (Cooper, Patterson Hood, Ezrin) (4:20)
  14. The Underture (Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen, Child, Kelly, Seth, Wagner) (4:37)
  15. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (Mann, Weil) - Bonus Track* (3:10)
  16. Under The Bed (Cooper, Ezrin, Henriksen) - Bonus Track* (4:00)
  17. A Bad Situation (Cooper, Garric, Ezrin, Jim Bachi) - Bonus Track* (3:43)
  18. Flatline (Ezrin) - Vinyl Only* (3:27)

*There were multiple versions of the album when it was released with differing bonus tracks. Above is a list of all the new studio tracks. See below for full details of the different editions.

Musicians

I Am Made Of You
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Orchestration: Bob Ezrin and Jeremy Rubolino
Lead Guitar: Steve Hunter
Guitars, Keyboards, Programming: Tommy Henriksen
Electric Guitar: Tommy Denander
Bass: Jimmie Lee Sloas
Drums: Scott Wiliamson
Background Vocals: Bob Ezrin
Caffeine
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Bass, Keyboards, Lead Guitar, Percussion: Tommy Henriksen
Additional Rhythm Guitar: Keith Nelson (from Buckcherry)
Electric Guitar: Steve Hunter
Drums: Scott Williamson
Keyboards: Bob Ezrin
Background Vocals: Bob Ezrin, Tommy Henriksen, Kip Winger
The Nightmare Returns
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Lead Guitar: Tommy Henriksen
Electric Guitar: Steve Hunter
Keyboards: Bob Ezrin
Bass: Jimmie Lee Sloas
Drums: Scott Williamson
A Runaway Train
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Bass: Dennis Dunaway
Drums: Neal Smith
Guitar: Michael Bruce
Main Guitars: Steve Hunter, Tommy Henriksen
Lead Guitar: Vince Gill
Sound Effects: Tommy Henriksen
Piano: Bob Ezrin
Background Vocals: Alice Cooper
The Conductor: Dis Vicious (Tommy Henriksen)
Last Man On Earth
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Keyboards and Harmonium: Bob Ezrin
Cocktail Drums: Scott Williamson
Ganjo & Violin: Jason Roller
Tuba: Neil Konouchi
Guitar: David Spreng
The Congregation
Vocals: Alice Cooper
The Guide: Rob Zombie
Lead Guitar: Steve Hunter and Tommy Henriksen
Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Percussion, Programming: Tommy Henriksen
Keyboards: Bob Ezrin
Bass: Jimmie Lee Sloas
Drums: Scott Williamson
Background Vocals: Bob Ezrin, Tommy Henriksen, Kip Winger
I'll Bite Your Face Off
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Bass: Dennis Dunaway
Drums: Neal Smith
Rhythm Guitar: Michael Bruce
Lead Guitar: Steve Hunter
Guitars and Percussion: Tommy Henriksen
Piano: Bob Ezrin
Trombone: Justin "Kourquie" Corelyou
Brass Orchestration: Jeremy Rubolino
Background Vocals: Bob Ezrin
Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Lead Guitar: John 5
Guitar, Bass, Programming, Keyboards: Tommy Henriksen
Drums: Scott Williamson<
Background Vocals: Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Kip Winger
Ghouls Gone Wild
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Lead Guitar and Programming: Tommy Henriksen
Rhythm Electric Guitar: Steve Hunter
Farfisa Organ: Bob Ezrin
Bass: Jimmie Lee Sloas
Drums: Scott Williamson
Background Vocals: Bob Ezrin, Kip Winger, Mark Volman
Something To Remember Me By
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Orchestration: Bob Ezrin and Jeremy Rubolino
Lead & Acoustic Guitar: Steve Hunter
Electric Guitar: Tommy Henriksen
Bass: Jimmie Lee Sloas
Drums: Scott Williamson
Keyboards & Background Vocals: Bob Ezrin
When Hell Comes Home
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Bass: Dennis Dunaway
Drums: Neal Smith
Rhythm Guitar & Keyboards: Michael Bruce
Lead Guitar: Steve Hunter
Guitars: Pat Buchanan & Tommy Henriksen
Additional Keyboards: Bob Ezrin
Background Vocals: Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin
What Baby Wants
Vocals: Alice Cooper
THE LADY IN RED: Ke$ha
Guitar, Bass, Programming, Keyboards: Tommy Henriksen
Lead & Rhythm Guitar: Steve Hunter
Keyboards: Bob Ezrin
Additional Programming: Aja Emmanuel (on the Beat Thang)
Background Vocals: Ke$ha, Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Tommy Henriksen
I Gotta Get Outta Here
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Drums: Jimmy DeGrasso
Bass: Chuck Garric
Lead Guitar: Vince Gill
Acoustic Guitar, Programming, Synths: Tommy Henriksen
Guitars: Steve Hunter
Additional Guitar: Brad Sample
Keyboards: Bob Ezrin
Background Vocals: Bob Ezrin, Kip Winger, Vicki Hampton, Wendy Moten
The Underture
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Arranged and Orchestrated by Jeremy Rubolino
Lead Guitar: Steve Hunter
Special Guest Guitar: Dick Wagner
Rhythm Electric Guitar: Tommy Henriksen
Piano: Bob Ezrin
Bass: Jimmie Lee Sloas
Drums: Scott Williamson
Under The Bed
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Everything Else: "Bob and Tommy"
Live Bonus Tracks
Vocals: Alice Cooper
Bass & Backing Vocals: Chuck Garric
Guitar & Backing Vocals: Damon Johnson
Guitar: Steve Hunter
Guitar & Backing Vocals: Tommy Henriksen
Drums: Glen Sobel

Sleeve Notes

Produced By Bob Ezrin
Executive Producer: Shep Gordon
Associate Producer: Tommy Henriksen
Engineered by Justin "Kourquie" Cortleyou
Mixed by Bob Ezrin and Justin "Kourquie" Cortleyou
Additional Mixing on 'Something To Remember Me By': Roy Cicala
Additional Mixing on 'I Gotta Get Outta Here': Tommy Henriksen
Recorded and mixed at Anarchy Studios, Nashville, TN
Art Direction: Ernie Cefalu
Graphic Artist: Carin Cronacher
Photos: Ross Halfin

Additional Studios:
  • Tracking At Ronnie's Place, Nashville, TN
  • Magic Shop Studios, New York, NY
  • Kingsize Soundlabs, Los Angeles, CA
Orchestra at Capital Studios and Glenwood Place (Hollywood, CA)
Overdubs at:
  • Anarchy Studios, Los Angeles, CA
  • Full Well Recording, Phoenix, AZ
  • The House, Henderson, TN
  • South American Plant Studio, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • The Village Recorder, Los Angeles, CA
  • Great Scott Productions, Phoenix, AZ
  • Chaton Studios, Phoenix, AZ

Album Notes - (Detailed release information)

After 'Along Came A Spider' it took three long years for Alice to release a new album. During that time two important things had happened. Firstly, there was the return of Bob Ezrin. Alice and Bob had never lost track of each other, but the last time they properly worked together was way back in 1983 for 'DaDa'. Sure, Ezrin had been name checked or a couple of albums over the years, but that was mainly Alice going to him for advice and opinions. He wasn't normally in the studio writing and recording. This changed in 2010 when Alice was asked to provide new versions of his classic songs for the 'Guitar Hero' video games that were popular at the time. The games featured computer instrument controllers that the player could use to "play" classic songs, attempting to hit notes on the screen at the right time to get a perfect score. Alice and Shep tapped Ezrin to re-record songs he had originally worked on, the results being released on a digital only EP called 'Alice Does Alice'. As the EP was released there was also another announcement. Alice had signed up to: "a joint venture with Bob Ezrin's 'Bigger Picture Group', who will from now on contribute to strategy, staging, special products, theatrical projects as well as the production, promotion and distribution of future Alice Cooper releases." So that basically covered everything. Bob was back in charge. Most fans were overjoyed!


Alice Cooper (with Steve Hunter) performing at their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction, 2011

The second important event was the original Alice Cooper band finally being inducted into the 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' on March 14th 2011. The band had been eligible for nearly two decades and for years had been named in the media as an example of why the organisation was a joke. One look at some of the artists that had already been inducted showed how ridiculous the situation had become, and it wasn't just Alice Cooper being ignored. Dozens of other highly successful and influential hard rock/metal artist were also being left out, while many bands they had directly influenced were starting to get in. It was ridiculous.

The really important thing here though wasn't the fact that they were finally inducted, it was the fact the induction was the catalyst that brought the surviving members of the band back together in a working situation. In the past they had occasionally appeared together at small events, and Michael and Dennis had both appeared with Alice on stage as guests, but this was different. This time they would be performing together in front of a huge TV audience AS A BAND.

The original band performed together three times, with Steve Hunter standing in for the departed Glen Buxton. The first was the induction ceremony itself where they performed 'I'm Eighteen', 'Under My Wheels' and School's Out' with Rob Zombie both introducing them and joining in on the last song. The second time was at the 'Revolver Golden Gods' awards show a month later where they added 'Billion Dollar Babies' to the three previously played songs, and the final time (for now) was a strange event at Battersea Power Station, London where a small crowd watched holograms of the band in "4D". The idea was to replicate a real live performance using 3D technology. The "screen" was a 3D hologram-like setup on a real performance stage with real lights and smoke etc. The band were "beamed in" live from New York (or Los Angeles?) and seen as holograms but everything else was controlled live in London. The results, while fun, could have been better!

All these events activity brought thoughts of the original band to the forefront of peoples minds, and with Ezrin back on board there was a lot of speculation and expectations

One of the first things Ezrin appears to have done once back in control was to form a new live band. Keri Kelli and Jimmy Degrasso were let go, with Chuck holding his spot only because Alice apparently put his foot down and said no. In their place they brought in new boy Glen Sobel on drums, and no less then three guitarists. Damon Johnson returned to pair up with another new face, Tommy Henriksen, and an old friend, the legendary Steve Hunter, who had played on many of the classic 70s Alice Cooper albums. No explanations for the changes was ever given and fans were especially sad to see Keri go as he'd become a popular member of the band over the previous few years.

A few answers arrived when 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' was released. It featured no less then seven songs co-written by Henriksen, who also featured on every song in some capacity, playing guitar, bass, keyboards and anything else that came to hand. Steve Hunter was also featured on several songs, including the emotionally charged solo on 'I Am Made Of You'.

The new band went on the road in May 2011 on the 'No More Mr Nice Guy' tour and debuted a new song, 'I'll Bite Your Face Off', in the setlist. The tour took them through Canada, South America, the UK (with a triumphant show at the Download Festival), Europe and the USA. It also included a one off club show at London's famous 100 Club with a surprise special guest, "Johnny D from Kentucky" aka actor Johnny Depp. Alice had met Depp on the set of the movie 'Dark Shadows' and the pair had struck up a firm friendship which would result in the 'Hollywood Vampires' band and album.

'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' finally arrived in September 2011 and was an immediate hit with both fans and critics. It was everything 'Along Came A Spider' wasn't. The production was immaculate and pretty much every song hit the spot. Just the opening seconds of 'I Am Made Of You' were enough to sent shivers down any true fans spine, as the familiar 'Steven' melody rose from the speakers.. and Hunter's solo was just sublime.
Then there was the appearance of the original Alice Cooper band on three songs, each co-written with either Dennis, Neal or Michael. You also had the rag-time jazz of 'Last Man On Earth', the Adrenaline fuelled 'Caffeine', Dick Wagner's ballad 'Something To Remember Me By', and the Stones tribute 'I'll Bite Your Face Off'. It was by far the best album Alice had produced in a very long time.


The video for 'I'll Bite Your Face Off' featuring Johnny Depp.

'I'll Bite Your Face Off' was released as a single a month before the album but did little despite a video featuring footage from the '100 Club' show with Johnny Depp. The album however saw Alice back in the charts again reaching #22 in the US. It failed to chart in the US because the "Classic Rock Fan Pack" that was released there wasn't eligible for the charts. By the time the album was released in the UK through normal channels everyone already had it! 'Caffeine' was released as a second single but again didn't chart.

'I Am Made Of You' has to be up there with the very best Alice songs ever. Is he talking about God? Is he talking to Sheryl, his wife?

"There’s a song I wrote with Desmond Child and Bob Ezrin, called 'I Am Made Of You.' Now, it was really interesting how this song lyrically came about, because when you listen to the song, it can be taken three different ways. Our producer Bob Ezrin said, "You're singing to the audience, I am made of you." And that was saying, "I’m one of you and we're connected." Then Desmond Child said, "No, it's I am made of you… the guy is singing to his girl, I am made of you… we are one." And I said, "Yes, but it could also be a hymn. It could also be a guy singing to God… I am made of you." It really did act as three different songs in one."

'Caffeine' was co-written by Keith Nelson the band Buckcherry. It has Steven trying desperately to stay awake and not fall into the nightmare. Of course no amount of coffee is going to stop that happening.

'The Nightmare Returns' sees 'Steven' playing a little childs melody on the piano, still trying to find something to keep him awake. A variation of the 'Steven' melody returns as he finally falls asleep.

'A Runaway Train' was written by Alice Cooper bassist Dennis Dunaway as 'Subway' and recorded in it's original form on his 'Bones From The Yard' album. Alice and Bob stripped away everything but the verse, to create a song that sounds like a train steaming along the tracks. It features lead guitar by country star Vince Gill.

'Last Man On Earth' is influenced by a 1959 episode of 'The Twilight Zone' called 'Time Enough At Last' featuring Burgess Meredith as "Henry Bemis", a man in a ruined world who just wants to be left alone to read, but constantly has to deal with an anti-intellectual society. While in a library vault a nuclear bomb goes off wiping out all other life. He emerges and thinks "this is great, now I can just read".. and then his glasses fall off and break...
The song has Steven waking up in the train wreck all alone. He thinks it's great! He can do anything he wants! Then he turns to see there's a whole group of people there watching him and applauding - the 'Congregation'.

In 'The Congregation' Steven is shown around his new home by his guide (Rob Zombie) who shows him all the bad people who are there with him and mimes.

'I'll Bite Your Head Off' is a deliberate homage to the Rolling Stones. On stage Alice even used to impersonate Jagger while singing it. It's based on a Neal Smith riff from a song called 'Evil Voodoo Moon' from the 'Killsmith II' album. "I'll Bite Your Face Off" is an American phrase, similar to "I'll bite your head off" in other places. In the song Steven meets another denizen of his dream who continues his tour, warning him not to break any of her rules.

'Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever' looks back to Alice's original idea for a 'Goes To Hell' stage show. Hell is a disco (because disco is hell). 'Steven's new guide suggests they go to the disco but he isn't interested. She insists and he discovers everyone at the disco is dead but still dancing around. Every so often someone arrives and shoots them all, but they just get back up and carry on dancing.. Hell indeed. Rob Zombie guitarist plays the fast solo at the end as rock finally destroys disco.

'Ghouls Gone Wild' was an idea Alice had for the joint headline tour he did with Rob Zombie. It wasn't used but he came back to it for this song. Mark Volman of 'Flo and Eddie' and 'The Turtles' makes another appearance on an Alice Cooper album to provide the Beach Boy-like backing vocals. From the disco the guide takes Steven to a beach party where all the scantily clad beach bunnies are zombies. He falls for one of the dancing corpses (?!?) and starts dancing away with her, but finds he's left with just a few body parts as the body disintegrates in his arms.

'Something To Remember Me By' was written with Dick Wagner, who co-wrote so much of Alice's late 70s material, back around the time of 'Goes To Hell'. In the story Steven is singing the song to what's left of his beach friend.

'When Hell Comes Home' is the Michael Bruce song, based on a song he wrote around 2002 called 'Hellhole #9'. Alice had highlighted domestic abuse before ('Dead Babies', 'Only Women Bleed') but not with this intensity. It shows a flashback to Steven's childhood, when his father abused him horribly while his mother, scared for her life, stood by and watched. Father arrives home calling "Steven.. Steven... STEVEN!" and Steven has to stop him once and for all.

Back in the present Steven's tour is reaching it's end. Steven has been shown around his dream world and now it's time to pay, but he doesn't understand why? It's his dream, what is there to pay for? The guide says "don't you know what this is? Don't you know who I am? Nothing's free here and you have to pay".
'What Baby Wants' features the voice of pop star Kesha who also co-wrote her lyrics. In fact as Alice explained in interviews Kesha's original lyrics had be be watered down a lot because "gentleman Alice would never say those words".

'I Gotta Get Out Of Here' shows Steven at the end of his dream. He's had enough now and wants to wake up. The other residence laugh at him. "Don't you understand yet? What part of dead don't you get?" But of course Steven could still be in a dream and it's the dream folk trying to trick him. We never really find out. Or do we? If you get the vinyl edition of the album there's one final track only available there. It's not a song, but just sound effects and a heart monitor which eventually stops as a quiet voice whispers "Steven.....".

The Underture' is the upside-down version of the overture often heard at the beginning of stage musicals. It would feature bits of songs from the show setting up the star of the performance. Here it's all backwards as it closes the album. It features snippets of music including the following songs:


    Should this have been the cover of 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare'?
  • Welcome to My Nightmare
  • The Awakening
  • Steven-ish bridge
  • Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever
  • Only Women Bleed
  • Something to Remember Me By
  • Devil's Food
  • Black Widow
  • Ghouls Gone Wild
  • I Am Made of You
  • Years Ago
  • Steven

'A Bad Situation', the iTunes exclusive track, was originally called 'My Favourite Mutation' and mentioned by Alice in interviews before the album was finished. The song doesn't have anything directly to do with the story of Steven, although you could shoe-horn it in as another nightmare scenario, that of being stuck in a 9-5 job you hate and just want to get out of.

'We've Got To Get Out Of This Place' is a cover of a song by Eric Burdon and The Animals song originally released in 1964.

The cover of 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' is based on the artwork seen on the original 'Welcome To My Nightmare' album from 1975. However this time everything is dirtier and decayed. It packaging looks beautiful with one huge great flaw... instead of upating the original iconic image of Alice from the 1975 original they went with a rather silly photograph.. It's the only thing that spoils the whole package. Unbelivably there IS an image based on the original cover inside the booklet, which is far superior to the tacky photograph, but for some reason it wasn't use for the main cover.


When 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' was released it came in at least six different configurations. All featured a core 14 tracks but added differing bonus content. The six versions were:

  1. The Original UK release which came as a "Classic Rock Magazine Fan Pack" and included a page magazine, mask, badge, make-up kit, and the CD in a book cover sleeve. It also had two bonus tracks:
    • Under The Bed
    • Poison (Live at Download 2011)
  2. A Limited Edition deluxe digipack included:
    • We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (The Animals)
    • No More Mr Nice Guy (Live At Download Festival)
    • The Black Widow (Live At Download Festival)
  3. The Standard UK and US Releases featured just one bonus track:
    • We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
  4. A double vinyl (blood red in the UK) version had one exclusive track unavailable elsewhere:
    • Flatline
  5. A Canadian/Best Buy/Japanese deluxe edition includes:
    • Under The Bed
    • Poison (Live at Download 2011)
    • No More Mr Nice Guy (Live At Download Festival)
    • The Black Widow (Live At Download Festival)
  6. Finally the iTunes digitalk download featured two more another exclusive tracks:
    • A Bad Situation
    • We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
    • Dialogue - How They Came To Be - which features Alice talking about the songs.

'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' Live - No More Mr Nice Guy


Alice and Jonny Depp at the 100 Club, London.

As with the previous album the often promised 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' show never materialised. Again timing was give as the reason and even years later Alice was still talking about possibly doing a show based around both '..Nightmare' albums, possible on Broadway or in Las Vegas as the cost of moving such a show around different venues every night could have been prohibative in the current market. Apart from the cost the main issue seemed to be that Alice kept being offered lucrative slots on other bands tours. Accepting these tours made sense. Not only did they cost less to mount (as the main band would being paying for most things) but it also exposed Alice Cooper to hundreds of thousands of people who had possibly never seen him before. This was obviously a good thing. Every night Alice would go on first and blast through an hour or so of the biggest hits, with a fair amount of theatrical flair, while the audience waas still fresh. In effect he blew the headlines off stage every night and was back at the hotel relaxing by 10pm. Reviews of the shows confirmed what was happening every night, with Alice invariably getting the better reviews, especially on the 2 years he spent on the road with Motley Crue. But while it was written into the contract that Alice could play with his full theatrics on these tours it was unavoidable that mounting a big show of his own in such a situation just wasn't feesible. The headliners gear would always take up a large percentage of the available space and anything he did had to fit in around their equipment. And so putting the amount of mney into a new show he wouldn`t always be able to use just didn't make sense.

Of course Alice did tour constantly in the gap between 2011 and the next studio album 'Paranormal' in 2017 with the show going under various titles, but they were all closer to greatest hits sets, with a few new songs added in along with a smattering of deeper cuts and a few surprises. When the album was released he was on the 'No More Mr Nice Guy' tour, which morphed into the 'Raise The Dead' tour and finally the 'Spend The Night With Alice Cooper' tour. I'll cover the latter shows over the next few releases but here we'll deal with the 'No More Mr Nice Guy' show whihc was going on when 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' was released.

The tour ran from May 2011 to August 2012 and was the first to feature the Ezrin-created new band. If anyone was concerned about the new faces they needn't have worried. The new musicians were at least as good as any previous group and the return of Steve Hunter, while not as agile as his much younger bandmates, added an extra layer of class to the performances. Having three guitarists also allowed them to recreate the original songs far better then previously with each guitarist playing their own distinct parts. Tommy Henriksen's part in all this was particulaly misunderstood. While his guitar was lower in the general mix what he was playing raised everything to a highter level, adding another layer to the live sound that had only been possible in the studio previously.

The show opened with a tape of the Vincent Price speech from 'Devil's Food' introducing 'The Black Widow'. As on the previous tour (and most subsequent shows) the stage was hidden by a curtain adorned with the tour logo/image, which dropped to reveal Alice in his spider jacket atop the metal platform they used for 'Vengeance Is Mine' in the previous show. The platform is turned around to allow Alice to descend for 'Brutal Planet'. The stage featured two sets of stairs, one each side allowing the band to move up and down in front of their amps, which were covered by sackcloth, while the drum riser had the words "No More Mr Nice Guy' written acrss the front, a trash can and various other stage dressing littered in front if it.

Much of the show was extremely light on theatrics with the majority of songs performed without any props at all. 'I'm Eighteen' had the crutch and 'Billion Dollar Babies' had the money sword, but other then that it was all pretty straight forward. 'Halo Of Flies' was this years band spotlight. 'I'll Bite Your Face Off' was added to the show before the album was even released, and retained it's spot for some time afterwards, Alice dancing across the stage like Jagger.

The theatrics finally surfaced on 'Only Women Bleed' as Alice picks up an 'Ethyl' doll and holds it tenderly, throwing her around on 'Cold Ethyl'. The stage goes dark before 'Feed My Frankenstein', Alice dressed in a white lab coat with bloody handprints on it. He calls for 'Igor' who appears, dressed in rags, and helps Alice put on red gloves and goggles before he starts playing with a control panel to the left of the drum kit. Sparks fly and smoke billows out and a ten foot Frankenstein's monster appears lumbering across the stage to chase Alice away. The monster proceeds to sing the rest of the song (it's actually Chuck singing) before taking a bow and exiting the stage.


The FrankenAlice in Glasgow, 2011.

'Clones (We're All)' appears in the standard setlist for the first time since 1981, a major surprise, with the band in plastic facemasks moving around robotically, Alice standing behind the control console acting out the words. 'Poison' and 'Wicked Young Man' follow, the latter featuring the mic stand gag, Alice running it through a photographer stoopid enough to enter the stage. The guillotine sequence follows with Chuck leading the audience through the 'I Love The Dead' chorus - "you love the dead? let me hear you sing it!".

Alice returns in a black jacket and the 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' studded black top hat for 'School's Out', which now includes a brief snippet of Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick In The Wall' something that has remained ever since. Then 'Elected' closes the show with Alice in his mirror jacket and top hat, holding the flag high as he introduces the band.

In August 2011 Damon Johnson leaves the band, having been offered a spot in the newly reformed Thin Lizzy. It was an opportunity he couldn't turn down, as Lizzy had been his favourite band since his teens, the very reason he picked up a guitar in the first place. It was the right decision. After touring for a couple of years under the Thin Lizzy name he had formed a closer songwriting partnership with Lizzy front man Ricky Warwick. Thin Lizzy became 'Black Star Riders' to record the new music and another great band was formed, going from strength to strength each years. Damon would continue to pop up with Alice occasionally, filling in for otherwise unavailable guitarists, and Alice guested on Damon's solo album 'Release' performing on a new version of 'Generation Ladslide', a song Damon unsuccessfully tried to get into the Alice Cooper setlist for years.

His replacement was a real shock. Alice had met Australian guitarist Orianthi on the set of 'American Idol' back in 2010 when he and Keri Kelli appeared to perform 'School's Out'. She'd risen to fame after being chosen as the lead guitarist on what would have become Michael Jacksons biggest tour. Jackson died before the tour took place, but a full length film of rehearsals was released showing her perfoming with Jackson. Of course few Alice Cooper fans had ever seen the film or heard of the blonde bombshell before she was joined the band, and many were more then a little suspicious of the motive behind her enlistment. Rumours that some shows were being advertised as "Alice Cooper featuring Orianthi" didn't help! In the end it all turned out very well as having a female musician on the stage gave Alice a living prop to work against.

Six months later Steve Hunter also announced he was moving on. Hunter was going blind, and had been stuggling on the road keeping up with Alice's heavy touring schedule. He announced his departure in February 2012 and speculation began about who would replace him. Many fans thought they knew exactly who it should, including this site, and we made our voices heard. Ryan Roxie had been out of the band for several years, spending time in Sweden with his young family, but now he was ready to come home, and we wanted him back. Other band members were contacted, old and current, to put in a good word and on March 22nd he was announced as the new guitarist for Alice Cooper.

"I can't even begin to express how excited I am to have the opportunity to be a part of this years touring line-up… to be able to contribute musically with Alice and the band, perform for all you faithful Cooper fans, and have the chance to play guitar on stage next to one of rock music's coolest icons… Well, let's just say I definitely plan to 'enjoy the ride'… and yes, just like all good sports-related interview ending quotes, I also plan on 'taking it one show at a time' and giving it '110%'… Looking forward to seeing all you Sick Things out there in 2012!"

The new line up headed back out in 2012 with the same show but with 'Caffine' replacing 'Clones'. The only other 'Welcome 2 My Nightmare' song to ever be played live was 'The Congregation' which made an appearance in the next show 'Raise The Dead' which I'll cover here

The Performers

  • Tommy Henriksen - Guitars/Vocals
  • Steve Hunter - Guitars/Vocals (2011)
  • Ryan Roxie - Guitars/vocals (replaces Steve Hunter from 2012 onwards)
  • Damon Johnson - Guitars/Vocals (2011)
  • Orianthi - Guitar/Vocals (replaces Damon Johnson in August 2011)
  • Chuck Garric - Bass/Vocals
  • Glen Sobel - Drums

Orianthi and Ethyl, Glasgow 2011.

'The Theatre Of Death' Tour Setlist

This is a general setlist. There were other changes during the two year tour.
You can see detailed setlist for all the shows by clicking here

  1. (Vincent Price Intro)
  2. The Black Widow
  3. Brutal Planet
  4. I'm Eighteen
  5. Under My Wheels
  6. Billion Dollar Babies
  7. No More Mr Nice Guy
  8. Hey Stoopid
  9. Is It My Body
  10. Halo Of Flies
  11. I'll Bite Your Face Off
  12. Muscle Of Love
  13. Only Women Bleed
  14. Cold Ethyl
  15. Feed My Frankenstein
  16. Clones (We're All) (replaced by 'Caffeine' in 2012)
  17. Poison
  18. Wicked Young Man
  19. Killer - I Love The Dead (excerpt)
  20. School's Out (incorporating 'Another Brick In The Wall pt 2')
  21. Elected
  22. Fire (Jimi Hendrix cover dropped early in the tour)