Rock Is Dead Tour

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Rock is Dead
Tour by Marilyn Manson
Associated album Mechanical Animals
Start date March 21, 1999
End date August 8, 1999
No. of shows 46 (planned)
43 (completed)
Marilyn Manson concert chronology

Rock Is Dead was a worldwide arena tour by American rock band Marilyn Manson in 1999. It was the second tour launched in support of their third full-length studio LP, Mechanical Animals, which was released on September 15, 1998.

The tour was essentially a rebranding of the Marilyn Manson and Hole co-headlined Beautiful Monsters tour.[1][2][3] While it was initially successful, Beautiful Monsters was marked by numerous and well-publicized fracases between the frontperson of each band on and off-stage.[4] The discord caused a fallout between the two groups which resulted in Hole's departure from the playbill.[5][6] Marilyn Manson decided to continue the tour and gave the opening act, Monster Magnet, equal billing as co-headliner for Rock is Dead.[7]

The tour was recorded for the VHS God is in the TV in 1998 and released on November 2, 1999.

Performance and show themes

"Inauguration of the Mechanical Christ" was created as an intro for Marilyn Manson, who would appear fixed to a crucifix made out of television sets as it rose from beneath the stage.

Marilyn Manson would also pose as an officer during "Irresponsible Hate Anthem" and as a finale, Manson's backup singer would arrive as a second officer with a shotgun. The shotgun would fire into Manson's back, splattering blood unto the crowd. With Manson having been 'murdered', his body would be dragged from the stage.

The podium scene during Antichrist Superstar continued to appear for the track of the same name. This led to a slight controversy during what was to be the original final North American tour date. During the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, show, Marilyn Manson was surprised to find the Antichrist Superstar logo on his podium had been replaced with a smiley face, ultimately leading to Manson walking off the stage and not returning.

Set props included a massive lit sign spelling D-R-U-G-S, as well as golden confetti fired often from cannons.

After Imperial Teen's billing was withdrawn from the tour, Grammy-nominated American psychobilly band Nashville Pussy took over the opening act slot from Monster Magnet beginning at the April 2, 1999, concert at the Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Manson explained to MTV that the initial inclusion of Imperial Teen on the tour was "by Courtney's request. I think we're probably better off, because that would've been an additional torment for our fans that they didn't need." He added that while he enjoyed their music on CD, he felt there was too much difference in their musical and performance approach for their continued inclusion on the tour to work.[8]

Fellow Floridians and longtime friends of the band Jack Off Jill joined Manson's tour for four dates from March 25, 1999, at the Uno Arena in New Orleans until March 30, 1999, at the National Car Center Arena in their shared hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for both groups' homecoming concert.[8]


The renaming caused a minor dispute as Korn and Rob Zombie were already in the middle of a tour of the same name.[9] This particular tour consisted of 45 dates spanning from March 21, 1999 until August 8, 1999.

The first two performances were canceled after Manson sprained his ankle during the final Beautiful Monsters show in Los Angeles and rescheduled for later dates.[5]

Following the aftermath of the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado,[10][11] the band canceled the remaining dates of the tour out of respect for the victims, explaining, "It's not a great atmosphere to be out playing rock 'n' roll shows, for us or the fans."[12][13][14] However, Manson steadfastly maintained that music, movies, books or video games are not to blame, stating,[12][13][14]

Columbine aftermath

A day after the shooting, State Senator Dale Shugars (R-Mich.) attended the band's concert, along with policy advisers, a local police officer and the state senate's sergeant-at-arms, at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan to conduct research for a proposed bill he had been authoring which would require parental warnings on concert tickets and promotional material for any performer that had released a record bearing the Parental Advisory sticker in the last five years.[16] According to Shugars, the show began with the singer wearing "satanic wings" as he leapt from a cross that was eventually set on fire.[16] He then described seeing fans, whom he described as normal kids, "under [Manson's] control" as he performed a sequence that "glorified the killing of a police officer."[16] Finally, he reported the singer recounting a dream sequence in which cops perform sex acts on him before Jesus Christ descended out of a sky made of LSD and told him the real name of God is "Drugs."[16] After which, the band launched into "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)".[16] Shugars expressed concern that these shows had adverse effects on concert-goers, "I think there's something going on that you can't see from the outside."[16] He concluded that "[t]his whole thing is part of a drug-cultural type of thing, with a subculture of violence and killing and hatred, and anti-family values, anti-traditional values, anti-authority" and added that "We're having an alarming rate of killings in schools, and youth violence and an increase in drugs. I would say that though they're not all to be blamed on a shock entertainer like Marilyn Manson, I think he promotes it and can be part of the blame."[16]

On April 25, 1999, conservative pundit William Bennett and longtime Manson critic[17] U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) pointed the group as a contributing factor to the massacre during their appearance on Meet the Press.[18] Three days later, the city of Fresno, California unanimously passed a resolution condemning "Marilyn Manson or any other negative entertainer who encourages anger and hate upon the community as an offensive threat to the children of this community."[19] Councilman Henry Perea, the resolution's author, said, "If people were on the street and engaged in some of the same behaviors that [Manson] demonstrates onstage, they'd probably be arrested."[20] In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, students were barred from wearing Marilyn Manson T-shirts[19] The next day, ten U.S. Senators, spearheaded by U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), signed and sent a letter to Edgar Bronfman Jr., president of Interscope Records-owner Seagrams, requesting the voluntary cesation of his company's distribution of "music that glorifies violence" to children.[21] The signatories were eight Republicans and two Democrats, namely, U.S. Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), U.S. Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.), U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), U.S. Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), U.S. Senator John Ashcroft (R-Mo.) and U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).[20] The letter particularly pointed out the band, among others, for producing songs that "glorify death and human destruction" which "eerily reflect" the actions of Harris and Klebold.[21]

Eleven days after the Columbine massacre, Marilyn Manson wrote an op-ed piece for Rolling Stone, titled "Columbine: Whose Fault Is It?", where he rebuked the ensuing political and media "witch hunt" and castigated "the sad fact that America puts killers on the cover of Time magazine, giving them as much notoriety as our favorite movie stars [...] Don't be surprised if every kid who gets pushed around has two new idols."[22]

A few days later, on May 4, 1999, a hearing on the marketing and distribution practices of violent content to minors by the television, music, film and video game industries was conducted before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.[23] It was chaired by U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and composed of eleven Republicans and nine Democrats, including U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah.) and U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) as well as cultural observers, professors and mental-health professionals that included William Bennett and the Archbishop of Denver, Reverend Charles J. Chaput.[23] The band was among those criticized by the participants, besides fellow label-mate Nine Inch Nails and the 1999 Wachowski brothers film The Matrix, for their alleged contribution to the environment that made a tragedy like Columbine possible.[23] Senator Hatch thought that Manson truncated his band's US tour because "he or she or whatever the case might be realizes that he can be tremendously booed and that his work is tremendously offensive."[23] Among the invited guests, the CEOs of four of the world's major music distributors declined to attend.[23] This was denounced by Bennett who said their absence, nevertheless, amounted to a "[p]ublic shaming. My hunch is they will continue to ignore you like they did today."[23] Outside observers such as Nina Crowley, director of the anti-censorship organization Mass Mic, expressed chagrin regarding the hearings, commenting that it was "a very stacked-looking thing."[23] Hilary Rosen, president and CEO of the RIAA, shared this opinion and thought "it was staged as political theater [...] They just wanted to find a way to shame the industry, and I'm not ashamed."[23]

Senators Brownback, Hatch and Lieberman concluded the proceedings by requesting an investigation from the Federal Trade Commission and the United States Department of Justice on marketing practices of the entertainment industry to minors.[23][24] The following month, President Bill Clinton granted that request adding that "Kids steeped in the culture of violence do become desensitized to it and more capable of committing it."[24][25] The release of the FTC report on September 13, 2000 would later lead then-Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman to propose introducing legislation that would levy criminal punishment against distributors who participate in marketing and distributing adult-oriented media to minors.[26][27][28][29] The Media Marketing Accountability Act was introduced by Senator Lieberman on June 2001, co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).[30][31]


Marilyn Manson released a live video album on November 2, 1999 titled God Is in the T.V. that contained rare and unreleased footage including a behind-the-scenes backstage look at some of the experiences the band underwent during the Rock Is Dead Tour. He also released a live album on November 12, 1999 titled The Last Tour on Earth that documented curated performances by his band from various concerts during the tour.[32]


Marilyn Manson

Set List

Tour dates

List of concerts, showing date, city, country, venue and opening act
Date City Country Venue Opening act
Leg 1 — North America
21 March 1999 Houston United States The Summit (aka Compaq Center) Monster Magnet
22 March 1999 San Antonio Alamodome
23 March 1999 Dallas Reunion Arena
25 March 1999 New Orleans UNO Arena Jack Off Jill
27 March 1999 Tampa Ice Palace
29 March 1999 Orlando Orlando Arena
30 March 1999 Fort Lauderdale National Car Rental Center Arena
2 April 1999 Winston-Salem Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum Nashville Pussy
3 April 1999 Fairfax Patriot Center
4 April 1999 Philadelphia First Union Spectrum
6 April 1999 East Rutherford Meadowlands Sports Complex
7 April 1999 Uniondale Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
9 April 1999 Worcester The Centrum
10 April 1999 New Haven New Haven Coliseum
11 April 1999 Buffalo Marine Midland Arena
13 April 1999 Cleveland CSU Arena
15 April 1999 Detroit The Palace of Auburn Hills
16 April 1999 Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Arena
17 April 1999 Fort Wayne Fort Wayne Coliseum
20 April 1999 Rosemont Rosemont Horizon
21 April 1999 Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena
22 April 1999 Indianapolis Market Square Arena
24 April 1999 Madison Dane County Coliseum
25 April 1999 Milwaukee Bradley Center
27 April 1999 Minneapolis Target Center
28 April 1999 Cedar Rapids Five Seasons Center
5 May 1999 Las Vegas Thomas & Mack Center
7 May 1999 Phoenix Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Leg 2 — Europe
18 June 1999 Hultsfred Sweden Hultsfred Festival none
20 June 1999 Imola Italy Heineken Jammin' Festival
25 June 1999 Berlin Germany Wuhlheide
26 June 1999 Scheeßel Hurricane Festival
27 June 1999 Munich Southside Festival
1 July 1999 Roskilde Denmark Roskilde Festival
3 July 1999 Werchter Belgium Werchter Festival
4 July 1999 Wiesen Austria Forestglade Festival
7 July 1999 Kristiansand Norway Quart Festival
9 July 1999 Belfort France Eurockéennes de Belfort
10 July 1999 Milton Keynes England Milton Keynes Bowl
Leg 3 — Asia
2 August 1999 Fukuoka Japan Zepp Fukuoka none
3 August 1999
7 August 1999 Fuji-Yoshida Fuji-Q Highland Conifer Forest Festival
8 August 1999


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  2. ^ "Marilyn Manson, Hole Announce Two Months Worth Of Dates". MTV News. 1999-01-27. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  3. ^ "Manson, Hole Get Tour On The Road". MTV News. 1999-03-02. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  4. ^ "Courtney Talks About Hole/Manson Tour". MTV News. 1999-01-07. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  5. ^ a b "Hole Walks Out On Tour, Manson Injury Postpones Several Dates". MTV News. 1999-03-15. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  6. ^ "Hole, Marilyn Manson Avoid Nostalgia As Tour Rolls Into Seattle". MTV News. 1999-03-05. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
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  8. ^ a b "Manson Resumes Tour Without Hole, Taps Nashville Pussy And Jack Off Jill For Upcoming Dates". MTV News. Viacom Media Networks. 1999-03-22. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  9. ^ "Marilyn Manson Talks Rock Survival As Tour With Hole Marches On". MTV News. 1999-03-10. Retrieved 2015-07-14.
  10. ^ France, Lisa Respers (2009-04-20). "Columbine left its indelible mark on pop culture". CNN. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  11. ^ D'Angelo, Joe; Vineyard, Jennifer (2001-05-22). "Marilyn Manson Bows Out Of Denver Ozzfest Date". MTV News. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  12. ^ a b c Sterngold, James (1999-04-29). "Terror in Littleton: The Culture; Rock Concerts Are Cancelled". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-22.
  13. ^ a b "Manson cancels rest of US tour". BBC News. 1999-04-29. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
  14. ^ a b "Marilyn Manson Concert, Other Denver Events Cancelled In Wake Of High School Shooting". MTV News. 1999-04-22. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
  15. ^ "Marilyn Manson Postpones U.S. Tour Dates". MTV News. 1999-04-28. Retrieved 2011-03-21.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Nelson, Chris (1999-04-22). "Best Of '99: Lawmaker Says Marilyn Manson Puts Fans Under Spell". VH1. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
  17. ^ Strauss, Neil (1997-05-17). "A Bogey Band to Scare Parents With". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
  18. ^ O'Connor, Christopher (1999-04-27). "Colorado Tragedy Continues To Spark Manson Bashing". VH1. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
  19. ^ a b "California City Asks Marilyn Manson To Stay Away". VH1. 1999-04-28. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
  20. ^ a b O'Connor, Christopher (1999-05-01). "Politicians Go On Offensive Against Marilyn Manson". VH1. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  21. ^ a b "Outraged Senators Write To Manson's Label". VH1. 1999-04-29. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
  22. ^ Marilyn Manson (1999-05-28). "Columbine: Whose Fault Is It?". Rolling Stone LLC (op-ed essay)|format= requires |url= (help) (815).
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i O'Connor, Christopher (1999-05-04). "Senators Criticize Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails At Hearing". VH1. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
  24. ^ a b Tapper, Jake (2000-08-29). "Hollywood on trial". Salon. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  25. ^ Sylvester, Sherri (1999-06-30). "Hollywood, government face off over violence in media". CNN. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (Time Warner). Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  26. ^ Eszterhas, Joe (2000-09-14). "They came, they caved". Salon. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  27. ^ Mancini, Al (2000-04-26). "Commentary: Media Violence Report Is Flawed". ABC News. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  28. ^ "Entertainment industry an issue, asset for presidential campaign". CNN. 2000-11-06. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  29. ^ "Hollywood denies 'selling violence'". BBC News. 2000-09-12. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  30. ^ "Directors call for tougher ratings". BBC News. 2000-09-15. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  31. ^ "Lieberman steps up Hollywood attack". BBC News. 2001-07-06. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  32. ^ "MANSON: LOVE HATE HATE LOVE". NME. Time Inc. UK. 1999-05-28. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
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