Rock Is Dead Tour

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Rock is Dead
Tour by Marilyn Manson
Associated album Mechanical Animals
Start date March 17, 1999
End date August 8, 1999
Shows 46 (planned)
43 (completed)
Marilyn Manson concert chronology
Beautiful Monsters
Rock Is Dead
Guns, God and Government

Rock Is Dead was a worldwide arena tour by American rock band Marilyn Manson in 1999. It was launched in support of their third full-length studio LP, Mechanical Animals, which was released on September 15, 1998. The tour was recorded for the VHS God is in the TV in 1998 and released on November 2, 1999.


Further information: Beautiful Monsters Tour

The Rock Is Dead Tour was the result of a fallout between Marilyn Manson and Hole during the Beautiful Monsters tour.[1] The tour started initially with Manson as co-headliners with Hole,[2][3][4][5][6] but following Hole's departure from the tour,[1][7] was renamed Rock Is Dead.[8] Monster Magnet, who were already opening for both bands,[6] would assume Hole's place on the tour's playbill.[9]

Performance and show themes[edit]

"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.


The renaming caused a minor dispute as Korn and Rob Zombie were already in the middle of a tour of the same name.[10] This particular tour consisted of 45 dates spanning from March 17, 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.[1]

Following the aftermath of the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado,[11][12] 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."[13][14][15] However, Manson steadfastly maintained that music, movies, books or video games are not to blame, stating,[13][14][15]

Columbine aftermath[edit]

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.[17] According to Shugars, the show began with the singer wearing "satanic wings" as he leapt from a cross that was eventually set on fire.[17] 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."[17] 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."[17] After which, the band launched into "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)".[17] 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."[17] 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."[17]

On April 25, 1999, conservative pundit William Bennett and longtime Manson critic[18] U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) pointed the group as a contributing factor to the massacre during their appearance on Meet the Press.[19] 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."[20] 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."[21] In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, students were barred from wearing Marilyn Manson T-shirts[20] 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.[22] 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.).[21] 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.[22]

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."[23]

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.[24] 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.[24] 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.[24] 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."[24] Among the invited guests, the CEOs of four of the world's major music distributors declined to attend.[24] 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."[24] 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."[24] 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."[24]

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.[24][25] 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."[25][26] 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.[27][28][29][30] The Media Marketing Accountability Act was introduced by Senator Lieberman on June 2001, co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).[31][32]


Marilyn Manson

North American set list[edit]

  1. Inauguration of the Mechanical Christ
  2. The Reflecting God
  3. Great Big White World
  4. Get Your Gunn
  5. Mechanical Animals
  6. Sweet Dreams (are made of this)/Long Hard Road Out of Hell (Outro)
  7. The Speed of Pain
  8. Rock is Dead
  9. The Dope Show
  10. Lunchbox
  11. I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)
  12. Irresponsible Hate Anthem
  13. Antichrist Superstar
  14. The Beautiful People

European/Asian set list[edit]

  1. Inauguration of the Mechanical Christ
  2. The Reflecting God
  3. Great Big White World
  4. Cake and Sodomy
  5. Sweet Dreams (are made of this)/Long Hard Road Out of Hell (Outro)
  6. Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes
  7. Rock is Dead
  8. The Dope Show
  9. Lunchbox
  10. I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)
  11. Rock 'n' Roll Nigger
  12. The Beautiful People

Tour dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
North America
March 17, 1999 Paradise United States Thomas & Mack Center
(Rescheduled to May 5, 1999)
March 18, 1999 Phoenix Veteran's Coliseum
(Rescheduled to May 7, 1999)
March 21, 1999 Houston Compaq Center
March 22, 1999 San Antonio Alamodome
March 23, 1999 Dallas Reunion Arena
March 25, 1999 New Orleans Uno Arena
March 27, 1999 Tampa Ice Palace
March 29, 1999 Orlando Amway Arena
March 30, 1999 Fort Lauderdale National Car Center Arena
April 2, 1999 Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum
April 3, 1999 Fairfax Patriot Center
April 4, 1999 Philadelphia First Union Spectrum
April 6, 1999 East Rutherford Continental Airlines Arena
April 7, 1999 Uniondale Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
April 9, 1999 Worcester Centrum
April 10, 1999 New Haven Coliseum
April 11, 1999 Buffalo Marine Midland Arena
April 13, 1999 Cleveland CSU Arena
April 15, 1999 Auburn Hills Palace of Auburn Hills
April 16, 1999 Pittsburgh Mellon Arena
April 17, 1999 Fort Wayne Coliseum
April 20, 1999 Rosemont Rosemont Horizon
April 21, 1999 Grand Rapids Van Andel Center
April 22, 1999 Indianapolis Market Square Arena
April 24, 1999 Madison Dane County Coliseum
April 25, 1999 Milwaukee Bradley Center
April 27, 1999 Minneapolis Target Center
April 28, 1999 Cedar Rapids Five Seasons Center
May 3, 1999 Reno Lawlor Events Center
(Cancelled after Columbine)
May 4, 1999 Fresno Selland Arena
(Cancelled after Columbine)
May 5, 1999 Paradise Thomas & Mack Center
(Rescheduled from March 17, 1999)
May 7, 1999 Phoenix Veteran's Coliseum
(Rescheduled from March 18, 1999)
May 8, 1999 Universal City Universal Amphitheater
(Cancelled after Columbine)
June 18, 1999 Hultsfred Sweden Hultsfred Festival
June 20, 1999 Imola Italy Heineken Jammin' Festival
June 25, 1999 Berlin Germany Wuhlheide
June 26, 1999 Scheeßel Hurricane Festival
June 27, 1999 Munich Southside Festival
July 1, 1999 Roskilde Denmark Roskilde Festival
July 3, 1999 Werchter Belgium Werchter Festival
July 4, 1999 Wiesen Austria Forestglades Festival
July 7, 1999 Kristiansand Norway Quart Festival
July 9, 1999 Belfort France Eurockeennes del Belfort
July 10, 1999 Milton Keynes England Milton Keynes Bowl
August 2, 1999 Fukuoka Japan Zepp Fukuoka
August 3, 1999
August 7, 1999 Fuji-Yoshida Fuji-Q Highland Conifer Forest
August 8, 1999


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  2. ^ "Marilyn Manson, Hole Announce Two Months Worth Of Dates". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). 1999-01-27. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
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  11. ^ France, Lisa Respers (2009-04-20). "Columbine left its indelible mark on pop culture". CNN (Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (Time Warner)). Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  12. ^ D'Angelo, Joe; Vineyard, Jennifer (2001-05-22). "Marilyn Manson Bows Out Of Denver Ozzfest Date". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
  13. ^ a b c Sterngold, James (1999-04-29). "Terror in Littleton: The Culture; Rock Concerts Are Cancelled". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2010-11-22. 
  14. ^ a b "Manson cancels rest of US tour". BBC News (BBC). 1999-04-29. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  15. ^ a b "Marilyn Manson Concert, Other Denver Events Cancelled In Wake Of High School Shooting". MTV News. MTV Networks (Viacom). 1999-04-22. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
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  18. ^ Strauss, Neil (1997-05-17). "A Bogey Band to Scare Parents With". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  19. ^ O'Connor, Christopher (1999-04-27). "Colorado Tragedy Continues To Spark Manson Bashing". VH1. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  20. ^ a b "California City Asks Marilyn Manson To Stay Away". VH1. MTV Networks (Viacom). 1999-04-28. Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  21. ^ a b O'Connor, Christopher (1999-05-01). "Politicians Go On Offensive Against Marilyn Manson". VH1. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  22. ^ a b "Outraged Senators Write To Manson's Label". VH1. MTV Networks (Viacom). 1999-04-29. Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  23. ^ Marilyn Manson (1999-05-28). "Columbine: Whose Fault Is It?". Rolling Stone (op-ed essay) (Wenner Media LLC) (815). 
  24. ^ 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. MTV Networks (Viacom). Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  25. ^ a b Tapper, Jake (2000-08-29). "Hollywood on trial". Salon. Salon Media Group. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  26. ^ Sylvester, Sherri (1999-06-30). "Hollywood, government face off over violence in media". CNN (Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (Time Warner)). Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  27. ^ Eszterhas, Joe (2000-09-14). "They came, they caved". Salon. Salon Media Group. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  28. ^ Mancini, Al (2000-04-26). "Commentary: Media Violence Report Is Flawed". ABC News (American Broadcasting Company (ABC)). Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  29. ^ "Entertainment industry an issue, asset for presidential campaign". CNN (Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (Time Warner)). 2000-11-06. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  30. ^ "Hollywood denies 'selling violence'". BBC News (BBC). 2000-09-12. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  31. ^ "Directors call for tougher ratings". BBC News (BBC). 2000-09-15. Retrieved 2011-05-04. 
  32. ^ "Lieberman steps up Hollywood attack". BBC News (BBC). 2001-07-06. Retrieved 2011-05-04.