Watch Nita Strauss rejoin Alice Cooper – and play a Jackson Jeff Loomis signature Kelly – at Colorado show

Nita Strauss and Alice Cooper
(Image credit: FirstRowConcert/YouTube)

Earlier this year, Nita Strauss left Alice Cooper’s live lineup to link up with Demi Lovato, who was putting together an all-female rock band that would help her transition from pop superstar to rock warrior.

At the time, Strauss stressed that her departure from the Cooper cohort was not permanent, and that the door had been left open by the legendary rock vocalist should the Ibanez signature artist decide to return in the future.

Well, it turns out the open door wasn’t waiting for very long, after Strauss hauled it off its hinges and rejoined Alice Cooper and co for a show-stopping rendition of School’s Out on Tuesday (October 4) at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado.

After being brought onstage for the set’s encore, Strauss – who was wielding a Jackson Jeff Loomis signature guitar owned by Cooper’s other guitarist, Tommy Henriksen – joined her former bandmates to take a trip down memory lane.

Opting for the Loomis model as she doesn’t “have any guitars in Alice world right now”, the Hurricane also shared the stage with her direct replacement, Kane Roberts – Hurri-Kane, she cleverly calls – who was redrafted to the Cooper lineup following Strauss’s exit.

Unsurprisingly, the lack of her Ibanez JIVA10 did nothing to dampen Strauss’s six-string acrobatics, as the guitar star seamlessly slipped her Cooper cap back on for a flawless rendition of a track she’s no doubt performed hundreds of times.

Taking to social media after the gig, Strauss confirmed she had spent much of the evening in a spectator capacity, before joining the on-stage antics for School’s Out.

“Such a treat getting to not only see the amazing Alice Cooper show from the audience for the first time, but hop up and join the boys for the encore last night,” she wrote. “They all absolutely crushed it and I was beaming the whole time singing along to every song.

“Thank you all for the warm welcome, it made my day,” Strauss continued. “Also thank you [Tommy Henriksen] for letting me use your Jeff Loomis signature Kelly since I don’t have any guitars in Alice world right now. If I’m not playing mine, Jeff’s is a great substitute.”

After news of Strauss’s exit from Cooper’s band first broke, the guitarist was quick to tell Guitar World that surrounding commentary had blown up the exit “into a much bigger decision than it was”.

“There was a lot of speculation from people who didn’t have all the information about what was going on,” Strauss explained. “When I got the call, I went straight to Alice in person and talked to him in his hotel room. I said, ‘Look, I have this opportunity, it doesn’t conflict with this tour but I will have to miss the fall tour. Are you cool if I go and do it?’”

She continued, “He gave me a big hug and said, ‘Absolutely, go do it, we’ll see what happens from there, we are excited for you and proud of you.’”

Since joining Lovato’s live band, Strauss has performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, embarked on tour with the vocalist and developed a new-found reliance on the second and fourth pickup positions.

“I haven’t used position two this much in my entire life [laughs],” Strauss told Guitar World. “There are times when our MD might say, ‘Can you clean that tone up a little bit?’ and I’ll just click it over and it’s perfect. Position two to the rescue!”

Strauss will next be in action tomorrow (October 6) at the Fox Trot Theatre, Detroit. Visit Demi Lovato’s website for a full list of tour dates.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.