The Live Alive Tour took place through North America and Europe, undertaken from 1986 to 1988. At the start of the tour, Stevie and bassist Tommy Shannon had both achieved sobriety. Their success with overcoming long-term drug and alcohol addiction had been attained by entering a rehabilitation facility, where they stayed for four weeks. Although Stevie was nervous about performing while sober, he received encouragement from his bandmates. Throughout the tour during performances, Stevie would warn his audiences about the dangers of substance abuse.
Consisting of 9 legs and 207 shows, the tour began in Towson, Maryland on 22nd November 1986 and ended in New York City on 31st December 1988. The first five legs alternated with visits between the United States and Canada, before the sixth leg took the band to Europe. The final leg incorporated stops in the northeast, midwest and west coast, before the group's return to the northeast in December 1988.
Although the band did not follow a set list, all thirteen songs from Live Alive were performed at least once during the tour, and as many as eleven of them were included in each of the band's performances. The tour was generally well-received and provoked many positive reactions from music critics, most of whom took note of Stevie's soberiety.
The initial planning for the Live Alive tour emerged after Stevie and Shannon completed their treatment programs in November 1986. The band hired Skip Rickert, a replacement tour manager who eliminated the wild backstage antics of their past concert tours by revising the stipulations of their hospitality rider. Shannon later commented: "Before we got clean and sober, backstage you'd see all the coke dealers and everybody drunk and high and all these women running around. It went from that to us not having any alcohol backstage and none of those people came backstage anymore - We cleaned up our business."
Adamant about improvements in time management and itinerary planning, Stevie had requested a reduction in touring time, which generally allowed no more than one show per day. As rehearsals began for the tour on 19th November 1986, Stevie began to grow feelings of self-doubt and nervousness about performing while sober. However, he received encouragement from his bandmates. Wynans later recalled: "Stevie was real worried about playing after he'd gotten sober; he didn't know if he had anything left to offer. Once we got back out on the road, he was very inspired and motivated."
Unlike the group's previous tour, which began three months before the release of Soul to Soul, the Live Alive Tour started five days after Live Alive was released.
The band often finished their set with "Life Without You" while Stevie routinely paused in the middle of the song to warn the audience about the dangers of substance abuse. Although he admitted that speaking to the audience in this fashion made him nervous, Stevie realized the difference between encouragement and preaching. Stevies's monologues continued to be an inspiration for fans that struggled with drug and alcohol addictions.