Dude. Photo by Aliceson Soto.
KISSOct. 29. Verizon Arena
Unrelenting torrential rain wasn't enough to dampen the spirits of three generations of KISS fans —10,453 in all — who celebrated through an 18-song concert in an atmosphere that resembled some unholy combination of Halloween and the Fourth of July.
Endless debates continue among Kiss loyalists and defectors regarding absent original members, whether merchandising has been whored into oblivion and whether or not the gimmick and Kiss brand has run its course. Let's just say that the current "35 Alive" Tour is comparable to decent Scotch: not quite the finest, single malt bottle of Glenfiddich, but a far, far cry from the low-rent, rotgut blended J.R. Dial.
Most impressive was the set list. Kiss played only two songs from the new album, one from the no-make up days (the title track to 1983's "Lick It Up"), and only one other post-1977 tune ("I Love It Loud," one of the signature tracks off the highly underrated "Creatures of the Night" from 1982). Otherwise, the band mixed hits with excellent deep cuts. Among the most well-executed numbers were Tommy Thayer’s handling of Ace Frehely’s “Shock Me,” as well as the triple assault of relics “She,” “Parasite” and “100,000 Years,” which included a rudimental, yet explosively entertaining drum solo by Eric Singer. After closing the set with “Rock and Roll All Night,” and a blizzard of confetti, Kiss delivered the four-song encore of “Shout It Out Loud,” “Lick It Up,” “Love Gun” (with Stanley being delivered Tarzan-style to a mini-stage at the back of the arena), and the signature anthem of any Kiss show, “Detroit Rock City.”
But the allure of a Kiss show is, at the end of the day, pure spectacle, plain and simple. With enough fireworks, pyro and lighting to pinpoint our exact location from Mars, state-of-the-art video and projection screens and trademark fire-breathing and blood-spitting antics from Gene Simmons, Kiss delivered the goods.
Paul Stanley. Photo by Aliceson Soto.
Tommy Thayer with Paul Stanley. Photo by Aliceson Soto.
More of Gene and tongue. Photo by Aliceson Soto.