Archive for the ‘KIss’ Category

KISS Newcastle Arena 14 July 2019 The End of the Road Tour

kiss tix“James Bond has a license to kill, rockstars have a license to be outrageous. Rock is about grabbing people’s attention.” “I was never interested in being a rock star. I always wanted to be Boris Karloff.” (Gene Simmons).

“A KISS concert experience is like sex or anything else that’s done with more that one person. It’s the give and take that makes it so great. When the audience takes it to the next level, we can kick it up another notch.” (Paul Stanley).

I saw KISS on their first UK tour, so I guess I had to see them on their last! Now I never took them too seriously, but then I guess they never took themselves seriously either. KISS are not, never were and never will be, the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world; but they are a great rock ‘n’ roll experience and one of the best nights out you can have. So, some 43 years since I first saw them at Birmingham Odeon, there I was in Newcastle Arena with my carer, Lisa, witnessing what will probably be my last ever KISS experience.

kiss 1 phoSo I went along, no preconceptions, not expecting too much and more out of interest than anything. And what did I get? Probably in terms of a concert, and experience, the greatest rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza you can imagine. You think of it and KISS do it: loud (and I mean LOUD) rock music, rising drum kit, Gene Simmons spitting blood and breathing fire (and playing some loud, fast bass), Paul Stanley coming round the crowd on a mini stage hoisted on a small crane, explosions, fireworks, rockets: you name it and KISS give you it. A total over the top experience. Wow and double Wow!

Now KISS wear their influences on their sleeves. The intro to the concert is Led kiss 2 phoZeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” (quite fitting). They march on stage and original members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley get massive cheers from the crowd. Gene Simmons still has the longest, funniest tongue in the business and Paul Stanley remains the ultimate rock god caricature. “Lick It up” contains a short segment of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (the Who). The songs are not the greatest, nor the most memorable, but they are great rock ‘n’ roll tunes and the spectacle overpowers the music. Of course we all know and sing along to “Crazy Crazy Nights” and (Argent’s) “God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You” and for the rest of the night we get lost in the loudness, craziness and showmanship. In many ways the best rock ‘n’ roll night out you could have. Even Lisa, new to the band, came away with a big grin on her face.

kiss progSetlist: Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin song as intro); Detroit Rock City; Shout It Out Loud; Deuce; Say Yeah; I Love It Loud; Heaven’s on Fire; War Machine (Gene breathes fire); Lick It Up (with short segment of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” ); Calling Dr. Love; 100,000 Years (with drum solo); Cold Gin; God of Thunder (Gene spits blood); Psycho Circus; Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll; Love Gun (Paul on stage in crowd for this song and the next); I Was Made for Lovin’ You; Black Diamond. Encore: Beth; Crazy Crazy Nights; Rock and Roll All Nite; God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You

Many thanks to Lisa for the photographs and Chris for converting them for me.

Kiss Newcastle City Hall 1983 and 1984

Kiss Newcastle City Hall 1983 and 1984
kiss83 The next time I saw Kiss they had abandoned their trademark make-up and had plucked up the courage to appear before us all unmasked! (shock horror). What would these guys look like without the scary face paint? Well actually, they looked ok, and in some ways not too different from their onstage personas. Their new look was displayed to the world on the cover of the Lick It Up album, which was released in 1983. Their 1983 UK tour brought them to Newcastle City Hall and I went along with my mate Dave. Although the guys had gone (semi) straight in terms of their facial appearance, the show was almost as outrageous as ever. See the tank that appears on the front cover of the programme? kissprog83 Well that tank appeared on stage with KISS on the tour. From the KissFans site: “The stage was still a tank, and the “turret” moved… but there were hardly any pyrotechnics at all! KISS played in some very small venues and the gun had to be shortened for some shows… otherwise it would cut the stage in two!! Not every effect had been kicked out of the show however! The band would still end up on the “gun turret” and the turret would still turn from side to side, puffing smoke. Support for the 1983 concert were Heavy Pettin’, a metal band from Glasgow. KISS were soon back at the City Hall, playing two nights at the venue in 1984. This time the support was exciting in that it was Bon Jovi, who were up and coming and were touring in support of their debut album. kiss84 This time we had seats right down the front, and came away almost deaf! 🙂 KISS were a shit hot rock band in the early 80s, with or without the make-up and the pyrotechnics. For this show, the UK dates had a scaled down version of the US stage show. Two ramps, allowed the band to walk from the top of the amplifiers to the stage. The drum riser was covered with black “fur”, while the ramps were painted like zebra fur. kiss84prog I remember feeling the poor cousins because we never seemed to get the full US KISS experience, I guess because of the logistics of taking their massive show around the world, and also because of the relatively small size of the venues which KISS were playing in this country, and in the rest of Europe. But, hey, it was still a great show and lots of fun. Setlist 1984: Creatures of the Night; Detroit Rock City; Cold Gin; Fits Like a Glove; Firehouse; Exciter; Gimme More; War Machine; I Love It Loud; I Still Love You; Young and Wasted; Love Gun; Black Diamond; Lick It Up; Rock and Roll All Nite

Kiss Alive! Birmingham Odeon May 1976

Kiss Alive! Birmingham Odeon May 1976
kissbrum We’d read all about the weird world of KISS and their outrageous US stage show in the music papers, so when we saw that they were touring the UK we just had to go along. This was their first UK visit and it was a pretty short one too, consisting of four shows in three theatre venues (one night at Manchester Free Trade Hall, one at Birmingham Odeon and two at Hammersmith Odeon). I drove down with a group of mates to the Birmingham Odeon show. Support came from my old favourites Stray, with Del Bromham wearing his silver mirror suit. Stray were touring to promote the Houdini album. I remember not recognising many of the songs, as most were from their new album, although I think they finished with the old stage favourite All In Your Mind. kiss76prog Kiss were touring off the back of their Alive! double album and their set was built around that. They came over as a hot rock n roll band, complete with the crazy over the top make-up. I remember us staring in awe of their massive stacks, although I suspect the show we saw wasn’t anywhere near the scale of their massive US stage show, because of the limitations of the venue. And they had rocket firing guitars, Gene Simmons spitting blood and breathing fire; Ace Frehley’s guitar bursting into flames; Peter Criss’ elevating drum riser; Paul Stanley’s heavy posing, and various other pyrotechnics throughout the show. We were all very impressed, although we also thought that they didn’t quite live up to the hype we had read. The programme declares: “The KISS experience. KISS is total sensuality. Thundering rock, intense vibration, and soaring freedom. Penetrating energy and exploding emotion stimulate every nerve to unequalled heights”. Pretty impressive stuff, eh? The volume wasn’t LOUD enough and the sound mix wasn’t perfect, but it was great to see this seminal live act at such an important point in their career. kissarmy We ran into an old friend who was studying at Nottingham at the time, and gave him a lift home on our way back, which meant that we final got home in the early hours of the morning, as dawn was breaking. The things you do for rock n roll. Setlist: Deuce; Strutter; Flaming Youth; Hotter Than Hell; Firehouse (Gene spitting fire); She(Ace guitar solo); Nothin’ to Lose; Shout It Out Loud; 100,000 Years (Peter Criss drum solo); Black Diamond. Encore: Detroit Rock City; Rock and Roll All Nite; Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll. Wish I’d joined the KISS army! 🙂 (see page from programme to right)