By Michael Ervin / midwestmusicscene.net
Alright Springfield! You wanted the best you got the best! The hottest band in the world, KISS! JQH Arena was at capacity when the curtain fell and KISS took the stage with Detroit Rock City. The band was perched on a platform that slowly descended to the stage while bombs exploded, flames shot into the air and smoke covered the stage. There is truly nothing like the experience and adrenaline rush of a KISS concert.
Over four decades into their career, KISS still delivers a spectacular show like no other. Paul, Gene, Tommy and Eric rocked through a seventeen song set with Gene spitting blood before the classic “God of Thunder” and breathing fire after “War Machine”. Tommy wowed the fans by shooting exploding rockets from his guitar after “Shock Me” and Paul Stanley flew out to the back of the arena to perform “Love Gun” with fireworks shooting towards the stage from his platform at the close of the song.
KISS is honoring our military on this tour and stopped the show to donate a $150,000 check to veterans while the mayor of Springfield, Missouri took the stage to present KISS with a key to the city. Paul told the crowd they had not played Springfield since 1990 so this was a special night for the college town. Fans of all ages wore face paint and costumes to show their love and celebrate this magical night with KISS.
On August 26, 2016, Eagle Rock Entertainment will unleash KISS Rocks Vegas on DVD+CD ($21.98), Blu-ray+CD ($26.98), DVD+2LP ($39.98), and Deluxe Edition DVD+Blu-ray+2CD ($79.98).
Captured in the midst of their 40th Anniversary World Tour, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers sonically shook Vegas during their residency at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in November 2014. This Sin City set sizzles with KISS classics from across their 44 album legacy: “Rock And Roll All Night,” “Detroit Rock City,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “Love Gun,” and more. As a bonus feature, Kiss Rocks Vegas includes a seven-song acoustic set. Punctuated with pyrotechnics galore, the film presents the fire, electricity, and one-of-a-kind rock experience that earned KISS over 100 million sales globally.
The Deluxe Edition of KISS Rocks Vegas is presented as a hardcover package with a 12X12 book, boasting photos from the show and an exclusive CD.
In one month, Gene Simmons will turn 67. His KISS bandmate Paul Stanley isn’t far behind at 64. In other words, it isn’t 1977 anymore.
But 39 years after they played a show at Henry Levitt Arena that people still talk about, there they were, on stage at Intrust Bank Arena, spitting blood and jumping around in platform boots with the same youthful enthusiasm that made them famous.
Maybe it’s the makeup.
The patriotism-fueled “Freedom to Rock” tour stopped in Wichita on Monday night and played for a crowd of 8,000.
“You wanted the best and you got the best! The hottest band in the world… KISS!” Those lines have been repeated before their shows for 40 years and the band that invented the gargantuan rock show made an entrance like only they can. Behind a falling black curtain, three band members, Simmons, Stanley and guitarist Tommy Thayer, stood on a riser shrouded in fog. The letters K-I-S-S flashed behind them. The opening notes of “Detroit Rock City,” arguably their biggest hit, pulsed straight into a pyrotechnics blast that would have only surprised a first-time KISS concert attendee.
During the second number, the appropriately titled “Deuce,” Stanley sat down on the edge of the stage, nearly knocking a photographer in the head with his platform boots, but once positioned, hammed it up for the assembled photographers like an excited kid.
Gene Simmons says KISS will rock Wichita just as hard as it did in ’77
Photo by Keith Leroux
Almost 40 years later, Gene Simmons doesn’t remember the iconic Kiss concert at Henry Levitt Arena – the Dec. 6, 1977, show that rocked so hard, people who were there are still talking about it, still comparing notes.
Simmons, who called in advance of the band’s Monday concert at Intrust Bank Arena, does however love to hear that Wichitans remember.
“That’s the highest compliment,” he said. “I would imagine there are some concerts you can’t remember. Or concerts where you can say, ‘I was born on the night my mother saw Kiss.’ Or better yet, ‘I was conceived on the night my mother and dad saw Kiss.’ ”
Simmons, now 66, is the outspoken, often controversial bassist for Kiss, the iconic rock band that formed in 1973 and also includes lead singer Paul Stanley, guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer. The group has accumulated more gold records than any other American band.
Simmons is the one with the extra-long tongue, the extra-frank mouth and the reality show stardom. His life was documented in “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” which featured his wife, son and daughter and aired on A&E from 2006 to 2012.
There’s a classic rock legend that Gene Simmons, bassist for the band KISS, had a cow’s tongue grafted onto his own to form his trademark appendage.
Now, a new billboard along Route 145/MacArthur Road in Whitehall Township takes a tongue-in-cheek – or, rather, out of cheek -- twist on the legend to promote Allentown Fair’s Aug. 30-Sept. 5 run and the Sept. 1 concert by KISS.
On the huge sign, a cow representing Allentown Fair (perhaps its mascot Moodonna?) has its face painted to match Simmons’ onstage KISS makeup, and has a Simmons-like tongue protruding from its mouth.
And in this case, the tongue definitely has been grafted on: It’s a puffy, pink 3-D appendage.
The sign’s slogan, “Party Every Day,” is from the lyrics of KISS’s song “Rock and Roll All Nite.”