By Mike Mettler / Digital Trends
It’s a battle cry any member of the KISS Army will instantly recognize. “You wanted the best, you got the best!” KISS has been unstoppable for over 40 years and counting, and they just upped their game yet again with KISS Rocks Vegas (out now in various formats via Eagle Vision), a live chronicle of the band’s incendiary residency at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in November 2014 in the midst of the band’s 40th Anniversary World Tour.
“Technology has advanced to the point now where you can really be fully enveloped by and in the center of the chaos that can be KISS from time to time,” frontman/vocalist/guitarist/eternal Starchild Paul Stanley told Digital Trends of the Dolby Atmos KISS Rocks Vegas experience.
Take it from me, the full-bore full-channel assault of KISS Rocks Vegas is most definitely best experienced via Blu-ray and the mega-multichannel Dolby Atmos option, so you can get the absolute complete effect of the set design, the band’s always mind-boggling pyrotechnics, and the glory of each KISS member’s chosen “armor.” Bassist/vocalist/The Demon himself, Gene Simmons, never fails to amaze with what he does and looks like onstage — especially the thunder of songs like Detroit Rock City, Lick It Up, and Black Diamond. An additional KISS Acoustic set featuring stripped-down favorites like Christine Sixteen, Hard Luck Woman, and Beth also show what guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer bring to the KISS backline.
Want another opinion? Take it from Micki Free, the mixed-blood Cherokee/Comanche Native American guitarist/vocalist discovered by Simmons and Stanley in the ’70s who went on to play guitar with Shalamar and glam-punkers Crown of Thorns: “I knew them both really well. Those guys were my mentors in the ’70s, when I was growing up,” Free recalled. “KISS was my favorite band as a boy, you know? Paul Stanley is such a great performer, too — I aspired to dance like he did onstage. He was that guy. I wanted to play guitar like Hendrix, and dance like Paul Stanley.”
Stanley called Digital Trends right before heading directly to the band’s recent gig in Bridgeport, Connecticut to discuss why KISS Rocks Vegas totally rocks in Dolby Atmos, what he feels the vinyl format is lacking, and what it was like working with original KISS Spaceman guitarist Ace Frehley again on his new solo album. Shout it, shout it, shout it out loud…