By PATRICK McDONALD / The Advertiser
If 1970s superhero band KISS wrote the handbook on rock’n’roll theatrics, then its 40th anniversary tour not only tears out the pages but sets fire to them, blows them up, shoots them with laser beams and sends them on a skyrocket to hell and back.
Its gigantic mechanical Spider, making its first appearance Down Under, descends from the ceiling with its legs arched across the stage, the band riding on its steel back while hammering out the unmistakeable opening riff of Detroit Rock City. .
Red spotlights scan the rabid crowd from its eyes and fireworks explode from its underbelly while balls — no, make that walls — of flame envelop the backdrop, sending forth waves of heat that threaten to barbecue the front rows of fans.
It was like an entire concert’s worth of effects crammed into one song.
This old rock dog might not have learned any new tricks — bassist Gene Simmons still breathes fire, spits blood and flies to the rafters to prove he’s the God of Thunder, singer Paul Stanley sails on a wire over the crowd to fire his Love Gun, Tommy Thayer shoots sparks from his guitar into the lighting rig and Eric Singer’s drum kit rises as he roars out Black Diamond — but like a great Cirque du Soleil show, the band has learned how to wrap the same stunts up in a shiny new package.
On top of this, the current line-up plays fast, furious and incredibly tight, injecting new-found energy into standards like Calling Dr Love or Lick it Up — which morphs into The Who’s Won’t Be Fooled Again — and dusting off such live gems as Cold Gin and the extended outro from She.
KISS rocked the Late Show with David Letterman!
KISS IS EVERYWHERE!
Thanks to Dave Schwartz for sharing the photo with us!
The KISS ARMY Rocks!
The rock band Kiss couldn’t have predicted that their decision to travel to the Northern Michigan town of Cadillac in support of the local high school football team would garner them press and fans around the world. But as Cadillac prepares for the 40th anniversary of that weekend with Northern Michigan music events and more, Kiss front man Paul Stanley took some time to remember why the band came and what they left with.
Paul Stanley isn’t a man given to hyperbole. Well, actually, as the front man for the legendary Kiss, that’s exactly his day job. Yet in a recent phone interview, the singer and songwriter came across as thoughtful and down-to-earth, whether discussing his band’s longtime underdog status, paying homage to the progenitors of soul and r&b with his band Soul Station, or – and most importantly in this area – the band’s connection to the town of Cadillac.
No one could have predicted that Kiss’s visit to the Northern Michigan city in 1975 would become a hallmark of its commitment to its fans throughout the world. Stanley and the rest of the organization remember well how their decision to show up to support a high school football team resonated with the media and fans everywhere.
“This was another example of the incredible community we have,” he said. “It was reflected in a high school football team that turned itself around.”
Ah yes, the football team. The whole thing started with assistant football coach Jim Neff. The longtime rock and roll fan suggested to head coach Dave Brines that the 1974 Vikings football team was wound too tight. His solution was to charge the players up with the records of Kiss, then a relatively unknown hard rock band that was best known for its outrageous makeup and stage show.