Review: KISS Brings Their Freedom to Rock Tour to Lincoln, Nebraska

Riding down on a platform amidst shots of pyro, smoke and flashing lights to the opening riff of "Detroit Rock City," KISS kicked off its Pinnacle Bank Arena set with the theater and bombast that has been its stock-in-trade for more than four decades.

Nearly 2 hours and 17 songs later, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers -- whether the hall really wanted them or not -- wrapped up an entertaining show that didn't disappoint any of the 7,000 who witnessed the first KISS show in Lincoln in the 21st Century.

"We've been to Lincoln five times, this is our fifth show," Paul Stanley told the crowd. "Our very first one was in 1976. The last one we played might seem like yesterday but it was 1990. We've got some catching up to do."

Then came "Shout It Out Loud" in a set that cascaded through the band's catalog, hitting most of the hits and some deeper cuts, like "Flaming Youth."

The quartet's pounding, crunching rock sounded good as did the vocals of mainstays Stanley and Gene Simmons, now in their mid-60s.


KISS ready to rock Lincoln again Tonight!

“Lincoln, Nebraska, right?,” Paul Stanley said as he came on the line.

That’s right. You’ve been here before and you’re on the way back soon.

“Much as it should be,” replied the KISS rhythm guitarist and singer. “We built our following playing places other bands ignored. The truth is most bands at the time thought the U.S. consisted of the East Coast and West Coast and the rest was places you flew over. We never believed that. … You don’t choose where you’re born and you don’t have to make excuses for it. The people always remember who is there for them.”

That’s why KISS is playing smaller cities in the Midwest, Plains, West and Canada on its 35-date “Freedom to Rock” tour, that, appropriately, began on July 4.

Lincoln unquestionably responded strongly to KISS’ return. The band’s Pinnacle Bank Arena concert set for Friday has sold better than any of its dates in surrounding cities, drawing far more fans than anticipated.


KISS to honor veterans during Lincoln concert

Amid the pyrotechnics and makeup, KISS will take a few minutes to honor veterans and members of the military tonight.

During the band's show at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, there will be a five-minute tribute to the military, and retired Army Col. Randi Stenson will be the band’s “Roadie for a Day.” He’ll get to hang out and assist backstage.

“I am beyond thrilled to represent veterans and service members as the KISS ‘roadie’ of the day in Lincoln,” Stenson said in a press release.

Area veterans and military members can apply to receive free tickets to the show through VetTix.com.


KISS’ Paul Stanley on Patriotism, Football and His ‘Treasure Trove’ of Demos

By Brian Ives / http://radio.com

KISS is in the midst of their latest U.S. trek, dubbed the “Freedom to Rock” tour. The marketing and message of the tour proudly displays the patriotism that has become increasingly prevalent in the band’s branding over the past few years. Many of the tour materials see the band draped in the American flag, and the band’s iconic logo is often decorated in red, white and blue.

Frontman Paul Stanley says that this has been an active choice by the band in recent years. “Absolutely,” he tells Radio.com. “Perhaps it’s happened as we’ve become more enlightened to the world, and to the plight of others.”

He, and the band, feels particularly passionate about supporting the military, which they have done actively over the years; on this tour, they hire veterans to work on their crew on every show. “So many Americans think that freedom is free,” he says. “It’s only free for those who don’t have to sacrifice to make it possible. People risk life and limb and come back damaged in all kinds of ways, and hardly receive the recognition, let alone the treatment and necessary services that are needed. And the people who serve on our behalf, when they are impacted by their service, we sometimes forget that their families are impacted too.”


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