By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER
Photo - KISSONLINE EXCLUSIVE
More than 30 years after their seminal live album "Alive!" was recorded in part during a show at Cobo Arena in Detroit, the facepainting rockers are back with a new CD and North American tour, which kicks off Friday -- in Detroit Rock City, of course.
"I expect the reception of homecoming heroes, but the truth is, it's really us sharing ... an intimate moment with a city and the people who were pivotal in helping to make Kiss what it is," lead singer Paul Stanley said of the show and another on Saturday -- both at Cobo.
Stanley, bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss put out a few studio albums in the early 1970s without a great deal of success.
It wasn't until 1975's "Alive!" hit record-store shelves that Kiss blew up.
Stalwarts Stanley and Simmons are joined these days by Tommy Thayer on guitar and Eric Singer on drums.
Stanley said the band will play the songs from "Alive!" as well as a few choice favorites during the Detroit gigs.
"At a rock show, fans always come to hear what they know," he said. "Had I ever gone to see Led Zeppelin and they played 'Whole Lotta Love' as a reggae tune, I would have been outraged."
Stanley said he also expects Kiss to perform "Modern Day Delilah," off of "Sonic Boom," the band's first studio album in 11 years.
The record, which Stanley produced and says is "better than a lot that we've done and right up there with the best," will be released only at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores on Oct. 6. It's part of a three-disc package that also includes re-recorded versions of Kiss hits as well as a concert DVD that was recorded in Argentina during a show earlier this year.
The North American tour takes the band to Cleveland and London, Ontario, early next week and eventually to cities such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Orleans and Los Angeles and runs through Dec. 6 in Dallas.
Around that same time, Kiss will find out if it's earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
It was announced Wednesday that Kiss is one of 12 acts nominated for the 2010 class. Five will make it in.
Before any of that is decided, though, Kiss is returning to its home away from home -- to a city known for years as Detroit, Motown or the Motor City.
Kiss gave it a fourth name.
"I've written a lot of songs, but I've only written one `Detroit Rock City,"' Stanley said.