News - 2009 : November

Nov 23 2009
By Joe Ardent

Once you get past the grease paint, spandex and 35 years of mainstream merchandizing, Kiss is a rock band to be taken seriously again.

As the band rolls into Southern California nearing the end of what it considers its most successful concert tour in decades, Kiss is seeing a real resurgence in fan support and critical acclaim.

"Sonic Boom," the band's first studio album in 11 years, topped Billboard's Rock Albums chart shortly after its October release, according the band's Web site. Many reviewers are calling it the best Kiss record since 1977's "Love Gun."

Kiss performs Tuesday night at Honda Center in Anaheim, Wednesday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles, and Friday night at the San Diego Sports Arena.
Nov 22 2009
By Kathy Mahan

A gravity-defying, fire-shooting, sparks-flying, blood-spitting, platform-shoe wearing, full-makeuped KISS rocked Fresno for 2-plus hours Saturday night (including a really good encore of hit songs).

I had a really good time, even without "I Was Made For Lovin' You" on the set list. It's a hard show not to like, as there is so much happening on stage. The band still entertains -- though some of the antics seemed a bit indulgent at a few points. But that's what fans eat up, right? The show was loud, face-paced and energetic. The outfits were as grand as always, with enough sparkly sequins to rival a "Dancing With the Stars" costume. With pants so tight, I'm really glad those guys are still in shape!
Nov 22 2009
Professional baseball player Johnny Damon established The Johnny Damon Foundation,a non-profit charity, to raise and donate funds to charitable organizations. Johnny is also spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), which provides programs and services designated to ease the burdens of severely injured service men and women and their families.

KISS was gracious enough to sign a Paul Stanley Washburn Preacher guitar for Johnny Damon's charity to benefit the Wounded Warriors. Bids on the KISS guitar topped all others, surpassing the likes of ZZ Top, Sevendust, The Dave Mathews Band, and 3 Doors Down.

The winning bidders were Marc and Darlene Mero, who bought the guitar for a great cause! Much to his surprise, KISS also signed a guitar for Johnny, who recently won the World Series as a member of the NY Yankees.

The guitars were donated by
Nov 22 2009
By Justin Press

If your band came of age during the Nixon years and landed their highest ranked album on the Billboard charts in the Obama era, you've definitely done something right. In KISS's case, it was creating a groundbreaking live band utilizing grand theater with gritty street themes, motivating a nation of fans to form an army around you, developing a marketing and merchandising industry that matches Ringling Brothers, and then creating a catalog of rock 'n' roll anthems and dark passages.

The founding members - fire-breathing bassist Gene Simmons and flamboyant frontman Paul Stanley - have steered this ship since 1972, and after much success, much turmoil and a bit of tragedy, they have finally formed a union with two like-minded musicians in drummer Eric Singer and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer (a longtime behind-the-scenes guy with the group). Their new album, Sonic Boom, has cracked the #2 spot on the album charts, a feat not accomplished by any of their previous albums, including Destroyer, Love Gun or Dynasty.

Who could believe that a band that topped the charts in 1978 is now, believe it or not, even bigger 31 years later? ENVY had the chance to speak with newest member and Spaceman, Tommy Thayer, about living the dream.
Nov 22 2009
By Richard Hodkinson

I don't know if it should be cause for celebration when, in making a new album, a band takes a retrograde step thirty years deep.

Kiss have done that with Sonic Boom, and we at LTD are celebrating anyway, because this is the band's best album since, at least, 1982's Creatures of the Night and, possibly, 1977's Love Gun.

Frankly, we don't care that this could have been the New Yorkers in the mid 70s. We don't care that the album does not sit in the same contemporary, fashionably introspective milieu as Paul Stanley's recent solo album Live to Win. It doesn't matter that there are two new blokes dressed up as Peter and Ace (especially as guitarist Tommy Thayer sounds exactly like Frehley in his pomp.)

We don't even care that, if anything, Gene Simmons's knuckle-dragging, antediluvian, single entendre lyrics have become even worse over the decades. What we do like is that here are 11 pop metal stompers, utterly devoid of pretension, with at least three songs, 'Say Yeah', 'All For The Glory' and 'Stand' destined to become big, lighters-out stadium staples. Glorious.
Nov 22 2009
Here's a fan-filmed video of a pair of KISS fans getting married in Calgary. They wed in front of Gene's Axe Bass bus outside the Saddledome before the show, and their witnesses all wore KISS makeup!

Nov 21 2009
Here's a picture of Eric and Gene getting ready to fly to Fresno for tonight's show!

Photo by Shannon Tweed.
Nov 21 2009

When I was 15, in 1983, I saw my first concert. KISS, on their Lick It Up tour with Queensryche at Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore. I made the 4 hour train ride from Pendleton to Portland alone to meet up with a friend and his older brother, who had a car. The concert, and the weekend really, was a whirlwind of hammering-loud rock music, explosions, and vividly colorful imagery. It changed me as a fan, graduated me to that next level, I could now say that I had experienced KISS in person. And I still have the $20 t-shirt to prove it! I think it also influenced how I was starting to see the world differently; a little bigger, louder, and more exciting than what I'd been used to. In a small, yet profound way, I think seeing KISS back then had a hand in shaping me into the creative I am today. I thought about that quite a bit as I was standing in front of the stage last night waiting for the curtain to go down. It was an odd feeling. We'd all been there together before, just under a slightly different dynamic. Now it was time to get to work, to entertain fans with good music and pretty pictures. I think we all did a fine job.

Chris Ryan
Nov 21 2009
KISS at the Rose Garden in Portland: Where do I even start?

This review is going to be totally biased because this was not my usual concert experience. First of all, I bought side stage (read "expensive") tickets because I was taking my 10 year old son and wanted him to have his mind blown. So our seats were unreal.

Second, my co-guitar player in my Portland band is a long-time friend of the Thayer family (KISS-man Tommy Thayer is from Portland). So long story short, I run into Pat at will call, and he is picking up a pass for a meet and greet. I knew about this and of course had asked if he could find out if he could bring me and my kid, and of course he couldn't. No shock there - but I thought it never hurts to ask.

But lo and behold he gets his envelope and there are five passes in it. He wanted to make sure he didn't mistakenly have someone else's passes so he went in alone and my son and I got settled. Pat then texted me that we could have two of the extra passes. Sweet!

So he comes and gets us and we stroll across the main floor backstage just in time to see the fab four in full makeup and gear walk by to go to the meet and greet. I high five Gene Simmons as he walks by. My life is complete.
Nov 21 2009
Check out this fan-filmed clip of "Rock And Roll All Nite" live in Sacramento!

Nov 20 2009

Kiss is a band that needs no introduction, as the face-painted, pyro-loving, blood-spitting rockers have been at it for more than three decades.

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of its February '74 self-titled debut, the ever-popular concert attraction, founded by frontmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, has been out on its worldwide KISS Alive/35 Tour, which stops Tuesday at Honda Center in Anaheim and Wednesday at Staples Center in L.A.

It's turning out to be a busy year in Kiss' history. For starters, the current tour coincides with the release of Sonic Boom, the band's well-received first studio effort in 11 years, following 1998's lackluster Psycho Circus, the first album to feature the original Kiss lineup since 1977's Love Gun and Alive II.
Nov 20 2009
Check out this great fan-filmed clip of "Deuce" live in Sacramento!

Screen read "Strutter" but it's actually "Deuce."

Nov 20 2009
Tour supporting new album comes to Save Mart Center.

By Mike Osegueda / The Fresno Bee

Say what you will about KISS, but even after all these years, the face-painted foursome is still provocative.

This year, the band launched a first-ever fan-routed tour and released "Sonic Boom," its first album in 11 years (which entered the pop charts at No. 2, a career high for KISS).

If you ask Paul Stanley, KISS' co-leader, the band that booms into Save Mart Center on Saturday night is KISS at its best -- with co-leader Gene Simmons at his side, as well as recent additions Tommy Thayer (guitar) and Eric Singer (drums).

We talked to Stanley about the fan-routed tour, its new album and why critics and multigenerations seem to love KISS these days.
Nov 20 2009
Here's KISS with their custom Sacramento Kings jerseys that were presented to them backstage at the Arco Arena last night.
Nov 20 2009
Jonah Rocks was invited by Kiss drummer Eric Singer to be his guest at the Kiss soundcheck and concert. Eric took Jonah up on stage to check out his drum kit. Thank You Eric, Paul, Tommy, and Gene, it was wonderful to meet you guys. Also a big thanks to Kiss management, security, and all of the Kiss crew, you guys are the best. Jonah will never be the same. LOL. Jonah loves you Eric!

CLICK HERE to watch a clip of Jonah playing Eric's drum kit!
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