Review excerpt by Michael Hann
Photograph: Neil Lupin/Redferns
There's a sense that creatures from another world are walking among us when Kiss take to the stage at the drab Islington Academy. In their familiar kabuki-style makeup, the four men - "Starchild" Paul Stanley and "Demon" Gene Simmons are these days accompanied by guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer - look as out of place in this tiny room as Wayne Rooney would playing Sunday league football up the road at Hackney Marshes.
Musically, too, they seem alien: no new band makes this kind of bludgeoning, basic heavy rock with any expectation of replicating the success Kiss have had over nearly 40 years; no modern band would sing lyrics like Stanley and Simmons's - "You pulled the trigger on my love gun!" - without an eyebrow raised to signify the joke.
Nevertheless, it's an overwhelming, almost physical sensation to see the giant Kiss logo in flashing lights, and to hear songs that are part of the fabric of American rock - the likes of Calling Dr Love and Rock and Roll All Nite - in these confines. Every word to every song is bellowed back at the stage, and Simmons and Stanley fill the venue with their charisma, projecting to a back row that's a good couple of hundred yards behind where the last member of the audience is actually standing.
After little more than an hour, Kiss finish with their best song, Detroit Rock City, 500 people throwing their hands into devil's horns. And then they are gone, leaving the crowd to wonder if they've imagined the whole extraordinary evening.
Five out of five stars.
At Dublin Arena (0818 719 300), 7 May. Then touring.