News - 2013 : July

Jul 22 2013
THIS DAY IN TORY 2003
10 Years Ago: KISS Release ‘Symphony: Alive IV’

by Matthew Wilkening

Their first live album saved their career. The second confirmed their place as global superstars, and the third proved they could succeed without two original members and their famous facepaint. So what could KISS possibly do to make their fourth live album different?

Go to the symphony, of course. The group, now back in makeup and costumes, performed a special concert in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in February of 2003, and released the bombastic results as a double-live album on July 22 of that same year.

Originally, ‘Alive IV’ was intended to celebrate the reunion of the original KISS lineup. Back in 1996, original lead guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss returned to join Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley for a tour that sold out in arenas around the world. A concert from New Year’s Eve 1999 was recorded and scheduled for release, then scrapped. (It would emerge a few years later as part of the ‘KISS Alive! 1975-2000′ box set.)

By the time the Melbourne concert came around, Frehley had once again departed the group, leaving new (and current) lead guitarist Tommy Thayer with a rather daunting task. Not only would his first public show as a member of KISS be recorded and filmed for future release, but it would be set up unlike any show in the group’s history. No pressure!

After playing six songs by themselves, KISS were joined by the orchestra’s string section for a five-song acoustic set featuring ballads such as ‘Beth’ and ‘Shandi,’ which was a massive hit for the group down under back in 1980. Then, all hell broke loose, as the full 60-member orchestra joined the group for over-the-top readings of their biggest hits.

In most cases, the extra firepower was used to turbocharge rather than reinterpret the songs, making this more of a fun experiment than a revelatory listening experience. But there are some clever additions, such as the dramatic string counterpoints on ‘God of Thunder.’

At the very least, ‘Symphony: Alive IV’ proves that KISS are willing to do just about anything to create a spectacle that will entertain their fans. The concert was also released on home video, which is probably really how it should be experienced: There’s something undeniably great about seeing dozens of classically-trained musicians wearing KISS makeup as bombs and fireworks go off all around them.

Jul 22 2013
FAN'S ROCK FEST PHOTOS
KISSONLINE.com
Thanks to our friend Ken Casper for sharing his KISS Rock Fest photos with us!


CLICK HERE to view more of Ken's KISS Rock Fest Photos

Jul 22 2013
SLASH GETS ED!
KISSONLINE.com
Here's Slash rocking out in a KISS t-shirt!
Jul 22 2013
KIDS COMIC #1 ADDITIONAL COVERS PART 2
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These two KISS Kids covers will be available exclusively at Jetpack Comics - www.jetpackcomics.com in mid August.


Jul 21 2013
MEGADETH MEETS !
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Here's Megadeth with KISS backstage at Rock Fest in Cadott, Wisconsin,

Photo by Dean Snowden for KISSONLINE.
Jul 21 2013
VISITS BRENNAN ROCK & ROLL ACADEMY
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

All four members of the legendary rock and roll band KISS spent time in Sioux Falls to help disadvantaged children learn music.

Frontman Gene Simmons and the gang visited the Brennan Rock and Roll Academy. Four rehearsal rooms were dedicated in honor of each band member.

This isn't the first time band members visited the academy. Some came to Sioux Falls this past spring for the club's grand opening. But, this will be the first time all four members are in the city together.

“By the look on the kid’s faces, this is money well spent. Anything to get the kids off the street and from what I can see they love coming here. That's what you want. To have a place that's safe, for them to get excited, to do things and get them off the streets,” Simmons said

The Brennan Rock & Roll Academy is a free music education program for kids in the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire. Hear from all four KISS members in an upcoming EYE on KELOLAND next week.

Jul 21 2013
PHOTO: ERIC SINGER AT ROCK FEST
KISSONLINE.com
Here's Eric pounding the drums during "Black Diamond" last night at Rock Fest in Cadott, Wisconsin.

Photo by Keith Leroux for KISSONLINE.
Jul 21 2013
PHOTO: ROCKING CADOTT
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Here's a view of Tommy, Paul and Gene from just next to Eric's drum kit last night at Rock Fest.

Photo by Keith Leroux for KISSONLINE.
Jul 21 2013
BRINGS THEATRICS TO ROCK FEST STAGE
Review by Chris Vetter / Leader Telegram
Photo by Dean Snowden for KISSONLINE.

CADOTT – With a heavy dose of theatrics, KISS dazzled a large crowd Saturday night at Rock Fest in Cadott.

Right from when the band took the stage and launched into “Psycho Circus,” the crowd was treated to fireworks, blazing flames shooting up from the stage, a drum set that climbed upward on hydraulics, and of course, a rock band in full costume. A giant, metallic spider hovered above the stage, creating a unique background.

KISS performed 18 songs over their 105-minute set, mixing in their signature spots along the way. For instance, Gene Simmons breathed fire, to the roaring approval of the crowd, before KISS launched into “Heaven’s On Fire.” Simmons later drooled blood down his chin and waved his tongue at the audience before the group sang “God of Thunder.”

Paul Stanley taunted the crowd that they needed to be louder, before flying over the crowd on a zip-line to a smaller stage near the middle of the fest grounds.

The music selection was straightforward rock music.

“Are you here for a rock and roll party,” Stanley asked the crowd early in the show before the band sang “I Love It Loud.” KISS also unveiled some new songs, like “Hell or Hallelujah.”

In a bit of a surprise, the band chose not leave the stage before their three-song finale. They kept the show rolling with the closing set of “Detroit Rock City,” “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” and the big hit, “Rock and Roll All Nite,” which had all the spectacle concert-goers expected, with even more fireworks, flames, and a confetti cannon. On a cool and windy night, the tiny pieces of confetti reached fans all the way up the hill, standing far from the stage.

KISS previously played at Rock Fest in 2007. While Rock Fest officials never release daily attendance totals, this was one of the larger crowds in recent years. The temperatures were cool throughout the evening, and rain held off until after the show wrapped up.
Jul 21 2013
PHOTO: GENE SIMMONS AT ROCK FEST
KISSONLINE.com
Here's Gene at Rock Fest in Cadott, Wisconsin last night.

Photo by Hab Haddad for KISSONLINE.
Jul 21 2013
PHOTO: PAUL STANLEY & TOMMY THAYER AT ROCK FEST
KISSONLINE.com
Here's Paul and Tommy at Rock Fest in Cadott, Wisconsin last night.

Photo by Hab Haddad for KISSONLINE.
Jul 21 2013
STOPS AT BRENNAN ROCK & ROLL ACADEMY
Jul 21 2013
PHOTO: TOMMY THAYER AT ROCK FEST
KISSONLINE.com
Here's Tommy at Rock Fest in Cadott, Wisconsin last night.

Photo by Hab Haddad for KISSONLINE.
Jul 20 2013
PHOTO: AT BRENNAN ACADEMY
KISSONLINE.com
Here's KISS and founder Chuck Brennan the Brennan Rock & Roll Academy in Sioux Falls, Dakota earlier today.

The band flew in for the dedication ceremony, where four rehearsal rooms were named in honor of each band member.

The event itself was a private for Boys & Girls Clubs members.

Brennan Rock & Roll Academy provides the first free music education program for children in the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Sioux Empire, focusing on Rock & Roll instruments and vocals.
Jul 20 2013
PHOTO: GENE SIMMONS AT BRENNAN ACADEMY
KISSONLINE.com
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