August 07, 2009

By Erwin Zinger

When KISS says they will play anywhere, they mean it! On July 28th, 2009 KISS rocked California once again in support the of Alive 35 World Tour. Jamming for nearly two hours sticking close to the Alive 35 set list. KISS came out with their guns loaded with what seemed to be more pyrotechnics than usual. Maybe to compensate for the fact that, as Paul stated on-stage, couldn't levitate the drum set, fly for Love Gun or come down from the rafters. Some ticket holders were upgraded to better seating due to a pyrotechnics issue. Not bad! The stage was set up in the rodeo arena and most of the floor seating was there on the dirt, as were the cows, seriously. Remember it's a fair and the cows were to the left of the stage, smell and all. Some of those cows had a better vantage point than I did. Remember KISS will play anywhere for their fans and we thank them for that.


Autographed 8 x 10, 2 personal photos with the band, KISS laminate, Alive 35 guitar picks, Mini KISS poster, KISS Tour Book, Alive 35 T-Shirt & $50 coupon for the online KISS store!

The experience was scheduled to start at 7:30, stage right. Around 7:45 about 25 of us were escorted backstage (but not really). We were handed the rest of our package items and informed that KISS would sign one personal item and more if time permits.

Time to start the game plan in my head. There was a huge Alive 35 banner set up as the background for the group photos. Also a VIP tent close by, but not for us. Usually for friends and family of promoters, friends of the band, road crew, etc. My soul purpose for buying this experience was to finally get Paul to sign my original fire house helmet from the 70's. My second purpose was to get Gene and Paul to sign my Ladies Room acetate. An acetate is a test pressing from the studio to make sure all of the "grooves" are good to press onto vinyl. Usually one of a kind.

At 8:00 Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer emerge from the VIP area and set themselves up in front of the Alive 35 Banner. I was first in line with a death grip on that helmet. As I approach Tommy asks if it's an original helmet. Of course! For photo number one Gene squeezed my cheeks together (on my face). Second shot Gene sticks out that tongue of his, Paul is giving the thumbs up and Tommy has the signature "Rock Star Point" aiming at my helmet. AWESOME!

After the photos were done it was a free for all to get autographs. B-Line to Paul Stanley with the helmet. He signed it in silver. SUCCESS! I dart back to my KISS stash, being monitored by female security guard, and get the acetate. B-Line again to Paul and Gene. SUCCESS! Back to the stash I grab some photos that I took of a previous KISS show for Tommy and Eric to sign, along with the poster included in the package. SUCCESS AGAIN! Then I pause, breathe and head back to my collection. Only this time it's for my camera. I noticed that everyone was so frantic to get an autograph that they practically forgot that we all have cameras of our own to use. So I used it.

I went around and asked fans if they would take solo shots of me with each member. I returned the favor and again, SUCCESS! Tommy was great during the solo shots, pausing and making sure the photo turned out perfectly. Gene and Paul signed with ease and Eric was great. The meet-n-greet lasted about 30 minutes and then I went to find my seat in the dirt. Found it, and passed. I went to the bleachers. Much better.

Dean Snowden, who was the KISS organizer for the Platinum Experience, did a great job before and after the show. Even accepting phone calls and emails with questions regarding the group photos. Those were posted online about 9 days after the show. Each fan was emailed a link and password to download your own photos.

Will I do the Platinum Experience again? Most likely!

KISS, Thank you! And...GOOD NIGHT!!!! See you on the next tour supporting your new music.