STUNS IN CAMDEN
September 21, 2012
By David Kinchen

Photo by Keith Leroux for KISSOnline

When the vintage hard rock n' roll machine KISS visits the Delaware Valley there's one word that comes to mind: Monster. That's how big the experience is. The band, the make-up, the guitars, the boots, the hair and the crowd; all stand out in monstrous proportions.

You can expect that in every show. Wednesday night's blast of classic rock at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden delivered all of that on cue. KISS brought a peak performance after 80s glam metal heavy weights Motley Crue left the stage with an already dazzled and energized crowd.

KISS opened their show in familiar form blasting that infamous intro to my hometown's anthem "Detroit Rock City", while being lowered from the rafters on a platform like the gods of classic rock they've come to be after nearly 40 years.

You had the traditional elements of a KISS show with fireworks, stunning stage lights and rockets being fired from lead axe man Tommy Thayer's guitar, in the same spirit is original guitarist Ace Frehley.

The set list, however, had many not-so-traditional live numbers that haven't been heard by fans in years.

FOX29 photographer Shane McEachern and I looked at each other in awe when we heard the beginning of "War Machine" from the landmark 1982 record Creatures of the Night.

Lead vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Paul Stanley declared they were going to "kick it old-school" before ripping into "Strutter" off of the first and self-titled KISS release in 1974.

"We didn't play this one last night" he said.

The band also did the classic "Lick It Up" from the non-make-up era, before transitioning into a melodic cover of The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again."

Drummer, Eric Singer's voice was in top form when he sang the lead on "Black Diamond" and Gene Simmons delivered a demonically brilliant energy on his staple "God of Thunder" from 1976's Destroyer.

Stanley paid an acrobatic visit to the middle of the venue after soaring over the crowd, securing himself on a rotating platform and launching the fan favorite "Love Gun."

A KISS show wouldn't live up to its own standards without more explosions and a confetti drop during the "Rock And Roll All Nite" encore, closing out another epic night.

This was the fourth time I've seen KISS live and I can say without a doubt the band is tighter and more passionate than they've been in many years. Regardless of how you feel about this not being the original band, the legacy is still there and the talent is tops.

By the way, the new album Monster is set to drop next month. I personally can't wait to get my hands on it!