August 16, 2010
By Patrice Wilding (Staff Writer)

It's not like anyone ever accused legendary rockers KISS of needing a hand-up in the theatrics department, especially when performing live.

But on Sunday, Mother Nature stepped in earlier in the day to add some thunder, lightning and a deluge of rain as a warm-up act to the thrilling spectacle that was to come at Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain.

It was, however, going to take a lot more than some water and foul weather to douse the spirits of the KISS Army on hand last night. Fans and performers clad in shiny leather, black and white makeup and glam rock staples studs, platforms and capes, made it difficult to discern whether the people-watching was more entertaining in the audience or on the stage.

Veterans of the music scene for almost 40 years, the iconic band started their lively show for Northeastern Pennsylvania fans in a cloud of smoke, fire and sparks that whipped the crowd of thousands to their feet in a screaming frenzy of pure fun. Despite the fact that they are all well into their 50s now (guitarist Paul "Starchild" Stanley has famously had two hip replacement surgeries already), these guys still know how to party.

Moments before the headliners literally burst onto the stage, a giant KISS banner unfurled as Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" blared across the mountain grounds, rousing the audience to its feet in anticipation of their heroes. Opening with "Modern Day Delilah" off 2009's "Sonic Boom" album, KISS members switched things up and followed with a few throwbacks from their first record from 1974, including the hit "Firehouse."

The music became modern again with "Say Yeah," another single from "Sonic Boom," before bouncing back to "The Bible of KISS," as Stanley described their debut album, with the anthemic "Deuce."

"Crazy Crazy Nights" was up next, followed by "Calling Dr. Love," which gave tongue-wagging vocalist Gene "The Demon" Simmons a chance to take the lead as drummer Eric "Catman" Singer pounded heavy rhythms from risers high above the stage.

"Spaceman" Tommy Thayer took a turn on fronting duties with "Shock Me" from 1977's "Love Gun," which gave him a chance to show off his guitar-shredding capabilities.

Fans and performers, were in agreement with guitarist Stanley that KISS threw "one hell of a rock 'n' roll party here in Scranton," a city he subsequently called "Number One" in the state.