October 13, 2009
By: Nancy Dunham

Kiss Alive Tour stops in D.C. to promote release of 'Sonic Boom'

Even before Gene Simmons had a televised reality show, there was Kiss.

The band that Simmons co-founded with Paul Stanley 35 years ago has now recorded more than 36 albums, which have sold more than 100 million copies. That would be a dream come true for almost any musician, but seems especially so for Simmons.

Almost from the start, the band members all but obliterated their faces with outlandish theatrical makeup and wore space age-style costumes. Hard to imagine now that Simmons' face and those of his band mates are regularly beamed into people's homes via television and the Web, but the mystery of how the rockers looked was a well-kept secret until 1983, when they finally removed the theatrical grease paint.

Such theatrical looks and antics didn't go over with critics who mocked the band, but a loyal fan base -- known as The Kiss Army -- arose. In 1975, the band really hit it big with its album "Alive!" and the song "Rock and Roll All Nite."

Well, the army is still alive and well, as is the band that's just begun a tour dubbed "Alive 35." Simmons said that fans could expect "new outfits, a brand-new stage and millions more put into it" on the Kiss Alive Tour that promotes the band's first album in 11 years, "Sonic Boom."

"That's just the history of Kiss," Simmons said. "Simply put, any band you go to see for the same ticket price, you know Kiss is going to give you tenfold more. That's just a statement of fact."

In addition, fans will watch the show on a massive video screen so that even those in the nosebleed sections will have up-close and personal experiences.

If you go:

Where: Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW, Washington
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday