Jul 10 2014
By Christian McPhate

It's hard to imagine a time when KISS didn't exist. A friend wearing a Gene Simmons mask introduced me to their music when I was five years old, living in Germany. The Berlin Wall hadn't fallen yet. He revealed the KISS Double Platinum as if he were holding the holy grail of heavy metal. Since then, I've watched the band reach the height of their stardom in the late '70s, the nightmare of losing their makeup (and in essence their power), to the rise from the ashes in the '90s with the original member reunion.

Their painted faces mesmerized me, and I devoured their TV movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. Starchild, Space Ace, Catman and, my personal favorite, the Demon battling evil robot doppelgängers: they were my superheroes.

They were a lot people's superheroes. "There are more people than I can count that have KISS tattoos," said Paul Stanley in a recent press conference with journalists from across the country and Canada. "That's like being a lifer in the Army. Anybody can put on a uniform and take it off, but when you tattoo yourself, you're in it for the long haul. So that's an incredible sign of dedication."

These "lifers" are part of the "KISS Army." Legend has it that a mob of fans once surrounded a radio station, demanding to hear KISS. Today, their legion is innumerable. "Knights in Satan's Service" is one of their more notorious monikers. But with soldiers from four generations of fans, it's not hard to imagine why people outside of the tribe would not look fondly on a bunch of people celebrating a fire-breathing demon onstage singing about the god of thunder.
Jul 10 2014
PHOTO GALLERY: 94.5 KOOL'S PRE-PARTY
Jul 10 2014
PHOTO GALLERY: AT AK-CHIN PAVILLION
Jul 10 2014
ARMY LOS ANGELES, YOU LOOK GREAT!
KISS performed to a sold out house at The Forum on Tuesday night. Def Leppard opened up the night and KISS fans of all ages arrived decked in their best make-up. All photos by Timothy Norris.

CLICK HERE to view LA Weekly's full KISS Forum photo gallery
Jul 10 2014
PHOTO: GENE SIMMONS BREATHING FIRE AT THE FORUM
Jul 09 2014
PHOTO GALLERY: AT THE FORUM
KISS performed to a sold out house at The Forum on Tuesday night. Def Leppard opened up the night and KISS fans of all ages arrived decked in their best make-up. All photos by Timothy Norris.

CLICK HERE to view LA Weekly's full KISS Forum photo gallery
Jul 09 2014
PHOTO: CROWD AT PACKED LA FORUM LAST NIGHT
Jul 09 2014
PHOTO: AND GEORGE LOPEZ
Great seeing our friend George Lopez at The Forum last night!
Jul 09 2014
PHOTO: ROCKIN' THE LA FORUM
Jul 09 2014
PHOTO: PAUL STANLEY AT LA FORUM
Jul 09 2014
PHOTO: GENE SIMMONS AT LA FORUM
Jul 09 2014
PHOTO: TOMMY THAYER AT LA FORUM
Jul 09 2014
PHOTO: ERIC SINGER AT LA FORUM
Jul 08 2014
Excerpted from a review by Alex Distefano

The day after 4th of July, nearly 20,000 screaming rock-n-roll fans filled the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre In Irvine, to witness two stellar performances by two defining rock bands: Def Leppard and KISS.

At 9:45, every section of the venue was packed, from the lawns to the lower pit. KISS took the stage, with roars of applause which, for the most part, lasted for the entire KISS concert.

A huge platform in the shape of a spider was in the middle of the stage as KISS blasted into an hour long set of classic songs, with nothing newer than 1998. Fan favorites included "Duce," "Hotter Than Hell," "Christine Sixteen," "Black Diamond," and "Cold Gin."
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