Sep 29 2009
By D.X. Ferris
Photograph by Matt Mitchell

Halloween arrived early last night, when the Kiss Army invaded downtown Cleveland, Ohio, for a concert at Quicken Loans Arena. The show was the second stop of the Kiss Alive 35 tour, following a sold-out two-night stand in Detroit Rock City. The trek celebrates the 35th anniversary of Alive!, the band's first landmark live album - one of RS' Greatest Albums of All Time - which helped elevate the group from a New York makeup act to international rock icons.

With some luck, Kiss will return to the city in a few months: Last week, after a decade of eligibility, the popular favorite received a nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is headquartered blocks away from Q.

The arena was dotted with convention-worthy costumes and fans in pedestrian fatigues and face-paint. Couples wore black-and-white Gene-and-Paul designs, dads and sons sported matching makeup, and an elementary schoolgirl looked so comfortable painted as Starchild you'd think she was at a Dora the Explorer Live! show.

As frontman Paul Stanley proclaimed early in the set, "Tonight is all about celebrating the history of the band and the relationship with the Kiss Army."
Sep 29 2009
Our pal and photographer John Davisson is a huge Kiss fan. So much so that he flew from his home in Florida to Detroit last week, joining fellow Pollstar photog Scott Legato to witness the band launch their Alive 35 tour. Since none of us could get the time off from our six jobs to be there, we asked him to give us (and you) a fan's-eye view of things.

I grew up with Kiss in the late '70s. I got my cerebral rock from Rush, my bluesy roots rock from Aerosmith, my operatic rock from Queen and my aggression from Ted Nugent. But it was Kiss when I wanted to "rock and roll all night and party every day." Like a lot of teenagers, I had posters of my favorite bands plastered all over my walls. Kiss dominated them all. Partly because they had the best posters (and the most). Their Alive II tour was one of my first concerts.

I used to read the magazines about Kiss to learn my Kisstory and today I still know their real names, their vices and motivators. On the Dynasty tour, I was able to sneak in a camera (anybody remember 110 Instamatic cameras, the camera-phone of the day?). That lead to a passion for photographing concerts which grew from that Instamatic to 35mm and eventually to digital photography. Now I'm a respected senior music photographer with photos published in many outlets. Thanks guys!
Sep 29 2009
Check out these great photos taken by Joe Gall for SPIN Magazine at COBO Arena!

KISS kicked off their latest, but certainly not last, U.S. tour at Detroit's soon-to-be-demolished Cobo Hall, where they recorded their landmark live album Alive 34 years ago.
Sep 29 2009

For KISS, it has been London, Rock City for more than 35 years.

The U.S. rock legends' KISS Alive 35 tour reaches the John Labatt Centre on Tuesday night, as they return to the city where they have action-painted dressing rooms with mayo and mustard, fished in Fanshawe Lake ... and had fans ready to sign up with the KISS Army since 1974.

When KISS first rocked London in the summer of 1974, the New York band was one of many glam rock pretenders. Even then, KISS had figured out how to shout it out loud in a colourful array, which included David Bowie and the New York Dolls.

"It was this big secretive thing about not seeing them without their makeup," says Ingersoll-area music promoter and media relations businessperson Nick Panaseiko. "They were the first one to incorporate dry ice in huge barrels ... they had Peter Criss's drum kit raised up by a fork lift."
Sep 29 2009
By Sarah Rodman

They've been extolling the virtues of all-night rocking and daily partying for 35 years, and they're not done yet. Next Tuesday, the day after filling the TD Garden with its spectacle, Kiss releases its first album in 11 years, "Sonic Boom." Last week, the makeup-loving quartet learned that, 10 years after their initial eligibility, they made the nomination ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We chatted with amiable Kiss guitarist-vocalist Paul Stanley last week as the band prepared to rock Cobo Center in Detroit, the scene of their first "Alive" album.

Q. Congratulations on the nomination. How are you feeling about it?

A. There's a long way between a nomination and induction. That being said, this is really something that I think is exciting. There is a very vocal segment of Kiss fans and rock fans who have wanted us in. And so for them I'm very, very pleased.

Q. What was the impetus for the new album, since you probably could've carried on successfully as you have until you retired?

A. I think this lineup [with drummer Eric Singer and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer] is so terrific and being in the midst of our most successful, biggest tour ever . . . it was so obvious, not only to me, but to the fans, how great the band is and how quintessentially we are Kiss. For me it was just a matter of one stumbling block, and that would be me producing the album. It really was about, at this point, making sure that I didn't have to make apologies for something that came out.
Sep 28 2009
Photo by Gene Schilling

Story by Gary Graff

Kiss opened the U.S. portion of its Kiss Alive 35 tour by recreating its breakthrough "Alive!" album in the place it was made -- Cobo Arena in Detroit Rock City.

As its done throughout the year, the group dedicated its main set on Friday to 1975's gold "Alive!," playing all but two of the set's 16 songs ("Firehouse" and "Rock Bottom" were excerpted) and altering the running order slightly to close with "Rock and Roll All Nite." "Deuce" started the two-hour and 20-minute show amidst booming pyrotechnics, and the set list treated members of the Kiss Army, who packed Cobo to the roof for opening night, to deep cuts such as "Got to Choose," "Nothin' to Lose," "Parasite" and "Watchin' You," as well as drum and guitar solos by Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, respectively, and an extended version of "100,000 Years" that culminated in a call-and-response between Paul Stanley and the crowd.
Sep 28 2009
By Dan Caffrey and Andy Keil

Detroit's legendary Cobo Center (formerly Cobo Hall) may be closing its doors for a much lamented expansion in just a few days, but KISS couldn't resist stopping by for a two night set to remind the Motor City that they truly don't make concert venues like this anymore.

"The hottest band in the land" recorded their breakthrough album Alive! behind the Cobo Center's walls 35 years ago, and not much has changed since then. It still has the feel of an oversized high school gym from the '70s and that's part of its charm; its manila stucco, cinder block walls, and fold out chairs keep things scrappy, locking the smaller than average arena in a perpetual junky time capsule (complete with water damage, too), the perfect setting for the band, who played Alive! in its (almost) entirety last night.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, the group's only two original members--still perform with a ferocity and penchant for spectacle unseen from many of their peers. Stanley's whimsical rock 'n' roll preacher stage banter was still a hoot, whether it was promoting their upcoming album or reminding Detroit that we were all "one big family."
Sep 27 2009
BY James R. Chesna - ABC 12 NEWS

Kiss took a shot at traveling back in time Friday and Saturday night in Detroit, and legendary co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons --receiving marching orders from the loyal ranks of faithful fans enlisted in the Kiss Army -- enjoyed a successful tour of duty.

The iconic grease-painted and platform-shoed 1970s glam rockers were in Motown this weekend to celebrate a very special anniversary, and couldn't think of better followers to invite to the festivities than some of the folks who made the band's storied career possible way back in 1975 when the Demon, Starchild, Cat and Spaceman recorded their landmark multi-platinum best-seller "Alive!"

Using as a backdrop the Motor City's Cobo Hall -- the hallowed venue that started it all, now facing an uncertain future -- the band kicked off its 2009 "Alive!/35" tour in typical bombastic fashion.

Kiss had history going for them in shaking loose Cobo's dust and cobwebs. And it certainly didn't hurt that this truly felt like an event for the ages, possibly the beginning of what could be one of the band's final treks.
Sep 27 2009
KISS performs Modern Day Delilah from SONIC BOOM at Detroit's Cobo Arena, September 26, 2009

Sep 27 2009
"Love Gun" from last night's Detroit Cobo Arena show - September 26, 2009.

Sep 27 2009

Having been a KISS fan for over 30 years one might thing I have experienced it all...


Does anything get any better than KISS at COBO ARENA?

You know the KISStory...I just lived a NEW page in it!!!!

From the opening bellowing of the announcer to the explosion of the last ear-shattering pyrotechnic, KISS left the Cobo Arena stunned, blinded and deafened by a spectacle that only KISS could conjure up. ALIVE 35 is STILL ALIVE and not only merely kicking, but also annihilating all that comes in its path.

There is something NEW about is not just NEW outfits...It is not just a NEW stage...It is not just a NEW song from a NEW album that is about to hit a Walmart near YOU... KISS is rejuvenated...KISS is a storm on the horizon coming to kick YOUR ASS NORTH AMERICA with a SONIC BOOM of epic proportions!!!!

KISS celebrated their breakthrough 70's album ALIVE! at Cobo Arena in a way that only KISS would attempt to try...Dazzling the true "die-hard" fans and leaving the KISS virgins violated into submission... It is a truly inspirational sight seeing over 12,000 mesmerized fans singing, screaming and pumping their fists to over 2 hours of KISS KLASSICS with some NEW surprises to keep even the most weathered KISS ARMY soldier ready to sign up for another tour of duty!!!

Gene, Paul, Eric and Tommy brought a show too Detroit that brought the crowd to its feet and grabbed it by its neck and NEVER let go!!!

From the first notes of Deuce through the encores (including a little gem called MODERN DAY DELILAH) the show was top notch!

Gene slithered around the stage in his shiny new armor with a renewed sense of EVIL.

Paul's raps were whipping the crowd into a frenzy everytime he neared the mic. Damn that man can JUMP!!!

Tommy was more animated than EVER!!! He was everywhere playing his heart out!!!

...and let's not forget Eric...WOW!!! He was on fire. The SOLD-OUT crowd went crazy with his deafening solo!!!! He might have to get a new kit every night on this tour if beats his drums that hard each show!!!

The stage is new...It is COOL!!! The giant screen shows EVERYTHING!!!! The speakers have screens on them as well....HOTTER THAN HELL never looked so HOT!!!! It has to be seen to be believed.

KISS gave us 110% tonight at COBO HALL. From the day (as a kid) I turned over ALIVE! and saw those guys holding that banner in Detroit...I always wished I could have been there...TONIGHT I WAS FREAKIN' THERE!!!!


Mike Mariacher

Sep 26 2009
Friday night the KISS army invaded Detroit Rock City. Suburban families, pony-tailed bikers, cleavage-flaunting cougars, and packs of 40-year-old fathers bulging in their aged acid-washed jeans all painted their faces black and white for the opening date of KISS' U.S. tour at the old-school Cobo Hall. Their mission: To rock. HARD.

Mission accomplished.

Thousands of fans sported tour t-shirts from the many KISS concerts Cobo has hosted over the past three decades, and dozens stood tall on silver platform shoes, their black hair adding another three inches of glam power. The KISS army was congregated in the Motor City's most dated arena -- a cold concrete slab used to showcase military vehicles at the North American International Auto Show -- for one of the last concerts ever to be held there before it's demolished, a touching point for the band members themselves, who recorded much of their classic Alive album there in 1975.

After the quartet stormed the stage, jumping into "Deuce" and "Strutter," guitarist/singer Paul Stanley made sure everyone was aware of the momentous occasion. "This is the holy land, the place where it all started, Detroit!" he yelled, showing no signs of his two hip-replacement surgeries. "You've always opened your arms and opened your legs for us!"

KISS, or course, helped put the cult in pop-culture. The band is a B-movie come to life, a gang of sonic super heroes, and if Stanley and Gene Simmons (the two remaining founders) don't take themselves seriously, the fans always have -- especially Detroit's. There's even a movie (Detroit Rock City) about it.

"We know what you're here for -- you want that cool, classic old stuff and we're going to cover it all tonight," Stanley promised a roaring crowd of more than 12,000.

And they did -- flawlessly. The initial question buzzing around the arena was whether Stanley, 57, and Simmons, 60 -- with the help of recent additions Tommy Thayer and Alice Cooper drummer Eric Singer -- could still pull it off. Even the band members -- who, after 11 years of eligibility, were finally nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just days before the show -- weren't sure. Before jumping into "Hotter Than Hell," a hesitant Stanley asked the crowd, "Is it good?" "YYYYEEEEEAAAAHHHHHHH," the audience replied.

And then came two hours of metal-glam anthems, featuring songs from the Alive, Destroyer, and Lick It Up records. It was a testament to the divine powers of rock.

You have to give 'em credit. Just shy of a 40-year career, KISS are shaking their spandexed butts, humping and licking their guitars, blowing kisses to groupies, spitting blood, shooting fireworks from their instruments, and indulging in all of the Regan-era rock'n'roll excess we've come to expect from them.

Simmons and Stanley competed to outdo each other: Simmons was hoisted more than a hundred feet to the top of the stadium, then spat movie blood on the security guards below; while Stanley locked his bedazzled thigh-high leather platform boots into a zip-line and cruised over to a revolving stage above the sound both, where he put on a show for the back rows!

The band wasn't originally planning to kick off their tour in Detroit, but when they heard Cobo was set to close, they wanted to make sure they got one last shot at it, that they owed that much to Detroit. The people of the Motor City, looking for any good reason to celebrate these days, were more than appreciative. KISS replied in kind, taking time to tip their hats to the struggling auto industry and to the music of Motown, the Stooges, Bob Seger, Grand Funk Rail Road, and Alice Cooper.

"There's just something in the blood of this city," said Simmons. With that there was just one last song to play. "This one's called 'Long live Detroit Rock City!'" And Stanley, with the support of more than 21,000 Detroit rock fans, sang, "I feel so good, I'm so aliveeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!"

Got To Choose
Hotter Than Hell
Nothin To Lose
Com'n And Love Me
Watchin You
100,000 Years
Cold Gin
Let Me Go Rock And Roll
Black Diamond
Rock And Roll All Nite

Shout It Out Loud
Lick It Up
I Love It Loud
Modern Day Delilah
Love Gun
Detroit Rock City
Sep 26 2009
Photos by KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL/Detroit Free Press

There was fire.

There was an explosion or two, followed by flashing red sirens.

And we're not talking about a Detroit freeway. We're talking about Kiss' return to Cobo Arena on Friday night.

Kiss renewed its love affair with Detroit Rock City by kicking off its North American tour with the first of two shows at the venue where most of its history-making "Alive!" album was recorded in 1975.
Sep 26 2009
Adam Graham / Detroit News Pop Music Writer

Detroit Rock City came alive Friday night as Kiss kicked off their latest tour in the venue that made them famous (and the venue they made famous): Cobo Arena.

It was there where the legendary costumed rockers recorded "Alive!" the 1975 live album that put them on the musical map. And on Friday, in front of a fervent sold-out crowd of around 12,000, the band reprised the majority of "Alive!" during the 20-song, 2-hour and 10-minute show that acted as a mutual love fest between Kiss and Detroit. The band performs again at Cobo on Saturday.

"Cobo Hall!" frontman Paul Stanley shouted early in the set Friday. "For us, this is the holy land. This is where it all started."

Fans, many of whom came dressed like their favorite Kiss members in outrageous costumes and greasy face paint, certainly treated the venue like it was sacred ground, some coming from as far away as Wisconsin and West Virginia for the concert. Cobo's future remains uncertain, but Kiss said it wanted to perform there one last time before it becomes rubble -- like Tiger Stadium, where the group kicked off its 1996 reunion tour.
Sep 26 2009
KISSonline Exclusive Video! KISS live at Cobo Arena, Detroit 9/25/09 Show Highlights

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