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

Sep 26 2009
Here's Paul with Kid Rock backstage at COBO Arena.
Sep 26 2009
KISS story on Fox News regarding their Cobo Arena shows.

Sep 26 2009
ABC News interviews KISS at Detroit's Cobo Arena.

Sep 26 2009
Young fans, from left, Aaron Saunders, 13; Colton Walls, 12; Nicholas Wood, 13; and Andrew Wood, 11; drove nearly eight hours from West Virginia with Christie Wood for Kiss' return to Cobo.

Brian Payne, left, and his brother Jeff Payne, both of Columbus, Ohio, pay tribute Gene Simmons' Demon persona and Paul Stanley' Star Child.
Sep 25 2009
Here are a few of the new KISS ALIVE 35 Tour items, including the special edition collectible KISS COBO Arena event program. This is a limited edition collectors item that will not be reprinted.

Click here to order the KISS ALIVE 35 Tour merchandise

Sep 25 2009
Walmart Detroit area stores now have their KISS KORNERS open and stocked with KISS masks, M&M candies, music, make up, wigs and Mr. Potato Head collector toys to celebrate the band's national tour and first concert tonight in Detroit! Walmarts nationwide will launch KISS Korners on Oct. 6, the day the band's SONIC BOOM album is released exclusively at the chain.
Sep 25 2009
By Jeff Darcy, The Plain Dealer
Sep 25 2009
By Dan Kane
GateHouse News Service

The son of a popular Cleveland bandleader, Kiss drummer Eric Singer grew up in the '70s listening to WMMS and jamming on drums with his neighborhood rocker pals.

He found his career path early.

In 1984, Singer went on tour with hard-rock goddess Lita Ford, and a year later joined Black Sabbath. In 1989, he played drums on Kiss frontman Paul Stanley's solo tour, which led to an ongoing gig with Kiss. Singer simultaneously has been Alice Cooper's drummer since 2000, and has played on three Cooper albums to date.

Singer has played with Kiss steadily since 2004, appears on the bandís forthcoming album, "Sonic Boom," and is on tour with the band.

Singer, 51, was on his way to Detroit for tour rehearsals when he phoned to chat Tuesday afternoon.

Q. Tell me about the preshow ritual of putting on your Kiss makeup.

A. It's like the calm before the storm, if you will. The four of us get together and it's like a war room where we're preparing for battle. We're sitting there for a couple of hours and there's always great music. Gene will play deejay a lot of time. He likes to pull out old crazy blues stuff and doo-wop. It's very eclectic.
Sep 25 2009
By Gary Graff, Journal Reigster News Service

Kiss' Paul Stanley likes to note that "I've only written one song about a city."

And that would be "Detroit Rock City."

The song, which kicks off Kiss' triple-platinum 1976 album "Destroyer," is an acknowledgment of a mutual love affair between the theatrical hard rockers and Detroit. It goes back to the early days of the group's career and was cemented on May 16, 1975, when the group recorded most of its breakthrough "Kiss Alive!" album at Cobo Arena. Released four months later, it became Kiss' first gold album, launched the hit "Rock and Roll All Nite" and turned Kiss into a worldwide phenomenon.

That will be very much on the band members' minds this weekend, when Kiss returns to Cobo to open the latest leg of its "Kiss Alive 35" tour, celebrating the 35th anniversary of its first album.

"Something happened in Detroit," said bassist Gene Simmons, 60, who was born Chaim Witz in Israel and formed Kiss with Stanley in 1972 after the two played together in the New York group Wicked Lester.

The group has gone on to sell 80 million albums worldwide and have 24 gold or better in the United States. It's become "the juggernaut of all licensing and merchandising," according to Simmons, with more than 3,000 products bearing the group's distinctive logo and band members' likenesses, including, condoms and, yes, a Kiss Koffin. It's also been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

But before that, the bassist said, "There was a connection there between the people (of Detroit) and what it was that Kiss did. We played the Michigan Palace (in 1974) and sold it out ... when most people were like, 'Who's this Kiss?' And then, in the days we were doing an average of about 2,000 to 3,000 tickets, we played Cobo Hall.

"And in response, Paul went off and wrote 'Detroit Rock City.' So, yes, something about Cobo, and Detroit, tugs at our hearts."

"It's a meat-and-potatoes town," Simmons explained, "and Kiss is a meat-and-potatoes band. We don't look like it; we like to dress up and we make a spectacle of ourselves ... but at the heart of it Kiss is meat and potatoes, and in that way, we have a lot more to do with Detroit than New York, even though we're from there, or Paris."

So there will be plenty of nostalgia when Kiss rolls into Cobo this weekend before the arena's date with a wrecking ball as part of the convention center expansion. But the group is looking ahead, too. "Sonic Boom," Kiss' first new album in 11 years, comes out Oct. 6; it was produced by Stanley and is the first to feature the current lineup with drummer Eric Singer, on his third tour of duty in the band, and guitarist Tommy Thayer, who joined in 2002. Kiss plans to shoot a video for the first single, "Modern Day Delilah," in Detroit, as well as footage that will be used for exclusives and, according to Simmons, an eventual DVD.

The film crew from A&E's "Gene Simmons Family Jewels" is in town filming for future episodes, and a network TV program also is planning to break into tonight's show live.
Sep 25 2009


More than 30 years after their seminal live album "Alive!" was recorded in part during a show at Cobo Arena in Detroit, the facepainting rockers are back with a new CD and North American tour, which kicks off Friday -- in Detroit Rock City, of course.

"I expect the reception of homecoming heroes, but the truth is, it's really us sharing ... an intimate moment with a city and the people who were pivotal in helping to make Kiss what it is," lead singer Paul Stanley said of the show and another on Saturday -- both at Cobo.

Stanley, bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss put out a few studio albums in the early 1970s without a great deal of success.

It wasn't until 1975's "Alive!" hit record-store shelves that Kiss blew up.

Stalwarts Stanley and Simmons are joined these days by Tommy Thayer on guitar and Eric Singer on drums.

Stanley said the band will play the songs from "Alive!" as well as a few choice favorites during the Detroit gigs.

"At a rock show, fans always come to hear what they know," he said. "Had I ever gone to see Led Zeppelin and they played 'Whole Lotta Love' as a reggae tune, I would have been outraged."

Stanley said he also expects Kiss to perform "Modern Day Delilah," off of "Sonic Boom," the band's first studio album in 11 years.

The record, which Stanley produced and says is "better than a lot that we've done and right up there with the best," will be released only at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores on Oct. 6. It's part of a three-disc package that also includes re-recorded versions of Kiss hits as well as a concert DVD that was recorded in Argentina during a show earlier this year.

The North American tour takes the band to Cleveland and London, Ontario, early next week and eventually to cities such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Orleans and Los Angeles and runs through Dec. 6 in Dallas.

Around that same time, Kiss will find out if it's earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It was announced Wednesday that Kiss is one of 12 acts nominated for the 2010 class. Five will make it in.

Before any of that is decided, though, Kiss is returning to its home away from home -- to a city known for years as Detroit, Motown or the Motor City.

Kiss gave it a fourth name.

"I've written a lot of songs, but I've only written one `Detroit Rock City,"' Stanley said.
Sep 25 2009
Lucky fans attended a private KISS warm up show at COBO Arena on Thursday. The band previewed their awesome new stage while filming footage for their "Modern Day Delilah" video. KISS performed "Rock And Roll All Nite", "Modern Day Delilah", "Detroit Rock City", "Got To Choose" and "Shout It Loud."
Sep 25 2009
Here's Paul being filmed for the "Modern Day Delilah" video Thursday evening at COBO Arena.
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