KISS cranks up the spectacle for record Bluesfest crowd
Nothing could stop KISS in front of a record-setting crowd of 40,000 at Bluesfest last night. Not the rain, the decibel limit or even the snub to Shannon Tweed, who watched her man, bassist Gene Simmons, perform from a hastily installed VIP section on a raised platform near the sound tent.
Up on the massive stage, the band steamrolled over any obstacle, be it weather-related or bureaucratic, and delivered a concert that lived up to all expectations in terms of lights, volume and special effects. The lights were blinding, the sound was blasting and the effects included pyro, aerial wires and their trademark monster-glam costumes.
But what about the music? Well, you have to hand it to lead singer Paul Stanley for taking over the reins to the legendary í70s hard-rockers. When he wasnít shredding his voice at the microphone, he acted as host of the rock extravaganza, and did most of the talking. Word is heís also the producer responsible for getting the band back to basics on its forthcoming album, the first in a decade, due for release in October.
The back-to-basics approach is exactly what fans want, and last night, it meant making the most of the old hits. The band kicked things off with Deuce, hammering the song with multiple blasts of green pyro, and then moved into Stutter, Hotter Than Hell, Got To Choose, and Nothiní To Lose, which featured vocals by drummer Eric Singer.
At press time, guitarist Tommy Thayer proved himself worthy of replacing Ace Frehley with his deft soloing in She. Gene Simmons, meanwhile, spent his time pounding his instrument and stalking the stage, flicking his tongue to the cameras.