By Allison Wagoner
KISS - Reliant Stadium - March 15, 2011
We'll drive you wild with our photos
from last night's show.
In Tom Snyder's 1979 interview with the original members of KISS, only two of which remain, he asked bassist Gene Simmons, "What would happen if you went out on stage for a concert and you didn't set off the fireworks, didn't break the guitar, and didn't have the smoke, fire, and blood?"
Simmons responded astutely, "It would still be a rip-roaring rock and roll show because...we don't stand still when we play our instruments. We run around and pretty much raise hell."
Over 30 years later, Aftermath wanted to test that theory, since we were aware of some of the stage restrictions at Reliant Stadium. There was no blood and not as much fire as we expected, but there were plenty of pyrotechnics for the group to put on a decadently distinctive KISS show, playing 12 songs in their entirety in just an hour.
We were hot with expectancy before the lights even went off. We delightedly watched those little mutton-busters get scared out of their minds as a rodeo clown with full KISS makeup hoisted them up after the inevitable sheep trampling.
Imagine being five years old, strapped to a running sheep in front of 70,000 people, and then busting your ass just to be saved by an old man dressed like Gene Simmons. That's traumatizing stuff, man.
When the lights went out and the initial fireworks were over, we watched a video of the members "getting ready" and "approaching the stage." The band rode out to the stage on golf carts and the customary introduction boomed through the stadium: "You wanted the best, you got the best: the hottest band in the world, KISS!!"
Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer, and Tommy Thayer then opened with "Modern Day Delilah" from their 2009 release, Sonic Boom and then went back to 1976's Destroyer with "Shout It Out Loud." Commence the Simmons guitar-licking and tongue exhibit, Stanley pick-spitting, and drawn-out Thayer solos.
Stanley warmed the Houstonians up quickly, mentioning our long history together. "We go back a long way," he said. "You people are some of the finest people we've ever played for... we would not miss being here."