News - 2011 : October

Oct 17 2011
OUR LAST DAY ON THE KRUISE
KISSONLINE
We just disembarked the Destiny and checked into the Miami Doubletree for some high-speed internet access and a tiny bit of rest before our flight tonight. We had a total of six hours' worth of sleep over the past five days. (Next year, we plan on not sleeping at all!) We have loads of clips to post from the KISS Kruise, so stayed tuned to KOL!

KISSonline has been privileged to experience so many wonderful KISS moments over the years, but to date, this was the greatest KISS experience we've ever had! Hanging out with thousands of like-minded crazy KISS fans 24 hours a day, in all areas of the ship, was unbelievable.

We could easily do several of those "Priceless" Mastercard commercials based on our trip:

-A weekend with 2500 of your closest KISS fan friends from over 30 different countries...
- A luxurious ocean voyage on a grand cruise ship (with free 24-hour dining!)
- Plus the greatest rock and roll band ever... KISS playing three concerts filled with rarities?

Priceless!

The party NEVER stopped.

We have to share with you what a crazy day we had yesterday! Doc McGhee's Q&A session was so popular and so well attended that the ship set up an overflow room for fans to listen in via an audio feed, as the original room was hundreds over capacity. Doc's commentary was in-your-face, brutally honest, and he left no questions unanswered. After the Q&A he stayed to take photos with fans and sign autographs.

Next, KISSonline stopped by Eric's room to chat in the afternoon, and we told Eric that there were fans walking around near his door. Eric went out and held an impromptu meet-and-greet, signing autographs for stunned fans who happened to walk down his hallway!

As night rolled around, comedian Craig Gass entertained a packed house with his dirty KISS-themed stand-up routine, and Skid Row rocked the Palladium.

We ended the evening with a marathon session of KISS karaoke which ran long past the planned cutoff time. Fans of all ages belted out KISS classics in the ship's Disco. During karaoke, we also also held a surprise 40th birthday party for our friend and lifelong KISS fan Dale "The Demon" Torborg! With the help of his wife, Christi (Asya of WCW) and WWE champ Adam "Edge" Copeland (also a huge KISS fan!) as well as Rachel Bolan from Skid Row, Dale was completely caught off guard, and later confessed that he was just glad we didn't make him sing when he was called to the stage. The entire Destiny Disco was rockin' when Craig Gass brought the house down by closing out the night singing a hilarious, expletive-laden "Plaster Caster" in Sam Kinison's voice, along with Paul Stanley's guitar tech Fran Stewart and fans.

After the event, we went to the buffet to our favorite KOL posting location on the ship, Table 22 on the port side, where the ship's dismal internet connection was better... and there was also an electrical outlet on the wall (crucial to late-night KOL posting!) We had just started working when Craig Gass tracked us down and would not leave us alone, staying at our table past 4am! In addition to being a KISS fan and a nut, he's also a big pick collector and loved the custom KISS Kruise guitar picks! Hanging with Craig and talking all things KISS (Craig, of course, talked in Gene's voice) made the satellite internet connection's continuous service dropouts more tolerable. (We love you, Craig.) Man, that guy loves chocolate milk though. He downed six cartons of it in minutes.

We finally headed to our cabins with just enough time to pack and get ready to disembark the KISS Kruise. Sadly, our KISS dream holiday was coming to an end.

8AM came too quickly and it was bittersweet to have to say goodbye to so many friends, both old and new, from around the world this morning during the ship disembarkment. But it was such a sight to see thousands of fans sporting KISS shirts, coats, and even a few KISS monster boots waiting in the customs line. One customs agent said "This is the most exciting customs line we've ever seen!"

Already by the second day of the Kruise, the band was already talking about next year's KISS Kruise! Paul said he enjoyed himself so much at these shows playing songs that they don't often get a chance to play on tour.

We want to thank the incredible crew at Sixthman for their involvement in this special event that was unlike any other. We also need to thank you, KISS NAVY, for making this a tremendous success too. It is because of you that the guys enjoyed this event so much. We look forward to rockin' the seas again soon with our KISS family!
Oct 17 2011
VISITS KRUISE FANS' ROOMS
KISSONLINE EXCLUSIVE
It was pandemonium in the hallway when KISSonline walked with KISS down Deck 7 as the band headed to Saturday night's fan photo shoot. Check out the excited Kruisers who cheered the band on along the way! KISS greeted fans at their rooms, even signing their cabin door decorations.

(Our apologies for the shaky video - not only were people pushing us from behind, but the ship was rocking - literally!)



Video by Keith Leroux for KISSonline
Oct 17 2011
KRUISE CASINO NIGHT
KISSONLINE
The KISS Kruise has had so many memorable moments! On Thursday night, the Destiny's casino hosted a KISS-themed casino night. Eric Singer hosted the evening, and the casino's tables featured custom KISS Kruise-themed felts.

Even the casino chips were special, with custom KISS Kruise artwork! Fans were buying these up like mad to keep as souvenirs!
Oct 17 2011
Former KISS crew member and friend Eddie Balandas passed away suddenly last week. Eddie proudly gave KISSonline this photograph of himself and Gene at the Chicago KISS Expo earlier this month. He loved talking with fans about his time with KISS.

____________________________________________

Eddie Balandas of Chicago, Illinois passed away in his sleep on Monday, October 10th, in the early hours of the morning from what appeared to be the final stage of congestive heart failure.

The funeral service will be held on Monday, October 17th, 2011 at the Alliance-Gaidas-Daimid Funeral Home in Chicago, IL.

Eddie was a KISS band crew member in their early years and is known as the "Voice of KISS" on the Alive II album where his announcement of the band is boldly proclaimed: "You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world, KISS!"

The last number of years, Eddie enjoyed fishing and attending KISS Expos where he totally enjoyed talking to everyone and tell stories. Eddie would talk to KISS fans and answer questions until the very early hours of the morning.
Oct 16 2011
"TWO TIMER" LIVE FROM KRUISE
Here's another rare song KISS performed during Friday night's concert!


Video by Keith Leroux for KISSonline
Oct 16 2011
ROCKS THE KRUISE FOR A THIRD NIGHT
KISSONLINE EXCLUSIVE
As if KISS couldn't get any better.

Last night, KISS took to the stage again, bringing another smashing set of KISS classics and favorites to their devoted fans on the KISS Kruise. Performing in a 1500-seat theater aboard the Destiny, there was no pyro, no bombs, and no fire... but the show was hotter than hell. With the band up close and in such an intimate space, fans enjoyed another memorable evening of music and fun.

Due to the capacity of the Destiny's Palladium theater, fans aboard the Kruise received a ticket to either Friday night's concert or Saturday's, with each concert simulcast on the ship's Lido Deck massive outdoor screen so fans had the opportunity to enjoy both shows.


Set list:
I Stole Your Love
Getaway
Room Service
Two Timer
Comin' Home
Strutter
Nothin' to Lose
Love Her All I Can
All The Way
She
Take Me
Goin' Blind
Parasite
Rock Bottom
C'mon and Love Me
Got to Choose
Lick it Up
Shout it Out Loud
Hard Luck Woman
Beth
Detroit Rock City
Rock And Roll All Nite

"This is like camp... on a boat. It's awesome." - Paul Stanley

Photo by Soni Hingorani for KISSonline.
Oct 16 2011
KRUISE DAY 2: THE BOAT REALLY ROCKS
NEW TIMES
By Reed Fischer
Photo by Ian Witlen

After an unmasked Sailaway Show on Thursday, KISS Kruisers got the full-on, legend-making experience Friday. The mild-mannered Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer morphed into seven-foot-tall aliens to the delight of the overflowing Palladium Lounge Friday aboard the Carnival Destiny.

Revelers, with a few Carnival staffers mixed in, packed the 1,200-capacity theater in various Halloween garb -- many of which featured meticulous facepaint of their favorite member of the band -- and from the moment the lights dimmed, all attention dripped onto the wall of 124 lightbulb-decorated speakers, the dry ice fogging the floor, and a giant video screen running through countless digitally enhanced versions of the band's iconic logo.

Throughout time, many popular musicians to name have expressed their admiration for long-surviving KISS. Weezer's Rivers Cuomo famously dedicated a verse of "In the Garage" to "my favorite rock band KISS," and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy recalls summers in St. Louis "playing KISS covers, beautiful and stoned." Although there are plenty of glam-rock sendups that follow in the footsteps of this power quartet with a refrain repeated until it's Super Poly-Gripped into your brain -- here's looking at you, Andrew W.K. -- the majority of artists stay far away from bad imitations of the unparalleled stage show. ​

Read the rest at Broward Palm Beach New Times
Oct 16 2011
PHOTOS FROM KRUISE PAJAMAS PARTY
NEW TIMES
Check out these members of the KISS Navy celebrating at the KISS Kruise Pajama Party.

Photos by Ian Witlen
Oct 16 2011
KRUISE DAY 1: SAILAWAY SHOW
NEW TIMES
KISS Kruise Day 1: Sailaway Show Unmasked

By Reed Fischer

It turns out that Paul Stanley knows KISS Kruise attendees better than they know themselves. "You don't really want to hear us play," said the KISS singer, relaxed a linen turquoise shirt, sunglasses, and absolutely no black-and-white makeup. "You want the all-you-can-eat prime rib!"

He and his cohorts, a nearly 40-year-old New York hard rock band, have enticed about 3,000 charter members of the KISS Navy to see their obsession on a huge boat in the middle of the ocean. And the fawning flowed both ways during the opening night's acoustic Sailaway Show amidst pools and hot tubs and glad-handed camaraderie on the Lido Deck of the Carnival Destiny.

With no bright lights blinding them and the sun peeking out at their back, the fellas -- each with a personalized black cup with their name on it -- could see every one of the thousands of glowing faces in the crowd in hot tubs, at bars, on waterslides singing along to a bevy of KISS favorites from the heart of the catalog. It was easy to ignore that the mighty vessel was exiting the Port of Miami with this much infectious admiration spreading over the deck's treated lumber.

After striding out in cowboy boots and jeans, genial bassist Gene Simmons launched into his trademark exaggerated smiles and pursed lips, and was seemingly in good spirits about the added weight to his ring finger. New bride Shannon Tweed was not immediately in sight. But hey, guitarist Tommy Thayer did his part by painting a constant smile on his face for the entire performance.

Things kicked off with "Hotter Than Hell" -- though it actually wasn't due to the breeze blowing in. Later on, things mellowed out with the tender "Shandi," which brought out wise-cracking Stanley's tender side. Similar emotional territory came when stick-twirling drummer Eric Singer got out from behind his kit to sing "Beth." He remarked that he has a very long cord. Lovers embraced in the packed crowd, and Paul and Gene swayed back-to-back behind him. The rapturous harmonies of "Christine Sixteen" got one of the most feverish responses of the night -- it's a song that the men and women of the crowd can agree on.

"You know what's crazy," Stanley said, genuinely pleased. "We're actually better than we thought!"

Read more at Broward Palm Beach New Times
Oct 15 2011
"ROOM SERVICE" LIVE FROM THE KRUISE
KISSONLINE EXCLUSIVE
Here's KISS opening last night's concert on the KISS Kruise with "Room Service!"


Video by Keith Leroux for KISSonline
Oct 15 2011
ROCKS AT SEA
KISSONLINE.com


It was the KISS concert that every die-hard has been dreaming of for ages.

Last night, KISS performed their first full-makeup show on the KISS Kruise, thrilling fans with a set list of KISS favorites that haven't been heard live in years, and in some cases, in decades. The show opened with "Room Service," launching into "Two Timer" and a rockin' version of "Comin' Home," which Paul guarantee the crowd that aside from the Unplugged shows, had never been played live in its original form before this show. Other concert standouts included "Take Me," "All The Way," and an electrifying "Rock Bottom."

KISS Navy members displayed numerous flags from countries around the world, and as it was also costume party night, many KISS fans came to the show dressed for the occasion.

Here's the setlist from last night's show:

Room Service
Two Timer
Comin' Home
Strutter
Nothin' to Lose
Love Her All I Can
She
Take Me
Goin' Blind
Parasite
Rock Bottom
All The Way
Got to Choose
Shout it Out Loud
Lick it Up
C'mon and Love Me
Hard Luck Woman
Beth
Rock and Roll All Nite

Photo by Keith Leroux for KISSonline.
Oct 15 2011
KRUISERS CELEBRATE PAUL STANLEY
KISSONLINE.com
Last night, around 3:00am (when KISSonline does its best work,) we were posting photos and video from today's KISS Kruise events. The wi-fi signal on the ship is a little stronger in the restaurant, and it's also a great place to people watch. As we worked, we spotted a delightful variety of Paul Stanleys getting late-night snacks from the buffet. Each represented a different era of Paul!

We couldn't resist rounding these Pauls up for a photo. Check out "Elder Paul," "Crazy Nights Paul," "Art Show Paul," and "Phantom Paul!"

Special thanks to Molly, Tom, Ames, and Neil, who were equally as delighted to meet each other as we were to meet them.

Photo by Jill Cataldo for KISSonline.
Oct 15 2011
NAVY, YOU LOOK GREAT!
KISSONLINE.com
Check out these great looking members of the KISS Navy roaming the decks of the KISS Kruise.
Oct 14 2011
VIDEO FROM THE KRUISE
KISSONLINE EXCLUSIVE
KISSonline has been filming all kinds of great video from the Kruise! Unfortunately, internet access from the ship is very slow, and it's difficult to upload full-quality videos while we're at sea. Enjoy these lower-res videos from KISS's unplugged show and band Q&A session yesterday, and we'll post higher-quality videos when we return from our voyage. Stay tuned for more!




Videos by Keith Leroux for KISSonline
Oct 13 2011
THE NAVY
KISSONLINE.com
Here's the KISS Navy getting ready to rock with KISS on the first-ever KISS Kruise! Over 2500 fans hailing from 26 countries around the world are on board the Destiny.

Photo by Justin Leroux for KISSonline.
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