October 05, 2009
By Kristina Dorsey

Some rock bands grow old gracefully - and then some rock bands are KISS.

Star child Paul Stanley may be 57, and Gene Simmons may be an AARP-ready 60, but they are not making any concessions to age. They have again slapped on the signature face paint, the glam-goth outfits and the towering platform shoes for a tour that hit Mohegan Sun Arena Saturday.

The band has always threatened to turn from KISS to kitsch, and they still fully embrace their camp elements. They busted out of every rock cliche Saturday - the eyebrow-singeing flashpots, the thundering fireworks, the smoke machine that almost made guitarist Tommy Thayer disappear at one point. Simmons, Stanley and Thayer stood together in guitar-god formation and did their synchronized guitar sway.

And the confetti machines created possibly the biggest Arctic blizzard ever in a concert. It kept pumping out white confetti through almost all of "Rock and Roll All Nite."

But the gang had new shtick they've added since their last trip to Mohegan Sun in 2000. Stanley Peter-Panned it across the arena on a zipline, ending up on a mini-stage at the back of the room to belt out "Love Gun." Simmons, natch, wagged his tongue and spewed fake blood, but he, like Stanley, flew. He ascended via cables into the rafters above the stage lights, where there was a microphone waiting so he could explain in lyrical terms why "I Love It Loud."

As for the tunes, well, you'd better have been a fan of "KISS Alive!," because the bulk of the numbers were from that album, released nearly 35 years ago - hence the name of the tour, "Alive 35." The band kept its most anthemic, signature songs for the encore.

KISS still brings out the adolescent in everyone, and the exuberant sold-out crowd jumped with adults who probably became KISS fans back when they were in junior high - and with kids who proudly sported KISS face paint. And so another generation of the KISS Army was indoctrinated.