OSHAWA SHOWS THE LOVE
October 07, 2009
Oshawa hasn't just been KISSed. The city has been seized in a lip-lock that's set it on fire.

Chilly winds couldn't cool the passion of KISS fans eagerly awaiting Wednesday night's concert by the rock group at the General Motors Centre.

"I am going to be the favourite mom in Oshawa tonight!" shrieked Debbie Craig as she scored three last-minute tickets at the box office.

All 5,600 tickets sold out within 10 minutes weeks ago but a block of 20 seats suddenly opened up this afternoon as the stage was being set up.

"They're huge fans," Craig said of her sons, aged 13 and 15. "Woo hoo!"

The band had initially left Oshawa off their list of stops on this fall's tour, despite the city winning an online contest to host the band. The apparent snub of the recession-hammered city hit the airwaves, TV screens and headlines.

Two days later, outraged fans got their wish when the group announced a stop in their city.

Councillor Robert Lutczyk, who spearheaded efforts to get residents voting for a concert, could barely contain his own enthusiasm after arriving at the GM Centre this morning.

"Oshawa's abuzz with excitement and anticipation," he said, sporting a KISS tie. "The whole place is hopping. It's the biggest thing in entertainment since the Rolling Stones played Oshawa 30 years ago."

It was big enough for Dan Smith, "46 going on 17," to take the day off work as a labourer with Ontario Hydro so he could go shopping at Value Village for a black three-piece suit and pointy-toed boots.

"I'm like the album cover Dressed to Kill," he explained, wearing trademark black and white KISS makeup. "I had to do this."

Tonight's show will be Smith's third and 14-year-old son Ozzy's second. They arrived with Ozzy's friend James Felstead, 17, five hours before the start so they could make a day of it.

Mayor John Gray walked over from city hall in the blustery weather for a sneak preview of the preparations.

"This is absolutely huge," he said, noting the buzz that's consumed Oshawa since the chance to host KISS came up. "This puts us on a par with the big city venues. It's great news for the city."