December 05, 2009
TD BankNorth Garden in Boston, MA
October 5, 2009
KISS Live show review By DJ Sterling Golden
KISS Live Photos by Lena Lamoray
Excerpted from Lena Lamoray Magazine

KISS never does anything in moderation. That's not what one expects from the group nicknamed "The Hottest Band In the World". When the KISS ALIVE 35 World Tour recently reached North America after a year and a half of performing to sold-out arenas and stadiums the world over, one had to know it would be one of their biggest, most impressive setups to date. The end result included a massive screen stretching across the wall of the stage like a movie screen that just got outed for steroid use. Said screen was anchored by an endless amount of smaller screens, all neatly wrapped in enough towers of flame and fiery explosions to level a small town.

Last night's show was the 10th time I've seen KISS. Just as they did at my first show in 1992, KISS held the standing-room-only crowd at TD Garden in their collective palm, treating the audience to a two-hour-plus set of hits and history backed by the aforementioned visual presentation. It's what the band is best known for in the live setting, and last night's show certainly reminded everyone why they are the unquestioned kings of the live concert experience. The set got off to a bombastic start, with their incredible cover of the Hollywood Stars' "King of the Night Time World", followed by "Deuce", a favorite dating back to the band's earliest days. Gene Simmons belts out the track with as much power and panache as he did when he was just a young, aspiring, twenty something Demon looking to attain rock 'n' roll stardom. Audience participation was rampant throughout the evening, as Paul Stanley -- the longtime star of the KISS center stage and the band's onstage emcee -- would lead the crowd through fist-pumping call-and-response sessions, punctuated by his acceleration above the audience from the main stage to a smaller stage in the back of the arena, to belt out "Love Gun" surrounded by some of his greatest admirers.

As Stanley made clear last night, KISS has never been a band who dealt with talking politics or preaching about the world's troubles. The music of KISS changed the world by providing music lovers with escapism in its purest, most basic form, better than any other band in history. In keeping with this ideal, the band turned TD Garden into a rock 'n' roll dance party, as fans of all ages and cultures filled the aisles, letting the music take over their minds and bodies. Tracks including new single "Modern Day Delilah" and classics ranging from "100,000 Years" to "Lick It Up" to the band's immortal anthem "Rock And Roll All Nite" provided the crowd with more than enough reason to forget their worries and concerns with everyday life and turn a Monday night into something resembling a late Friday night. Amidst showers of light and ivory confetti, KISS delivered what was, far and away, the biggest and best live concert event anyone in the Bean has ever experienced. Yes, that includes U2 and that silly giant crab they gave us at Gillette Stadium a few weeks ago. Sit down, Bono.

As exhibited onstage, the band's current lineup of Stanley, Simmons, lead guitarist Tommy Thayer and three-time KISS drummer Eric Singer is arguably the most musically dynamic KISS lineup since their acclaimed early 90's lineup (which, interestingly, contained a near-identical lineup; just swap out Thayer for Bruce Kulick). The overall musical performance was tight, precise, and more energetic than anyone could expect from a group whose members' age ranges from 48 to 60. In particular, Thayer and Singer impressed, the former exhibiting impressive guitar chops and the latter bashing the skins with ferocious execution. The snarling bass licks of Simmons showcased his underrated musical talent, while the golden voice of Stanley, while slightly weathered after over 35 years of performing, still showcased great range and brought chills up the spines of the beautiful cougars in the crowd who screamed ecstatically with every gyration of his hips and wiggle of his ass.

All of this comes during a tremendously exciting time for KISS. Their first new studio joint of original material in 11 years, Sonic Boom, drops this week exclusively at Walmart, amid huge anticipation and promotional hype. The band is fresh off receiving their long-deserved nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Without a doubt, the world's ready to be KISSed like never before. If last night at the Garden was any indication, it's a KISS they will not soon forget.

Once again, the people of Boston have experienced firsthand why KISS are America's biggest band ever. The Bean has been conquered one more time.