AND MAKE-UP!
May 04, 2010
CRAZY NIGHT FOR FANS AS AMERICAN ROCK LEGENDS PROVE THEY LOVE IT LOUD

By Ruth Kilpatrick

AS SOMEONE who has only ever appreciated KISS from afar, I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly state that they are phenomenal.

You'd think after almost 40 years of being a band they may have succumbed to perhaps slowing the pace a little in their live shows, but as the Sonic Boom Over Europe tour hit Newcastle's Metro Radio arena yesterday, I can honestly say I've never been so entertained.

Opening with Modern Day Delilah, and with a whole lot of flames as accompaniment, their impressive stage entrance was merely the tiniest hint of things to come.

This, combined with vocalist Paul Stanley's seemingly genuine affection for the audience, meant that by the third song it was like a lesson in expert crowd control.

Everybody appeared to be in awe of the four glitter-clad men on stage and I found myself getting just as caught up in the excitement as yet more stages appeared amidst the fireworks, just in time for Gene Simmons to fly (or be hoisted via cables) into the riggings for I Love It Loud.

Taking a wide range of songs from their extensive back catalogue, and utilising every ounce of energy they had, it quickly became apparent that KISS were here to entertain at any cost.

There's no sign of any self-important introspective 19th album ballad being wheeled out, it's a non-stop party atmosphere with no expense spared - exactly what their legions of fans have come to expect.

This attitude, for me, was possibly the most impressive aspect of the entire night.

Aside from being more than competent musicians and consummate showmen, this is the band that invented the multi-platform promotional market. The band's stage set-up is one of the craziest things I've ever witnessed, and the visual displays alone would probably account for the ticket price, yet it's blindingly apparent that their only concern is the audience's enjoyment.

It's refreshing to see and goes a long way to explaining their multi-generational fan base.

Tour dates can be found at www.kissonline.com and I recommend that you go should you be lucky enough to get the chance.

(Thanks to Martin Wombwell for sending KISSonline the scan from the newspaper!)