@ LG Arena, Birmingham
May 05, 2010
By Peter Keevil

KISS are undergoing a bit of a renaissance of late and it's not undeserved as they have bravely issued a new, critically-acclaimed, album Sonic Boom, when they could have easily seen out their days milking a nostalgia circuit every few years. Having said that, much of tonight's 20-song, 2 hour plus show is built upon their awesome back catalogue.

But hey, with the greatest respect, we were only here for one band. And that band is of course the HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD...

Speaking of HOT, if their US accountants had realised the price of petrol over here I am sure the amount of live flame used would have been seriously cut-back. It was as if KISS were trying to single-handedly burn away the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico such was the sheer amount of bombastic pyrotechnics used tonight.

This was a 'show' in every sense of the word; timed to perfection, with no room for ad-libbing, everyone knew what was expected of them in order to deliver. And deliver they did. This was quite possibly the best KISS show I have ever been to and there have been quite a few of my not inconsiderable years.

I already knew the set-list before turning up as it quite simply had to be the same running order as the first UK show in Sheffield, any deviation would caused insurmountable timing and choreography problems. Nothing went unplanned. The only time we saw a roadie on stage was to douse the flames of Gene's sword and fire-breathing histrionics. It was just perfection. Tommy Thayer knew exactly where to stand and when, launching canon-shots from his guitar high into the ceiling gantry. Eric Singer knew where to aim his firework bazooka in order to shoot down the dummy lighting rig. Gene gurgled his blood to perfection and when launched into the air on top of the lighting rig way up in the heights of the LG Arena there was no sense of danger; this is Gene - he lives and breathes it every day.

But despite the 'mechanics' of such a stage show, it was still oh so exciting. I mean, this was the same Starchild and Demon I knew as a young man. And forgive me die-hards but Tommy & Eric make such a better Spaceman and Catman than those 'other guys'. Tommy even sings 'Shock Me' now too.

KISS do have a new album to push and they manage to squeeze 3 tracks in between all the Klassics we have come to hear. Modern Day Delilah opens up the show, which incorporates the famous 3-man lift over the top of the drum riser. 2nd single Say Yeah was an obvious choice but I'm An Animal appeared the weaker of the three, there are stronger songs on Sonic.

Paul was up to his usual tricks to playing off one city against the others on the tour but endeared himself greatly when pronouncing 'Bir-ming-um' as we do instead of the typical US-drawl of 'Bir-ming-HAAAMMMM'.

All the KISS-tricks were utilised, nothing was left in the locker. Pyros, confetti bombs, fireworks aplenty, video screens, including the awesome back video wall, which was the full width of the stage and about 20 feet high. As well as the blood, of course, the mic-swinging, the flying-over-the-crowd trip out onto the central podium for Paul to sing, I Was Made For Lovin You... They left nothing to chance.

This was KISS doing what KISS do best - entertain!

And they can still lay claim to being the HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD... bar none!