June 02, 2010

Below is my review of one of the most amazing nights in my life, my second M&G with the guys.

Once admitted early to the venue and after receiving our instructions we all met up at the appointed hour at the dedicated point beside a set of none descript double doors inside the concert hall. Just a set of doors that nobody would even look at twice! Little did anyone know but we were queuing up to see KISS in the flesh and blood! We were all so excited we could hardly stand still. Grinning like clowns and literally jumping up and down on the spot to try and burn off some of the nervous energy that was building up. We all kept looking at each other and shaking our heads and asking ourselves "are we really about to meet KISS in person"? So surreal, but so true!

People handle different situations differently, and some of us in that queue would quickly revert to silent complementation of what lay ahead and the impossibility of this happening a few months or weeks ago. We were nervous like kids about to receive.... I don't know what, but we were all grinning from ear to ear. The doors finally opened and we were all given the thumbs up to come on through and we were all brought up one floor in a large elevator. When we existed the elevator we were hold to hang fire. I was bubbling on to a guy called Denver from northern Ireland and it took about half a minute to realise that the KISS poster on one of the far walls was an Alive 35 tour poster and I had seen this before but in grey back in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA, last June when I did my first KISS Meet & Greet........ This was it..... we were going to meet KISS in this very location!

Well, I hardly had time to think about it and then the elevator doors opened and KISS were there in all their glory! Having the advantage as I was looking towards the elevator and having met them all before I called out "hey, look who's here" and started clapping! Everyone turned around and remained went totally quite. Some of us dipped our heads as shock was setting in and this was really happening and was not a dream any longer. KISS entered the meet and greet area and stud in front of the poster, a brief few words were exchanged and it was "ok, who is first, don't be shy" was called out by Dean their co-ordinator.... I jumped on the spot and went straight up in between Paul and Eric (Gene to the left of Paul and Tommy to the right of Eric). I can't remember if any direction was given but I guess the guys made it real easy for me to get in between them all for the shoot to begin.

Having done a Meet and Greet before with KISS approximately eight months ago, I was still totally unprepared for the "craic" that followed with KISS. They started popping out Irish expressions with very strong Irish accents. First of all the accents were typical of which you would expect in an old school movie about Ireland, but then the guys started speaking in a heavy Dublin "brogue". This was a total shock. I knew these guys are socially skilled but the last thing I expected was to hear a strong Irish accent from KISS. Gene seemed particularly good at taking off the Dublin accent. Totally incredible, KISS in Dublin, speaking back stage in a heavy Dub accent! Unreal!!!!!!

Well, there I was and the guys kept on with the Irish accent and then before I knew it I was Irish dancing with KISS. I think it was Paul who started doing a bit of Irish dancing and that was it, we were off. I look back on it even now and wonder did it really happy! So the first shot... no idea... it happened so quick, I was grinning like a Cheshire cat. I knew from my previous meet and greet it would be two shots and then on to the next fan... wrong, I was delighted as the photographer called for a third shot, that was then I thought ok, feet on the ground time...... and I turned to Paul on my right and said "Paul, do you mind if I could slip my arm around you for this shot please"? He replied "yeah, no problem, just you do want ever you want"!

I was then getting ahead of myself and began to slip my left arm around Eric and he suddenly stopped and asked "hey, what are you doing"? But he quickly saw what was up and went with the shot. Wonderful, so wonderful. I remember grinning like I was the happiest guy in the whole world (and I probably was). I then moved on and everyone did their shots and it was time to meet and greet the guys. I had to be prompted to get my two items out for signing... I guess I was staring at the guys and just taking it all in for a wee bit too long!

Anyhow, Paul was available first so I approached him with my Alive album cover and he signed it straight off (looking at it right now on the wall framed). That was when I asked him to sign my daughter's photo inside of the cover. He opened it and was totally blown away as any father would be when greeted by a photo of a beautiful little smiling four year old girl. I can't tell you how special that moment felt. I have been a KISS fan since 1978 and the world just stopped then. All I could see was Paul and the genuine look of sincerity he wore when looking over her photo. After a few seconds he asked her name and that was it, he was writing on the photo. I guess I was babbling on about how much a fan I am and that I have been waiting 30 odd years to see them play in Ireland etc. Well, Paul then asked me what was her name and how do I spell it. So I told him and right enough he wrote "To Aine, from Paul Stanley"! I was over the moon! My daughter has a personal address from Paul Stanley. Wow!

Paul thanked me for my time and wished me the best. I was then over to Gene. Gene was as cordial as you would expect. A very cool guy and was very welcoming in everything I had to say. I welcomed him to Ireland and gave him the Alive album cover to sign. He began to sign and said "wow, I looked good there" I replied that he did and still does. I then told him there was a photo inside that I would like him to sign. When he opened the cover he really had a good look over the photo of my daughter and was totally blown away with her. I think he said two or three times how beautiful she is. He signed it and we had a quick chat. I told him it was great to see him here in Dublin but a pity they were not staying longer. However, I did ask Gene "how was Liverpool"? I saw them play there last Tuesday (4th May) and I knew it meant a lot to Gene. He replied it was really good and he totally enjoyed it. I really believe he meant it too.

By now Tommy and Eric were more or less together so I got both to sign the Alive cover and the photo of my daughter. I told them they had done an excellent job on the Sonic Boom album and when could we expect another new one out. Tommy laughed and said "we just released a new one" but I told him that we wanted more, more and some more. I added "the KISS army had been hungry for so long so bring it on, we want more". Eric said he thought they could have turned it up a little bit on Sonic Boom.... I thought that was interesting and told him go for it.... the army wants more! That was when I asked what was the chance of each guy doing a solo album? My question was greeted with smiles and a few polite laughs but nothing was forth coming. Ah well, I had to ask.

Security was on me then and thanking me for coming and that the photos would be sent out within a few days. Ok, that's it. My second meet and greet with KISS done, but this time in my home town! Great, it just doesn't get much better than that. Would I do another meet and greet with KISS? YES, damn right I would and I am looking forward to it already. KISS, in your own words, NEVER STOP ROCKING!

Aidan Meenaghan
KISS Army Dublin Ireland