November 28, 2010

Thirty years ago, a young kid from Canberra Australia was allowed to go to Sydney with some friends and one of their parents to see KISS at the Sydney show grounds.

The excitement in the air was intense. Every day for the past week KISS had been on the front page of the newspaper as their tour progressed around Australia. On their first tour the country was gripped by KISSTERIA!!

We arrived at the front gate of the show grounds before lunch to find a sea of people in makeup and KISS t-shirts singing along with a loud boom box out the front.

Early afternoon the band could be heard behind the walls doing a sound check. This totally raised the vibe in the air. Shortly after the gates opened and the race was on, we ran as fast as we could to the front of stage, got somewhere around the 3rd row and stayed in the crush for hours waiting for the "Hottest Band in the World" to come on stage.

Somewhere after dark, under a cloud of smoke the band popped up out of the stage. It was on... THE PLACE WENT NUTS!! What we all had been waiting for, but thought we would never see down at the bottom of the world.

Everything we wanted to see... the flashing lights, pyro, the KISS sign, Gene spitting blood & fire, Paul's great raps and throwing all the classic rock shapes, Ace with the smoking guitar, and somewhere behind that huge drum kit was the Fox, Eric Carr, driving the whole thing along like a glacier let loose from the mountains. The whole experience was overwhelming and totally blew my mind.

I can't remember much about the next few days, only that my ears were ringing with the classic songs repeating in my head. When I got home I told my mum, "Mum I am going to make big rock shows and one day work for a band as cool as KISS." (Now, 30 years later, I can relive that night as it's on the KISSOLOGY DVDs.)

Well, who would have thought after 25 years of touring with multiple bands starting in a small club as a crew guy, most notably as lighting designer for INXS since the mid 90's... After operating / designing the lights on Paul Stanley's Australian tour in 2007, I got a call from KISS's production manager asking me if I was available to operate and design the lighting for KISS.

So, for the last couple of years I have been creating the huge light shows you see at the concerts, sitting in the best seat of the house in the middle of the arenas and stadiums pressing the buttons on my lighting desk and making the lights around the stage and KISS sign do their thing.

And, all those things bands like KISS and Iron Maiden said in interviews I read as a teenager, "If you work very hard and don't give up your dream, it may come true..."

Mine did!

A very grateful Sean "MOTLEY" Hackett