AN AVALANCHE OF HITS AND FIREWORKS
March 18, 2011
Andrés O'Neill, Jr.
Photo by Rafael Pichardo
Translated for KISSonline by Jill Cataldo

KISS's Puerto Rico show opened with "Modern Day Delilah, from their latest album Sonic Boom. From there, the band took fans on a ride to the past, all the way back to the first album, 1974's KISS, with "Cold Gin." Two more hits from the early years followed (Let Me Go Rock 'n' Roll Firehouse) and then KISS dove into its new material again with "Say Yeah."

Although the concert offered a great variety of music from KISS's repertoire, the classic antics of bassist Gene Simmons largely cements the stage presence of KISS. As early as the fourth song, "Firehouse," Gene spit out a huge blaze of flames. Later, just before "I Love it Loud,"Gene vomited blood. And of course his legendary tongue-wiggling was ever-present throughout the concert.

Kiss is one of those rare rock bands (if not the only one) in which all members sing. Indeed, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons do sing most of the band's songs, but both the drummer Eric Singer, as well as lead guitarist Tommy Thayer, took the microphone too. Thayer sang "Shock Me," and Eric Singer lent his vocal stylings to "Black Diamond" and the only ballad of the night, "Beth."

Similarly, the four members of KISS also speak directly with the public. Contrary to the "rule" that only the lead singer interacts with the audience and other musicians are simply "there," the four members of KISS always interact with their fans. During the show, Paul Stanley spoke in Spanish that, although mixed with English, was perfectly clear.

""All right, San Juan! ¿Cómo está? No hablo en español muy bien. Comprendo tus sentimientos y mi corazón belongs to you" was the first thing Stanley said , with a roar of approval from the crowd.

As he spoke with the audience, Stanley also mentioned the long time that had passed since the last time KISS played in Puerto Rico (1999, in the Roberto Clemente Coliseum for the Psycho Circus tour) and even praised the Choliseo facilities. "I see you have this very nice new arena," he cried in the middle of the concert.

Stanley even joked with his Castilian. He caused laughter when very end, saying "Puerto Rico" emphasized the pronunciation of the letter "rrrr" as he sang a cappella "Guantanamera" and the "Cucurrucucú" portions of "Paloma."

This continued interaction makes the public feel that they are both close to and appreciated by the band. In other words, KISS proved again to be a very unusual group of superstars. They not only manage to captivate with their music, their long career and their complex and elaborate spectacle, but also by the attention that they give to their audience.