June 29, 2011

Citizen staff

Tongues are wagging, heads are banging and the boys are trying on their platform boots in anticipation of the KISS concert June 29 at CN Centre.

Kyle Sampson is a mega-fan who will be going on a KISS concert mini tour of his own as the band makes stops in Kamloops, Abbotsford, Prince George and Dawson Creek.

Sampson was the guy that set up a Bring KISS to Prince George Facebook page with more than 5,000 members in 2009. Through online voting KISS set up a contest to see which town would get a concert. Prince George ranked 11 out of more than 10,000 cities.

Close but no cigar.

That didn't kill Sampson's sizzling enthusiasm for the band ranked No. 10 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, ninth on The Greatest Metal Bands list by MTV, No. 1 on Hit Paraders's Top 100 Live Bands, 56 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists Of All Time and second on Digital Dream Door's Best Hair Metal Bands.

He just got more determined to get KISS to Prince George.

Sampson saw KISS Nov. 12, 2009 in Calgary and got to spend the day setting up lights, sound and pyro technics, along with a pre-concert backstage meet and greet with the band he loves.

He kept his connection with the band's touring manager, asking what it would take to get Kiss to come to P.G.

Well, Glen Mikkelsen, entertainment and marketing supervisor of CN Centre, was the answer. After years of trying to make it happen, Mikkelsen said it all just came together in 2011 and here comes KISS.

"One day I got a call from Glen and he said 'Guess what?'" Sampson said, who took a job in Kamloops but will soon be returning to Prince George, the town he loves.

Sampson said he's got his Gene Simmons look-alike costume ready and brand new make up is on its way from cyberspace.

"I won't have time to dress up the day of the concert because I will be at CN Centre all day helping rig the lights, sound and anything else I can do to help set up," said Sampson. "Then I can see KISS at the meet and greet and that's always exciting. Gene Simmons is my favourite. But you will see me around town dressed up the day before the concert."

Special guests at the sold-out Kiss concert will be The Envy and Bad City June 29 at CN Centre.

Opening bands start at 7:45 with The Envy up first, followed by Bad City.