August 17, 2012
KISS - Motley Crue - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - 8/14/12

Excerpts of review by Andrew Youssef for OC WEEKLY

Two of the earliest albums that sculpted my music tastes were that of Kiss's Destroyer and Motley Crue's Shout At The Devil. As a child, my head would have exploded if you ever told me I would see both KISS and Motley Crue together in concert. Rightfully dubbed "The Tour", both behemoth bands unpacked their over-the-top concert antics to destroy the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater last night.

A giant black Kiss scrim obscured the whole stage eventually fell to the ground as the dueling guitars of "Detroit Rock City" rattled your eardrums as the members of KISS descended from a platform from the top of the stage. Most of the crowd who hadn't lost their voice still screamed the lyrics to "Shout It Out Loud" as lead vocalist and guitarist Paul Stanley strutted across the stage only like he can.

Gene Simmons still looks menacing in his demon persona stomping his huge platform boots while plucking away at his puny bass during "I Love It Loud." While I've always been partial to Ace Frehley, guitarist Tommy Thayer still holds it down on his Gibson Les Paul blazing through the riff from "Firehouse."

While Kiss doesn't need to make new records anymore to tour, they still managed to put together some songs for new album. "Hell or Halleluah" was a new song that possessed that classic Kiss punch with its driving guitar riffs and sing along choruses. Thayer took center stage for a spell with his vocals during "Shock Me" that was embellished with fireworks spewing from the headstock of his guitar.

The earth rumbled during Simmons' classic bass solo, punctuated with blood gushing out of his mouth as he ascended to the top of the stage to level the audience with the steamrolling destructive bass riff from "God of Thunder." The only slight technical problem of the evening occurred when Stanley flew out into the crowd during "Love Gun" as it appeared his platform shoe was momentarily stuck in the metal ring that propelled him into the crowd.

It was surprising to see them play "Lick It Up" from their non make-up days. Stanley also got bonus points for correctly addressing the crowd as Irvine instead of Los Angeles. "Black Diamond" sounded so good to Stanley that he repeated the first verse with the audience singing along with what little voice they had left. "Deuce" and the ultimate party anthem "Rock and Roll All Nite" capped a raucous evening that only bands the caliber of Motley Crue and Kiss can provide.

Crowd: Surprisingly not as old as I would have suspected. It appears that the music from both these bands will be timeless.