September 12, 2012
Excerpted from a review by: Daniel DeSlover
Photo by: Daniel DeSlover - ConcertCapture.com


The much anticipated show featuring KISS and Mötley Crüe, simply dubbed "The Tour," rolled into Alpine Valley Music Theatre on Sept. 8, 2012. Heavy rains dampened the spirits of some on the general admission lawn, prompting an earlier than expected departure. Those that were fortunate to be under the large awning, or crazy enough to brave the chilled air, witnessed an amazing theatrical performance.

KISS and Mötley Crüe are known for their over-the-top live performances--fire, explosions, hydraulic lifts and mechanical drum platforms. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are the final remnants in a cog that made KISS the self-proclaimed "hottest band in the world." It's hard to believe that it has been nearly four decades since "KISS," their first album, was released. Tommy Thayer, lead guitar, and Eric Singer, on drums, have been around the KISS machine for long enough that, with face paint, it's difficult to discern the group from its original lineup.

Given 90-minutes to fill a setlist, the show was filled with most of the requisite hits. "Detroit Rock City" and "Shout It Out Loud" got the action started and they continued with additional old-school favorites, "I Love It Loud" and "Firehouse;" the latter ending with Simmons breathing fire. Video screens wrapped around most of the stage, changing into a given theme consistent with the music.

KISS did perform one new song, "Hell or Hallelujah" from their forthcoming album "Monster." Stanley stopped and told the crowd, "I just bought this song on iTunes today. I'm in the KISS Army and I support the band." It was a catchy song that definitely fits the KISS mold.

Simmons and Stanley left the stage at the end of the song as Thayer ripped into a lengthy guitar solo, complete with fireworks shooting from his guitar, while Singer stuck around to provide rhythm on drums. Both Singer's drum platform and Thayer were lifted to the rafters for the solo.

Simmons returned for a bass solo, while blood oozed from his mouth, down his chin and onto his axe. The demon took flight and they launched into "God of Thunder." Outside of "Lick It Up," and the new song, the entire setlist was from 1982's "Creatures of the Night" and prior. They finished with "Black Diamond" before returning with a two-song encore of "Strutter" and perpetual closer, "Rock and Roll All Nite."

The bells and whistles still work, from blood to fire and everything in between, the production sells tickets and the fans get to see an epic show every night. Throw in Mötley Crüe and this definitely is "The Tour."