April 04, 2009

By Cristian Valderrama (translated by KISSONLINE friend Jill Cataldo)

(Photos from

The closing of PepsiFest brought a band that holds a legendary seat of honor in the history of rock: KISS, who would initiate its South American tour in our country, recalling 35 years of 'Alive! ', their live jewel of 1975. Within the arena, a huge and powerful show was expected, as much musically as visually.

The 30 minutes of anticipation that preceded KISS were almost intolerable. Near 21:25, a linen cloth that covered the stage completely unfolded to reveal KISS's logo, immediately leading to madness among the 19,000 souls in the sold-out Estadio Bicentenario de La Florida. The next five minutes seemed like an eternity until the crowd heard: 'Santiago, you wanted the best, you got the best...' the classic intro of the band. KISS opened the show with 'Deuce', and people were jumping and screaming along, followed without pause by 'Strutter'. Columns of fire flanked the sides of the stage and exploded in synchronization with the music. The show was simply incredible! The sound was powerful and clear, and KISS's four members did not disappoint.

Paul Stanley was, without a doubt, the leader of the night. He spoke to the crowd, noting that the Chilean audience is one of the best, that it was 'muy loco' ('very crazy,') and that it had been a long time since their last appearance (1997, with Pantera). In almost perfect Spanish, he communicated without a problem.

'Got to Choose' and 'Hotter than Hell', continued this true celebration. One of the songs the people demanded was 'Parasite', which could be heard being sung by ever pair of lungs in the arena. 'Black Diamond' and '100,000 years' resounded with force and power. Within the show, the drummer, executing a solo, was lifted in the air on a platform, almost simulating a takeoff, with smoke emanating from the base.

The delighted arena erupted to the sounds of 'Cold Gin,' a KISS standard that has been covered by an infinite number of bands.

The end of the show neared with an enthusiastic Paul Stanley exclaiming the announcement 'Santiago, I wanna to hear you Rock and Roll all Nite!' 'Rock and Roll All Nite' marked the high point of the night, accompanied by pyrotechnics, smoke and thousands of confetti papers exploding into the air that covered the stage completely. The finale was visually sweeping and really unforgettable.

The band left the stage for five minutes, and we were then witnesses to of one of the longest and most memorable encores. The band returned with 'Shout it out Loud', as the entire arena sang along, followed by 'Lick it Up,' which caused everybody in the crowd to jump and sing again!

Although each member in the show had entertained the crowd with individual solos, Gene Simmons had not yet executed his. He came to the stage alone, with 'blood' dripping from his mouth, then quickly rose to a high platform on the stage, launching into 'I Love It Loud!'

Paul Stanley returned and thanked the public, then said he would like to be among them and not on the stage. Said and done! The stage sent a pulley to him, and he crossed the crowd in the air, flying over the public and arriving in the middle of the room on a small stage, where he immediately launched into 'Love Gun.' What a great moment!

Next up was 'I Was Made For Loving You,' and the band closed with 'Detroit Rock City.' It marked an incredible day of more two hours in which the band gave itself completely to the fans. On this night, they also filmed a segment for a 'video,' according to Stanley. In addition, KISS promised to visit again next year!

KISS was in excellent form to close this festival with plenty of good rock. It is my hope that future concert series like this one are repeated, with bands of great quality like PepsiFest presented and displayed this year.

At the close of the show, the message 'Thank You Santiago' illuminated the screens located on each side of the stage. Thanks to KISS, a living legend, for giving an unforgettable concert to us.