IN CHARLOTTE SATURDAY
August 27, 2010
All they're made up to be

By Courtney Devores

Titling its 2010 tour "The Hottest Show on Earth" may seem clairvoyant on Kiss' part given the skyrocketing summer temperatures, but according to Paul Stanley it's not literal.

"...Not because of the weather. The show is by far the best Kiss show ever. Any band with money can buy smoke machines and big sound systems," he told the Observer recently. "Technology really allowed us to take this to a whole other level. I don't mean moving sidewalks on stage with dancers. Its rock 'n' roll as spectacle. Massive screens, screens built into the amplifiers, the lighting - everything is taken to the next step. The set list covers more territory than what we've done before and really celebrates the history."

That set list covers early tracks such as "Cold Gin" to Kiss' 2009 album "Sonic Boom," as well as representatives of dalliances with disco ("I Was Made For Loving You") and hair-metal ("Crazy Crazy Nights") and classics "Love Gun" and "Detroit Rock City." Recent reviews indicate almost as many vocal contributions from Gene Simmons as Stanley.

Charlotte fans will find out for sure Saturday when Kiss (with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer filling Ace Frehley's and Peter Criss' roles) returns to Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre for the first time since 2003.

With a new album - a Wal-Mart exclusive in the U.S. and the band's first since 1998's "Psycho Circus" - some older songs have fallen away to make room for new ones. Stanley doesn't mind.

"There are songs we have to do because they're the classics. Look, I'm not only in the band. I'm a fan of the band. My favorite songs are the ones that are popular."

There may be no moving sidewalks or choreography, but with Kiss having lent its brand to everything from a coffin to a coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach, could a Kiss-themed rock-opera style musical be far behind?

Says Stanley: "It might be possible, and we'd do it as long as it maintained the personality of being a rock 'n' roll band and not being a Vegas act. There's enough of that out there."