IN CONNECTICUT NEXT THURSDAY
August 12, 2010
KISS to bring over-the-top theatrics to Mohegan Sun

By SHARMA HOWARD

KISS spews fire, spits blood and appears onstage like otherworldly apparitions. Their trademark look is still intact: kabuki-style makeup coupled with black leather outfits and knee-high platform boots.

Theirs is an image that has never been bested by other heavy metal bands. Throw in Gene Simmons' wavering tongue, and the iconic look has been seared into popular culture since the band's reign, which ignited in 1975 with the release of Alive!

Their rendition of the already-released "Rock and Roll All Nite," off Alive! yielded their first Top 40 single, and is now considered the anthem for rock'n'roll.

Their legendary penchant for pyrotechnics, which includes everything from igniting guitars to flying into the rafters, will be let loose Aug. 19 when KISS comes to Mohegan Sun Arena.

Long after the novelty of KISS' looks have faded, their music and theatrics are luring legions of new fans while keeping their base loyal. Dubbed the KISS Army, they are an enthused bunch.

Although the band faltered in the '80s, it is one that has risen again for a comeback.

If reviews of recent concerts are to be believed, KISS still puts on quite a show - "the ultimate showmen in the ultimate heavy rock pantomime," as a reviewer in Birmingham, England, said.

Fans can expect the favorites that have kept them fueled as the band has gone through several incarnations since 1975. One included a reunion of original members in 1996 - with makeup. Since 1983, the band had performed fresh-faced, but stepped back into the fantasy world of alter-egos to the delight of fans.

Likely set-list

Songs such as the ballad "Beth," which was given new life on "American Idol" when runner-up Adam Lambert sang it, will likely be on the set list. Their "anthem" can also be expected, as well as a host of other hits: "Detroit City Rock," "Cold Gin," "I Was Made For Lovin' You," "Lick It Up" and "Love Gun," among others.

New material, such as "Modern Day Delilah," is also fueling excitement amongst concert goers.

Some may marvel that KISS is still storming the stage and wooing new generations of fans into the KISS fantasy. But the man that can be credited with keeping KISS alive through all its permutations is Gene Simmons - whose business savvy is now well-known.
The key, Simmons said in an interview, is treating it all like a party.

"Most rock groups shouldn't exist more than ... you fill in the amount of time. The premise is, a rock'n'roll band should be handled like a party. If you're at a party and it feels good and you're having a good time, stay. If it starts to get boring, go. Don't bore yourself or the people who are having the party by staying there if you're not having a good time. And that's the way KISS is treated."