KISS review: Brisbane Entertainment Centre

Cameron Atfield / Brisbane Times and Sun-Herald

"You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world KISS!"

With that customary announcement, KISS are away, as they have been now for four decades.

After all, why tamper with a winning formula?
From the moment they open their Brisbane show with Detroit Rock City, KISS are on fire both figuratively and, thanks to pyrotechnics, occasionally literally.

It's an assault on all the senses a tried and true formula that made KISS the biggest band in the world at the height of their fame.

They do what they do and they do it well.

This isn't artistry. There's no angst, there's no search for life's deeper meaning. They're not here to make a point.

KISS is here to entertain.

And few bands in the business can do it better.

Just like Spinal Tap, KISS sure know how to win over a local crowd.

"We've been to Perth," Paul Stanley says of the KISS tour so far, greeted with the booing one would expect.

Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney (which attracts the most derision) and Newcastle all get the same treatment.

"Tonight, Brisbane, you can show us why you're number one!"

Those suckers at Shelbyville and Springfield ain't got nuthin' on us.

As they enter their fifth decade, KISS remains the epitome of glam rock excess. They're big, they're loud and they're brimming with self-confidence.

And despite only containing half of the original line-up, it's the essentially same band it was in the '70s.

Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss may have made way for Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, but the Spaceman and Catman personas remain.

Of course, the driving force for KISS has always been Stanley, the Starchild, and the Demon himself, Gene Simmons.

Simmons and Stanley share front man duties throughout. Stanley flies over the audience, while Simmons breathes fire and spits blood.

The evening is a journey through the KISS back catalogue, including 2012's Hell or Hallelujah.

Stanley admits not everyone in the arena would be familiar with that tune, but he points out songs only become classic after many years, when they "age just like a fine wine".

As I said, brimming with self-confidence.

But it was the actual classics that had the crowd in raptures, particularly a memorable encore set.

Stanley sings Shandi as mobile phone torches sway in the stands who needs cigarette lighters anyway?

But the final three songs almost lifted the roof.

Shout It Out Loud, I Was Made For Lovin' You and Rock and Roll All Nite is, simply, a hell of a way to round off a set.

As sexagenarians, it's of course possible KISS walked off a Brisbane stage for the last time on Tuesday night.

But, let's face it, it's odds-on they'll be back, with their KISS Army in tow.

If KISS can continue delivering shows like they did in Brisbane on Tuesday night, one can only hope their (actual) farewell tour is still many years away.

The smiles were broad as the house lights came and God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You II played over the PA.

In a night of highlights, that was perhaps the one disappointment. After all, would have been great to hear Kiss's take on that Wyld Stallyns classic.

Before Tuesday night, the last time I saw KISS live was April 13, 2001.

The venue was Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast and was billed as the final show of their farewell tour.

Standing there under the stars, one could not help but think how it was an odd venue choice to host the final show of one of America's biggest ever rock bands.

But, luckily for the army of make-up wearing fans who made the long trek to Boondall on Tuesday night, KISS are members of the John Farnham school of farewell tours.

Hopefully, KISS will have a longer shelf-life than the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

The regular hellish experience of the Boondall car park traffic jam allows plenty of time to consider how nice it would be to be done with the the outer-suburban, swamp-occupying monstrosity of a venue once and for all.


    Detroit Rock City
    Psycho Circus
    Creatures of the Night
    I Love It Loud
    War Machine
    Do You Love Me
    Hell or Hallelujah
    Calling Dr Love
    Lick It Up
    God of Thunder
    Cold Gin
    Love Gun
    Black Diamond


    Shout It Out Loud
    I Was Made for Lovin' You
    Rock and Roll All Nite

Shop Official KISS Merchandise