Review: KISS Brings Their Freedom to Rock Tour to Lincoln, Nebraska
Riding down on a platform amidst shots of pyro, smoke and flashing lights to the opening riff of "Detroit Rock City," KISS kicked off its Pinnacle Bank Arena set with the theater and bombast that has been its stock-in-trade for more than four decades.
Nearly 2 hours and 17 songs later, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers -- whether the hall really wanted them or not -- wrapped up an entertaining show that didn't disappoint any of the 7,000 who witnessed the first KISS show in Lincoln in the 21st Century.
"We've been to Lincoln five times, this is our fifth show," Paul Stanley told the crowd. "Our very first one was in 1976. The last one we played might seem like yesterday but it was 1990. We've got some catching up to do."
Then came "Shout It Out Loud" in a set that cascaded through the band's catalog, hitting most of the hits and some deeper cuts, like "Flaming Youth."
The quartet's pounding, crunching rock sounded good as did the vocals of mainstays Stanley and Gene Simmons, now in their mid-60s.
And the guys in their trademark makeup know how to put on a show.
Simmons, fake blood drooling out of his mouth, was lifted to an elevated platform high above the stage for "God of Thunder," and he spit fire at the end of "War Machine."
Stanley got to fly above the crowd to a platform in the center of the floor to do "Love Gun" and started the main-set-closing "Black Diamond."
Pyrotechnics were ever-present and the production made great use of the screen behind the band, flashing the KISS logo, dividing into quarters to capture each member at work and zooming in for close ups.
The Freedom to Rock Tour performance wrapped up patriotically with a military tribute, the Pledge of Allegiance and a Hendrix-style take on "The Star Spangled Banner" before KISS kicked into "Rock and Roll All Night." Which they did.