KISS dazzles Covelli with fireballs, explosions

By Guy D'Atolfo / www.vindy.com

Photo by Keith Leroux


It was the storm before the calm.

KISS kicked off back-to-back major concerts at Covelli Centre Friday night with a show that was as dazzling as billed. Fireballs shot from the stage, explosions shook the hall, and a giant screen was lit up like the Vegas strip.

Things should be more subdued tonight at the arena when pop legend Lionel Richie performs. Tonight’s show is sold out, and KISS’ concert was just a few seats shy.

When it comes to KISS, it’s never boring. The Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame band delivers a concert like a blockbuster superhero film. It’s about holding nothing back.

A few fans got in on the act, wearing the recognizable face paint of their favorite band member.

The all-ages crowd might have skewed toward the 40s to 60s set, but there were a lot of parents and kids, too — a testament to KISS’ timeless act, and its ability to unite generations.

Theresa Simones and her son, Christian Simones, of Newton Falls, were there together for their fifth KISS concert in seven years.

“I turned him into a fan by accident,” said Theresa, of her son. “{They were playing at an amusement park we visited (Dorney Park) and I wanted to see them. He loved them.”

Jennifer Ring, and her stepfather, Bob Staggs, came from Wooster. “I’m a diehard KISS fan,” said Ring. She bought a pair of VIP tickets for $372 apiece for herself and Staggs. “We’re going together and it’s a special night for us,” she said.

Ring is a long-time KISS fan but this was her first time seeing the band. What got her hooked? “I love the costumes and the makeup and especially the music. I was captured by the band since I was a little girl,” said the 41-year-old. “My daughter, who is 6, loves them too.”

Canfield residents Rocco Corbisello and his son, Valentino, 15, were at the show.

Rocco, who had seen the band in the 1970s in Cleveland, said “I’m taking my son to his first rock concert,” although Valentino said he’s more into rap.

KISS — Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer — started the show with the driving “Detroit Rock City” and never let off the gas.

“The last time we were in Youngstown was 1974,” Stanley told the crowd. “This tour is about going back to the places that took us in first.”

The band played the long-gone Tomorrow club in its first visit. It’s hitting smaller markets this tour, but is sparing no pyro.

The set list included “Shout It Out Loud,” “Lick It Up,” “Black Diamond” and “Rock and Roll All Nite” as part of the encore.

The band also hit the highlights from its earlier tours. Simmons introduced “God of Thunder” with a demonic bass solo while a mess of his signature stage blood emanated from his mouth. Moments later, Thayer showed off his guitar chops on “Shock Me.”

It was just part of a concert that neared two hours with never a dull moment.

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