KISS delivers the goods at Mohegan Sun Casino
By Chris Dondoros / www.masslive.com
UNCASVILLE, Conn. From showmen to businessmen, a lot of terms have been thrown around to describe KISS over the course of their 43 year-long career.
But as Saturday night's concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena proved, there is a better word to describe the band consistent.
KISS delivered the goods to concertgoers over the course of a 19-song set, complete with pyrotechnics, zip-lines and a healthy dose of crowd-pleasing charisma that has set the band apart for more than four decades.
Starting their set with the anthemic dual-guitar attack of "Detroit Rock City," blues rock of "Deuce" and singalong "Shout It Out Loud," the band established that no gimmicks were necessary to entertain the capacity crowd.
However, taking stage more than a half-hour after the advertised 8 p.m. start time via a descending platform and flanked by a pyrotechnics display lasting the entire duration of their 90-minute set, the band was going to do it their way.
Billed as the "Freedom to Rock" tour which already rolled through Bridgeport, Conn. on Sept. 9 KISS' set and subsequent theatrics offered up no surprises, despite vocalist and guitarist Paul Stanley's insistence that they were including songs, such as "Flaming Youth," that the band didn't often perform live.
But that's no small feat for co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, each of whom have made a living delivering energetic live shows while engaging in fire-breathing and zip-lining across arenas.
In fact, Simmons' ability to breathe fire during "War Machine" and spit (fake) blood during a bass solo without missing a beat - are downright impressive at age 67.
Announcing to the crowd that a new album may be in the works (their last studio album, "Monster," was released in 2012), KISS instead relied on some of its best-known material over the course of the set, including "Shout It Out Loud" and "I Love It Loud."
"God of Thunder," found Simmons performing atop the venue's scaffolding and, unfortunately, was marred by technical issues rendering his vocals silent.
Even with every conceivable rock concert clich้ in tow, the band's determination to entertain its fans was evident after all, it's hard to say how many of these cliches existed before 1975's groundbreaking "Alive!" thrust the band into the spotlight.
The band rounded out their set with "Black Diamond," one of the original tracks that helped bring "Alive!" such great popularity, before returning to the stage for an encore featuring power ballad "Beth," a sloppy rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" and their best-known tune, "Rock and Roll All Nite."