KISS at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre, 8/8/12

By Billy Thieme

Photo by Karson Brown

After four decades as a band, the things about a KISS concert that stick are those you might imagine. KISS has released some of the most significant collections of live material (non-bootlegs) in rock – which means just about everyone on the planet has experienced KISS “live” in one way or another. The real deal, though, is incomparable.

I finally caught that real thing Wednesday night at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre, and I can tell you that the iconic foursome, indisputably, still brings it.

From the laser-bottlerockets and bazooka fire that spaceman Tommy Thayer and feline percussionist Eric Singer exchanged, to the demonic blood-vomiting and fire-spewing of Gene Simmons, the show offered everything a fan could want. Of course, Paul Stanley played the consummate frontman in the style he damn-near originated, constantly throwing out call and response challenges in that familiar New York accent.

KISS stuck with a comforting selection of classics, starting with “Detroit Rock City” and “Shout It Out Loud” in quick succession. Stanley mentioned old McNichols Arena shows – showing the band’s age – before jumping into “Love Gun,” with a zipline transport to a raised platform in the middle of the crowd. They filled out the set with “Shock Me,” “God of Thunder,” “Lick It Up” and a brilliant version of “Black Diamond” before an encore featuring the mega hit “Rock ‘N Roll All Nite.”

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