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The Kiss Reunion tour, opening night.


Ken
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I apologize in advance for cross-posting, this is the proper forum for it. I have attended a lot of concerts, the following being the high-water mark for me. If you aren't a Kiss fan, you have to realize something. I was beaten up more than once as a kid because I loved them. I had the lunchboxes and the belt-buckles, the notebooks, the comic books (printed in REAL KISS BLOOD! . I had the cheap shi**y Kiss transistor radio, the dolls (er, action figures), the collector cards, bedroom lamp, t-shirts and so much more. If Kiss was on it, I wanted it. Got mad when my Ma and Dad refused to buy me "Double Platinum" (FORGET IT!! It's the same songs you already HAVE!")In retrospect, they were right, but dammit, I wanted it. Thank God for an older cousin, bought it for me for a Catholic confirmation gift, if you can believe it. And then as the years passed, Kiss lost their 'crunchy' edge that made me love them so much. Went disco. Went pop. Went soft. Then members started quitting / being booted. I marginally followed them, read about them in the rock mags, and with each disparging comment made by the two remaining members against the two wayward members, a reunion seemed implausible. This went on (and still, unfortunately continues somewhat) for almost 17 years. Then came Kiss' MTV 'unplugged' concert. A friend of mine had recorded it and gave me the tape. I watched it more for the novelty of seeing them unplugged, but, without Ace and Peter, it was like..... "Diet Kiss". Until.... "We have some members of the family here with us tonight. I'm not talking about Mom and Dad, I'm talkin' about.... Ace Frehley and Peter Criss!". My wife thought I lost my mind. Hooting and screaming, real tears in my eyes. Jumping. Now knowing why Rob was so insistent earlier that day that I watch the damn tape. Then they appeared in late February, maybe early March on the American Music Awards in full gear and warpaint. Again, I was totally shocked. The original 4. yet... was it a one off thing, or would there be a full-blown reunion tour? The tour announcement came shortly afterwards, and the opening city was a total shock. June 28th, 1996. Detroit, Michigan. Tiger Stadium. 10:05, to be precise.. I paid (with the U.S. : Canadian exchange), almost five hundred dollars for my ticket. I have heard of conniption fits, but never saw one up close until Kelly found out what I for a band she wouldn't walk to the end of the driveway to see for free. But I had my ticket. And so did 3 other die-hard friends. 23 rows from the stage. I have been to other concerts, but nothing on this scale. By now I had been a die-hard fan for almost 21 years, and this was the night they were going to hit the stage for the fist time in 17 years with all the original members, in full battle gear and all the warpaint. You can argue that they have no musical merit, (and you might even be a little bit right)but that night there were roughly 70,000 people that would have disagreed with you. And dear God, I was one of them. Walking through the gates at the stadium, the religious nutcases were there in full fervor. Get a life folks, it's a rock concert. Walked out onto the field, and just couldn't believe my eyes at the sheer size of the stage. Two massive "KISS ARMY" signs on each side of the stage. Twin hydraulic lifts on either side. And a gigantic black curtain hiding most of the performance part of the stage. And the security people kept waving us closer. You could see the chrome from Peter's drum kit winking through the curtain, and I got goosebumps in spite of the stifling heat. Alice in Chains and Sponge opened. Yawn. I stood in line and paid too much for lukewarm beer. At 10PM, the stadium lights went out and a roar went through the crowd. The electricity was a living, breathing animal. Blue Kleig lights went on, and helicopters buzzed the top of the stadium with the searchlights going. People were apoplectic. And then as fast as they (the helicopters)were there, they were gone. Replaced by a throbbing hum from the massive P.A. system. And it was hot. Good Christ it was hot. From that roaring blackness came a harbinger of what was to come..... "ALLLL RIIIIIIGHT DEEEEEETROIT! YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST..... THE..... HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD! KISS . The curtain fell, the flames shot up, they launched into 'Deuce' full throttle. And mid song, during the thunderous guitar chorus, there they were, locked in unison. Classic Kiss triangle formation. Ace up front, flanked by Gene on the left, Paul on the right. Guitars first pointed heavenward, then down to hell, all while swaying to the song. I couldn't help but raise a clenched fist and try to look as best I could through the tears. Joyous. I swear my pubic hair retracted and I was 13 all over again. It was like having your head in a rocket engine. Mid-concert, Gene Simmons (a tit in real life, but hell, he breathes fire! ), leered out into the audience. A small trickle of 'blood' leaked from the corner of his mouth. The trickle turned into a steady flow. The flow turned into a river cascading down his chest, and all over his bass guitar. The bass solo made my eyeballs vibrate in their sockets. He was hoisted 60 feet in the air and set down on top of a massive, gently swaying lighting rig. They launched into "God Of Thunder". Four fourty foot pillars of flame belched up around him. I was so close I could see his hair tighten up with the heat. He got to the lyric "I was born on Olympus.... To my father a son" and pointed at the full moon. Covered in 'blood'. Looking like someone who ate his way out of an insane asylum. I looked at my friend Rob there with me and said ohhhhhhhhhh..... cool." LAter, Ace's guitar launched rockets and shot a PAR can out of the lighting rig. A well dressed 50 some-odd year old guy in front of me turned, grinned and said "Fu****g....YEAH!" It was a great night, and a great concert. It really was. I have tried to take you there with my words as best as I could, and I know I have fallen short. You can buy the CD's, you can watch the DVD's, but there is nothing, nothing like attending a Kiss concert.

Goodnight,

Ken.

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  • 3 months later...

Yeah. I was in jr.high when KISS was huge, back in the early '70's. Not a big fan of theirs, but I love live shows and I will have to say....out of a couple hundred shows, KISS was the most spectacular, lighted show I've ever seen. It was like having my eyes dilated with surgical strength solution.....I couldn't see anything for days after the show! I'll confess, I went cause Ted Nugent was opening, and I rarely miss the Nuge on his trips out!! :headphones:

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