[ATTENDED: September 18, 2012] Kiss
Kiss has never really been cool. Even in fourth grade when they were cool, it wasn’t cool to like them. They have been really uncool on and off from time to time and that seems to make their fans even more die-hard. I’m not die-hard–I’ll not be spending $4,000 on a Kiss book–but I will buy their records and see them once in a while.
The last time I saw them was 12 years ago (July 2000) for their Farewell Tour (the irony is not lost, no). That was a fun show, seeing the original line up in make up. And they played most of their hits (even ones I didn’t like so much). The set list from 2000 is at the bottom, for comparison to the new set list.
This tour was odd for this reason–they have a new album coming out. And yet its arrival date is just after the last day of the tour. Who ever heard of ending a tour before the album comes out? Also, they just reissued Destroyer in a new recording, but it wasn’t even mentioned. And they didn’t do any extra songs from it. Weird. The Kiss machine will not deviate from its plan.
So, there’s no Peter or Ace anymore. Eric Singer looks enough like Peter in the makeup and he sounded great in Black Diamond (thankfully t here was no “Beth.” But you can really see a difference between Ace and Tommy Thayer. Regardless, Tommy sounds an awful lot like Ace when he sings and, since he’s a pro, he can handle all guitar duties. There is something a little odd in him doing all of the same things that Ace used to do–shouldn’t they update the tricks a little bit?–but it’s always fun to see the guitar shoot off roman candles.
So Gene Simmons is 64 years old and Paul Stanley is 60, that’s pretty old to be gallivanting around like they do. Watching Paul fall to his knees hurts MY knees for crying out loud. And unless Paul was feeling under the weather, his voice really isn’t what it used to be. He’s a lot more shrieky than croonery, and he definitely doesn’t hold notes like he used to. In fact in the beginning of the show I thought he was really sick, he was barely able to hit notes. Although by the end he seemed to get stronger.
Gene, on the other hand, whom I think of as kind of phoning it in lately, really impressed me. He still sounded great and he was very animated–almost as if he was making up for Paul. Gene may try to bleed the fans dry but he promises a good show and he delivers.
My complaint about the show is mild but two-fold. They play basically the same setlits as they did twelve years ago. Part of this is cool because their older stuff is way better, but there’s a bunch of weird early stuff that Id love for them to pull out of the closet. Or just mix things up a bit more. I can also do without “Lick It Up,” one of my least favorite Kiss songs–although it was fun that they spliced “Won’t Get Fooled Again” into the middle–a new twist for Kiss to cover someone even briefly.
The other is that, while the stage show is cool–the rising platforms, Gene flying up to the rafters, the fire and all that–it’s getting old now. It’s basically the same show that they’ve been doing for 12 years (and even 12 years ago it was a redo from the 70s). I mean, in the 70s, this show was insane! In the 2010s, its kind of passe especially when compared to Mötley Crüe’s show. I was especially intrigued that the big flashing Kiss in lightbulbs is now a digital image, which I’m sure saves money but looks way less cool and the fires was mostly digital as well which was kind of lame (especially after Crüe). So they’ve upgraded somethings but not the basics.
Nevertheless, I had a great time. Kiss shows are fun for the people watching (how many people are dressed in makeup this time?), seeing Paul fly across the audience on a zipline and perform only a few feet away from you, and to see Gene spit blood and breathe fire (he’s been putting lighter fluid or whatever it is in his mouth for some 30 years–ouch). I don’t know if I’d see them again, but I certainly enjoyed this one.
|2000 Set List||2012 Set List|
|Detroit Rock City||Detroit Rock City|
|Deuce||Shout It Out Loud|
|Shout It Out Loud||I Love It Loud|
|Firehouse||Hell or Hallelujah|
|Do You Love Me?||War Machine|
|Calling Dr. Love||Shock Me|
|Heaven’s on Fire||God of Thunder|
|Let Me Go Rock n’ Roll||Love Gun|
|2,000 Man||Lick It Up|
|Psycho Circus||Black Diamond|
|Lick It Up||encore break|
|God of Thunder||Calling Dr. Love|
|Cold Gin||Rock n’ Roll All Nite|
|Rock n’ Roll All Nite|
Incidentally, I didn’t think newspapers wrote about concerts anymore. I remember reading concert reviews way back in the day. But (and maybe it’s because I don’t read newspapers anymore) but I don’t recall reading a concert reviews in years. So I was surprised to see this one the next day in the Scranton Times-Tribune. And also, I forgot my camera, and my phone camera SUCKS! So I need to rely on people with better technology than I for these photos.