Review & photos by Dagmar
I’ve wanted to see KISS for quite some time. They’re one of those bands who are totally larger than life. I got to catch them at KeyArena last night, along with some of opener Buckcherry’s set, and what an amazing evening it was.
First of all I love that KISS has the whole makeup and costume plan. It’s brilliant. It’s not a gimmick because so many fans have embraced it and their fans know what’s what. The large number of fans who showed up in makeup and costume made my heart swell – it was really cool. What a way to be able to share a persona with your favorite musicians, you know? I adore that Gene Simmons is still the Demon, Paul Stanley still the Starchild, and Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer have become, respectively, the Catman and the Spaceman. And I adore that people show up looking like them. Rock Superheroes? Yes they are.
This show was gargantuan. It had all the explosives and fire I hoped for. This was the first time at a KISS show for me and I would definitely go again and I totally recommend that you throw your money down for this show. When guitarist/singer Paul Stanley talked about how people came to the show to escape their problems, I thought, damn right. And KISS knows this. They know that fans want to escape at rock shows and not get mired down in a bunch of people preaching at them about how we can save the planet. They also know that giant platforms raising Gene Simmons and Tommy Thayer on the sides of the stage to new heights is just plain awesome. Oh, and the platforms were smoking too. They also know that Gene Simmons being lifted by cables onstage is awesome, as is Paul Stanley drifting over the audience by cable to do Love Gun at one end of the stadium.
They do all this crazy stuff and for not one moment did it seem ridiculous or tired. It was rejuvenating and sincere. There was so much going on onstage and the solos each band member got were so cool. The large screens above and on either sides of the stage brought immediacy to those in far away seats and were even nice if you were close – you could see more detail.
Musical highlights for me: Calling Dr. Love, Detroit Rock City, Strutter (I was taking pix during that one!), Black Diamond, I Love It Loud, Shout It Out Loud, and Lick It Up. The entire set was strong and the entire show was a fascinating and explosive rock drama. Even if you aren’t a KISS fan I just can’t imagine you not enjoying their show.
Los Angeles band Buckcherry opened the night and I enjoyed all the band members’ expressive personalities and I would see them again in a minute. They were what you need in a band – rousing and plucky.
Many more photos on their way . . .