Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kiss rocks Philadelphia

Picture: Kiss live in Stockholm, 2008. Note that the stage at the show I'm reviewing had the Kiss logo on the bottom, below Eric. The costumes are still the same.

October 12, 2009
Wachovia Spectrum

"You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world, KISS!"

Thousands of fans last night rock n rolled all night with Kiss. The band are currently on a fan-routed tour promoting their new studio album, Sonic Boom. I got to see them and it was a lot of fun. Founding members Gene Simmons (bass/vocals) and Paul Stanley (guitar/vocals) are still in the band with drummer Eric Singer (who joined in 1991 and has been in and out ever since) and guitarist Tommy Thayer. The opening act was Buckcherry. The band was really good but in all honesty, we wanted to see Kiss! The band finally came on around 9 pm. I'll now give a song-by-song review on the setlist

1. "Deuce"- An opening riff is all you hear and all you see is a curtain with the Kiss logo on it. Curtain drops, explotion, Kiss! To my surprise, not too many people were going nuts over this classic. For the whole show, I sang along the whole show (why the serious face? It's a Kiss concert! You're supposed to have fun). Gene pumped the audience up by commanding "Let me hear ya!" A killer start.

2. "Strutter"- Without any introduction, the band went into another classic. The songs sounded really good and Paul's voice was in good shape.

In between, Paul said hello to the audience (in case no one knows, Paul has been the voice of Kiss since the beginning). When Paul remarked that the band had just come from the Madison Square Garen, the crowd booed.
"I know how you feel... for your hometown" said Paul.

3. "Let Me Go Rock N Roll"- Gene takes the mic again. The song came out fresh. Eric even had a little bit in it where he says "Yeah! Kiss loves you!"

Paul then went into his stage raps again. He started off by singing "People, I know how you feel about the MSG...but if we all get along, we gonna get this place...HOTTER THAN HELL!"

4. "Hotter Than Hell"- Great song and people were really singing along to this one. The song sounds so clear compared to the one on the Hotter Than Hell album, which suffered from bad production. Gene also did his fire-breathing act!

5. "Got To Choose"- Another song from Hotter Than Hell. Great solo from Tommy. People weren't singing it much :(

6. "Modern Day Delilah"- Paul introduced this song by saying they were playing classics but also "new classics". This song is the single off of Sonic Boom. It's a really great song that sounds like old-school Kiss. However, Paul's voice cracked a bit throughout the song but much credit to him for toughing it out!

7. "C'mon And Love Me"- This one was a real singalong. I mean, how can you not love lyrics like "She's a dancer/A romancer/I'm a Caripcorn and she's a Cancer/ She saw my face on a music magazine"?

8. "She"- This rocker has been a fan favorite for years. The big highlight in this song was an impressive guitar solo from Tommy. His first guitar shined a light on the crowd and the second one he took shot out fireworks. From the auidence, it looked like Tommy was destroying the stage! He also played Ace Frehley's old solo on this song and did it amazing well.

9. "Parasite"- Rough rocker. Enough said.

10. "100,000 Years"- Paul introduced this song as a "top classic" and described all the levels of "classic". This song is notorious for being very long as Eric Singer performed a very long and amazing solo. When Gene, Paul and Tommy came back. When Paul got to the mic, he said
"Well, the Phillies won. Are you proud of your hometown?!"
The audience went nuts. Paul then had the audience get up and singalong for a few calls of "Hey!". This was a great time for people to go to the bathroom but I stayed!

11. "I Love It Loud"- After his bass solo, Gene ascended to a higher stage. There, he did his "throwing-up blood" act which was AWESOME! Gene then had the audience singalong to this great little rocker. The "aye-aye-aye-ayes" were loud! This was different as Gene usually spits blood during "God of Thunder". A very cool change.

12. "Black Diamond"- Ah, yes! My favorite Kiss song. Paul opened with the beautiful solo and jokingly, went into "Stairway To Heaven". He then had the audience sing the intro with him a few times before yelling "Hit it!" to cue the rest of the band to play the faster part. Eric took over lead vocals. Eric even changed the "Got you under their thumb" lyric to "Got you under Philly's thumb" at the end.

Paul went into another stage rap. He said (words are NOT exact),
"People! If you came here to hear how we're gonna feed the whales, how to stop the war, or how to save money...you've come to the wrong f**king place
"It ain't a crime to...ROCK N ROLL ALL NITE, PARTY EVERYDAY!"

13. "Rock N Roll All Nite"- The rock n roll national anthem! Confetti showered the audience while Paul asked the crowd to sing with them. After a few explosions, the band left the stage...


Gene, Paul, Tommy, and Eric came back out.
"Philly!" screamed Paul. "Do any of you want go home yet?"
The crowd roar negatively.
"This is gonna be the longest encore", Paul remarked. "This one is off of Destroyer and if you want to party, you got to SHOUT IT OUT LOUD!"

14. "Shout it Out Loud"- Another great anthem that had everyone singing. Gene and Paul shared vocals as always but for a short second, Tommy sang one line. Cool!

15. "Lick It Up"- Paul started this one off by saying "Philly...don't wanna wait till you know me better!". Every diehard knew it was time to "Lick It Up"! The band even went briefly into "Won't Get Fooled Again". In the background on the screens, cubes with pictures of all the Kiss albums rotated. I thought this was very cool and just a great way to show 35 years of hard work! This was the only song that the band played that was from the "non-make up" era (1983-1996).

16. "Cold Gin"- This Ace Frehley composed song is too much of a classic not to play. Paul remarked that people need this to cool off but "Don't drink and drive cause we wanna see you again!". During the solos, Gene licked Tommy's neck out of humor. Great stuff!

Paul went into another stage rap and said he remembered when they first came to Philiadelphia and he liked meeting his friend. He wanted to come out and see the crowd. Lucky enough, I had very good seats and the second stage was right there! After the crowd yelled "Paul!" a few times, he got ready to swing over. It was time for...

17. "Love Gun"- Paul swung over on a metal rod to a rotating stage. People in my section were all getting their phones out to take pictures. It was so cool to see Paul Stanley that close...inches away from me! I've always loved "Love Gun" and this was fantastic!

Paul remarked that they would have to get to the airport tomorrow. For now, we were going to...

18. "Detroit Rock City"- What I love about this song is that it's catchy and rocking. Usually since the release of Destroyer, this song has been the choice as the opening song for shows. This was now the closing song and it was such a terrific way to end it. Gene and Tommy are raised on platforms, Paul is smashing his guitar, and few explosions.
"Philadelphia, we love you! Rock n roll........"
The lights went off and within seconds, the screen read:

KISS love you, Philadelphia.

I really enjoyed seeing Kiss. There'll be people who missed a great show just because Ace Frehley and Peter Criss are no longer in the band. This line-up is really good. Kiss has one of the most loyal fan-bases in rock music...the Kiss Army. After ten years of waiting, Kiss have been finally nominated to be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame (or Shame considering the so-called "deserving" acts that are in there and not a dozen others) for 2010. Will the Kiss Army win this battle? I hope so but for now, rock n roll all night and party every day!

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