Sunday, August 4, 2013

KISS rocks St. John's!

Well, the wave of first-class major music groups continued to invade St. John's, Newfoundland, last night, as New York-based 70s heavy metal legends KISS made their way into town for the first of two nights on tour in support of their latest album, Monster.  Co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons brought all the lights and pyro they could carry, as well as a significant stage set up that included a flying spider that would raise band members up to the rafters.

KISS developed a bit of an underground following back in the mid 1970s when heavy metal fans discovered their insane live shows, even though their first three studio albums made little noise on the music charts.  The release of KISS Alive in 1975, launched this band into super stardom and opened the door for them to become everything from music heros, to comic book super heros.

Last night's show was like going into a time machine and travelling back to 1975 to watch KISS run thru a 110-minute set of mostly old classic 70s KISS tunes, in outfits very similar to those worn on stage back in the day.  Even in their 60s, Paul and Gene still bring a strong stage presence with tons of energy, and both of their singing voices are holding up fairly well.

The crowd didn't seem to miss the presence of former lead guitarist Ace Frehley and original drummer Peter Criss, as long-time Ace roadie, Tommy Thayer, donned the Space-Ace outfit and played Ace equally or better than Ace could have done himself.  Tommy's guitar solo featured a snippet of O Canada, as well as fireworks shooting out of the top of his guitar.

The show featured all the classic KISS gimmicks, including Gene doing his legendary fire breathing and blood vomiting routines, as well as Paul's infamous flying machine, which sent him out to a B stage near the back of the arena, for the playing of his 1977 hit, Love Gun.

Drummer Eric Singer, who has had numerous stints with KISS since 1992, took a turn on the vocals for Black Diamond, singing a spirited rendition that would have made Peter Criss proud.

Paul still hasn't lost his urge to be sexual and flirtatious with the crowd, often sucking and licking on his fingers in between guitar parts, and firing up the crowd with his rowdy energetic speeches between songs.

Florida metal band Shinedown gave a high-energy 40 minute opening set. This group is one of the few newer bands out there who are keeping the heavy metal genre alive.

KISS and Shinedown are back for a second show tonight at Mile One Centre.


KISS on stage 9.17 pm
Psycho Circus
Shout It Out Loud
Let Me Go, Rock N Roll
I Love It Loud
Hell or Hallelujah
War Machine
Heaven's On Fire
Calling Dr. Love
Say Yeah
Shock Me / Outta This World (Medley)
Guitar, Drums and Bass Solos
God of Thunder
Lick It Up
Love Gun
Black Diamond
Detroit Rock City
I Was Made For Lovin' You
Rock N Roll All Night
KISS off stage 11.07 pm

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