Farewell Tour Reports - Detroit Rock City
(24 & 25 May 2000)
Report & all pictures by Dan Bach
Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 May 2000. The band KISS, the location the Palace of Auburn Hills, the occasion KISS playing at Detroit Rock City.
On the afternoon of Wednesday 24, I along with four other European KISS fans waiting patiently near the backstage entrance of the Palace. We could not believe that we were seeing KISS at Detroit Rock City on the Farwell tour.
The band arrived at 5pm prompt and were ushered straight into the backstage area. Straining our eyes I did see all four members get out of the car. All looked healthy, Ace had lost a lot of weight since the European Psycho Circus leg.
9.30pm showtime. As the KISS banner was lowered, halfway through the Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again the crowd roared. Then the announcer started the ...... All Right Detroit ........ You Wanted the Best ...... the twenty plus thousand fans screamed and joined in with the band introduction. The banner fell and that was it KISS were on stage, seventh heaven had been reached. Opening song like the rest of the tour Detroit Rock City ........ the crowd sang every word with conviction let’s face it this was their song.
Please see enclosed set list for the songs played. As the last DRC chorus was sung I looked around, every seat was empty everyone was on their feet. Gene started straight away looking at the ladies in the front section of the audience. Paul looked energised and Ace looked like he was having fun. Peter’s drumming was much improved.
Fourth song in, Creatures of the Night anthem – I Love It Loud – personally beforehand I had qualms about the ethics and playing ability of the original line up in playing the non-original and non-make up era songs. On the playing ability side I should have not worried. Ace dealt with Vinnie’s 80’s style guitar licks brilliantly on this crowd participation classic Peter’s drums were severly trashed on this one.
Next song Paul announces that Ace is going to sing this – Shock Me. During Do You love Me a video KISStory was played – explaining to the un-initiated the appeal and history of the band. This video contained some great footage – sadly nothing new for me – had seen it all before. During Dynasty’s Stones classic 2000 man Ace delivered his solo – smoking guitar and rockets after the Space Odyssey 2001 theme. During God of Thunder Gene’s bass solo – considering that Gene is afraid of heights he carries it off brilliantly. The trick is not to look down as he ascends to the lighting rig and not to look directly downwards – to look straight ahead. During 100,000 years Peter’s drum solo. As I have said his drumming has improved very much. Love Gun is next Paul asks the audience to shout into the sound meters. Both nights the winch system worked without fault.
Paul returned to the main stage and started a song i had not heard in 15 years or so. The “ballad” off Creatures of the Night I Still Love You. Great song, I was emotional at this point. I used this song in 1982 to achieve a date with a girl. Paul sang a verse and a chorus and part of the solo, this then metamorphosised into Black Diamond. The band said good night. Encore time – Peter’s solo spot Beth, roses handed out to the lucky people in the front. Peter thanked the audience for the last 27 years. The band came back on and Paul thanked the Detroit area for helping KISS in 1975 to achieve international success. He doubted that some of today’s groups had the staying power and the fan loyalty that KISS had. The last song of the night Rock n Roll all night – I screamed the words to this song, I was on holiday and had trekked over 6,000 miles to be there.
At the end of the Dressed to Kill anthem the band lined up to take a bow. Through the makeup the four did look a bit emotional. Proves that super heroes can get emotional. The audience left the arena, there was a sense of this is it no more KISS – but for me this was slightly untrue – there was the next night – Thursday night.
Thursday’s set list was the same as the previous night, same effects. But this night i was fourth row. Because of this I saw, witnessed things I might have missed If I had been further back from the stage. Gene smiled at me in the middle of Calling Dr Love.
In the music intro to DRC, Paul had to rush to the mic to sing the first verse. The platform that descended, bringing Ace, Gene and Paul to the stage was slow to land. Consequently Paul had to jump a good foot to the floor and rush to the mic. Thank god he is used to running and jumping in platforms. Anybody else would have injured themselves.
Peter smiled in the middle of Let Me Go Rock n Roll as he was pointing to the two KISS signs either side of his drum riser.
Ace missed a stage cue. Paul was introducing Ace for the start of 2,000 man. ACE was nowhere to be seen. Paul said “Ace, where is Ace? ahh there you are Ace”. Ace emerged from his stage stairwell got over to the mic and stated “here I am”.
To finish this review a couple of hello’s and thanks.
First thanks goes to KISS. Peter, Paul, Ace and Gene – you as a band have given me over 20 years of musical happiness. You will be missed. Thanks for the good times and the memories. Wish you all the best in your individual careers after KISS. Thanks to the KISS management and road crew for putting on a KISS show every night.
To Vinnie and Danny from Belgium and Florian and his friend from Germany. Hope you got back to Europe allright after raiding the Auburn Hills Spencer Gifts shop. Thank you for sharing the Detroit Rock City experience with me!
To the caretaker at Detroit’s Cobo Arena – for allowing me access to the hallowed venue and letting me go inside and take pictures of the hall. Cobo Hall is now known as Cobo Arena and is located on the waterfront at downtown Detroit. The inside is just the same as the photo on the Alive! sleeve.
To the various KISS websites – KISSonline (I spotted the artic at Auburn Hills), to KISSinUK (great job Paul Finn), KISS Asylum and KISS Army Europe.
During my visit to Auburn Hills, I spoke to several roadies and they informed me that an European leg was possible next after the states it would be Asia and Australia. Just hope an European tour becomes a reality.
Non-KISS fans thought I was totally mad to trekk to DRC, but KISS fans know what is like to see the boys in make-up. I have witnessed the band at NYC’s Madison Square Garden and now I have seen them in Detroit – the bands home town and the first city to make them an international phenomenon! I wish Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter all the best – thanks for the music, the memories, the attitude and the American dream.
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