Madison Square Gardens

Review written by John Oakley
Merchandise pictures from Dan bach

Psycho Circus TourbookAfter a long flight to NY on Virgin we arrived in the Big Apple...It had cost us an arm and a leg to get there but hey, we were here to see Kiss in their home town. NEW YORK MADISON SQUARE GARDENS!!! OH YEAH!

Arriving at approx 7.pm on saturday night at the hotel in New Joisey (sorry Jersey!) we were soon placated by the juke box of the nearby bar with kiss Alive and got nice and pissed, I mean friendly. It turns out we were a right cross section from all over the place: Nottingham, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Wales etc etc...all here with one mission. Kiss at the Goiden (sorry again, that accent wont go away THE GARDEN!)

Well it transpires that the night before our main appointment with the made up ones they were due to play Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey..so nursing hang overs we marched off en-masse in search of some tickets. The Tower Records branch of ticket master by NY uni was only too happy to oblige with some tickets in return for wads of hard cash... Who cares, its Kiss and how many times will we be able to see them in NY! (and my girlfriends paying more to the point!!)

So after a day of doing the tourist thing of taking a ferry to see the green bitch of liberty (a lot smaller than the ghostbusters version that walked around NY!) and to go up the Empire State building (hey the gorilla had a point!) we finally meet up and make our way to the Meadowlands Arena. (yes review... coming and I'm getting to the point!)

In size I can only compare Meadowlands to Wembley arena..the care park however seemed one big party of Kiss fans. Boy these Yanks really love their rock and Kiss. RNRAN barks out from virtually every open boot with someone brandishing a fourpack of bud. Security into the gig seems really hot, as we're ushered through an army of guards searching for all those nasty cameras and laser pens. (more of later!)

KISS T-shirtInside the Arena, it could have been any big UK arena. The T-shirts looked phenomenal. We resisted the temptation hoping for a special MSG one the next night. Of course they had the usual dolls and you could even buy some special guitar pics (if you were unlucky enough not to be in a position to catch one!) There was more than the usual amount of people in costume and some of the detail in them was great! A real party atmosphere.

On with the show...As you've no doubt read elsewhere it was the same set as the REUNION show with the addition of Psycho Circus (great opener!), Within and Into the Void. I have to say I felt only Psycho Circus worked well...but its the only one I reeeally really like off the album. Ace did his solo bit during Void which made up for a rather lacklustre song. Shooting down a off lighting rig and doing the old smoking guitar thang. I used to be a Gene man for years and I think finally I'm swaying to Ace! (er "Take Me to f++king Cuba! Ack!)

The 3D show was.....absolutely amazing. On hearing about this I thought "God, that'll either be really shit and dated, or it'll blow me away!". Well it blew me away. being able to reach out and touch Ace's guitar as it was pointed in your face, almost feel genes tongue lash out and avoid a flying drumstick as it comes hurtling toward you was just so cool. I won't spoil it too much by saying more as I'm sure no one can wait for them to hit UK shores.

Unfortunately they didn't have the raised platforms for black diamond, but Peter had a flying drum riser for his solo. From our position almost behind the stage in the cheap seats we could see the workings of it but from the front the following night - great.

3D Glasses

During RNRAN - always my favourite they had a confetti storm which was phenomenal. a carpet of confetti almost covered the entire floor seating area and looked like a giant cloud as it landed.

One downside, which people have probably have heard, during the encore Beth, someone allegedly was flashing one of them laser pointers at peter which pissed him off no end and afterwards Ace came out and gave the crowd a tongue lashing to which Paul told the crowd that one or tow in a great audience spoil things and he should put it away and take it to school the next day and play with his friends in 9th grade.

All round a great gig..and we left happy hoping for a better view the next day. We wouldn't be able to see the 3d stuff at MSG as wearing makeup would smudge. :-).

MSG ticketThe very next day, after a little lie in, we hopped on the underground and headed down for Madison Square Gardens hoping to catch goings on. Luckily enough Madison Square Gardens run a back stage tour everyday up to 3 o clock for only $9. We were shown around the back stage areas and were able to see the stage being set up...If only we were allowed into Gene and Aces dressing room instead of the NY Knicks!

So after lunch in the Hard Rock, a bit more shopping and a bit more sightseeing it was time to put on make up and light the lights! The UK's Gene and Ace were going to show the yanks how to party..

Stepping out of our hotel (after a few photos) I almost got arrested for carrying a beer. Apparently you aren't aloud to drink in the street and its a 5OO dollar fine. hey I need the dutch courage! What amazed me is walking through shopping malls and streets, everyone knew we were supposed to be Kiss! In England, we would be called Nutters.

I think the best moment was when we went into this bar just by MSG and everyone started clapping..WOW! More photos, more poses and more groping of my studded codpiece..OH Yeah...!

Sweepstakes ticketThe gig itself was exactly the same as the night before. except they were all presented with giant presentation plaques with gold discs after the encore...My only wish is they'd played New York Groove..to hear that in their home town would have been fab...However the fireworks were great.. How would they get away with that in the UK..the pyro was the best I'd seen since the last Donington and for an indoor pyro it was hotter than skid row at London Arena years ago! (now that was HOT!) Despite the lack of security, we could have got a film crew in if we wanted (however after last night we didn't try a camera!) there was no repeat of the laser pen incident. thank god.

From our vantage point we were able to see Sebastian Bach come in and take his seat right down the front. lucky bugger..His now highly bleached and big blonde hair showing him up like a beacon in the crowd. god knows how any other celebs were there but he was easy to spot.

So as the last bars of black diamond fade and the ad for the Kiss Car (what a bargain- not!)come on we find its time to go...and reflect on the fact we have just seen the legendary Kiss at the legendary Madison Square Gardens.

Back in burkes bar we try and drink the place dry in the limited time available and are persuaded by a mad, fat new yorker that Oasis were in here a few months back...
Yeah Right!

We have to leave the next day back to good old blighty but not before we buy every bit of kiss merchandise available. You would not believe how much is available over here. Kiss phones (got one!), kiss teddy bears (ace & gene cute!),psycho circus dressing gowns, jewellery the lot!

I wish we could've stayed longer to follow the tour but work and full credit cards meant time to go home. I would recommend these concert tours to anyone! WOW!

John
Demon UK on tour (with Miss Ace Frehley UK!)

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