Jason Pawlin's Wembley Report

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The set-opener was pretty good and the crowd was really freaking out! I went with two mates of mine and we were up on the left-hand side about three-quarters the way back. It sounds naff, but it was quite a good view! I like to see the crowd too and its reaction to certain things happening on-stage. There were some huge roars that I've never really heard before - whether it be Gene sticking his throbbing proboscis into the camera, or Paul flying across the arena. I've never been up there for a gig before so perhaps the acoustics made it better for hearing the crowd or something - or perhaps simply that there were more people in there!!! Whatever, I thought the crowd was one of the best I've been in.

I didn't think 'Within' came across too well even though it's one of my faves from the new album. Apart from the chorus, I too was getting lost throughout the song! Could have done without 'I Was Made For Lovin' You' as well, I'm sorry but when you've heard the two Eric's (particularly Carr!) using their drums on this song, Peters weak effort takes away some of the songs charisma. Don't get me wrong, 'I Was Made...' was a surprise inclusion in 1988 and proved to be very popular (also on the Revenge tour too), but perhaps that was because it was given some kind of new lease of life to it by the drumming that brought it bang up to date. Anyway, 'I Was Made...' was a low-light!

There were a few other, erm, 'oddities' too. Peters drum solo was in a strange place, and also the four members bowing to the audience was a bit weird straight after 'Beth'!! And I agree - please please PLEASE can we go acoustic on this one guys??!! The columns of fire during Gene's fire breathing took me by surprise, so that was a nice touch. And the multi-coloured flame columns on Rock And Roll All Nite were very cool too. It's just a shame that the whole show didn't end with this, instead of a disappointing rendition of 'Black Diamond' where there were less effects than I was expecting. I thought Peters drums would do something DIFFERENT for instance. Is Ace now too old to fall to his knees during 'Black Diamond' at the part where Paul and Gene usually play over him?

I hope I'm not whining too much! Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVED the show and it was positively money well spent, and I got my moneys worth - easily! The pyro was so cool all through the show. The Simmons solo was the best I've ever seen (live or on video!), Ace's solo was cool, shit, I even enjoyed Peters!! I particularly liked the cathrine wheel effect on Ace's guitar. The 'crowd-o-meter' or whatever that was was a complete hoot! I hope they keep this in next time! I think Paul's raps were much better than normal, and there seemed to be a bit more humour on stage which is what it's all about yeah?

The part with the National Anthem was probably the most bizarre crowd participation segment I've ever been involved in (apart from Frehley's Comet, Hammersmith Odeon, March 1988 - where the song 'Rock Soldiers' stopped and Ace expected everybody to automatically sing in synch the laboriously long 'Ace is back and I told you so!' chant...). I don't know about 90% of the crowd not knowing the words to God Save The Queen, but I was singing the Welsh national anthem! It was all a complete disaster, but very very funny. Paul's expression up on the big screen when he could tell it was all going horribly wrong will live with me forever, it was priceless. I don't know, it's just that his eyes were PLEADING with us to get it right! Ha Ha, what a bloody scream!

Whoever told you that they are fed up of 'Rock And Roll All Nite' must be shot at dawn! It's got to be the highlight of every KISS show!!

The set-list now needs some drastic revision however. I wouldn't know where to start mind you! If I say drop '100,000 Years' I'm sure thousands of KISS fans will be gutted. The same for a whole range of other songs. I know KISS have got their live 'staples', but perhaps its time to be brutal with a few songs and drop them for a while. I think 'I Was Made' is an obvious one for the chop nowadays. I think the bulk of the show came off 'Destroyer', but why not focus more on a different album (apart from Love Gun!). In fact, Shock Me could make way for Rocket Ride. To be fair though, it must be an absolute nightmare deciding which to add and which to drop, you're only going to end up offending some segment of the KISS community!

Best song:
'Do You Love Me' (I love it, but this too could be axed for something a bit more obscure) or 'Rock And Roll All Nite'.

Best moment:

The best Gene solo EVER!

Worst moment:

The final chord that signified the end of the show!

Tackiest moment:

The crowd-o-meter!

Funniest moment:

The crowd-o-meter! Closely followed by Paul's pained expression during the national anthem debacle!


Well, I'm off to have another look at my programme!

 

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