Article From 'Flipside' Magazine
Issue 4 - 17th April 1999
Thanks to Jason P for typing it up!
Matthew, we're going to be KISS. Cue explosions, very loud guitars and much furious
flashing of lights as KISS (The Hottest Band In The World TM) bound on stage wiping away
the last 20 years; playboy, spaceman, demon and, ahem, cat reunited - and they're more
popular than ever, despite their combined age being at least 190 years. KISS the
embarrassing rock band (Crazy Crazy Nights) with bad hair is gone. KISS the
phenomenon with make-up is back. And don't we know it; the legend 'KISS' blazes
across two 20-foot high golden signs almost as dazzling as Paul Stanley's cat-suit.
By his side, Gene Simmons' demonic cock-thrusting, cod-piece-writhing and tongue-wiggling
get them off to a good, early start, as does Frehley's characteristic
stuck-in-a-wind-tunnel, can't-quite-reach-that-note lean. And they look GOOD!
At least until the huge screens with live footage treat us to close-up footage of Ace
Frehley's saggy facial cheeks - God gave rock and face-paint to you! At strategic
moments (i.e. when the band need a bit of a breather from the relentless tongue action,
bum-clenching and platform teetering), the caption "Put your 3D KISS glasses on
now" appears on the screens, and clever pre-recorded images are beamed with glorious
3D technology into our brains; Paul wiggling his guitar, Gene twisting his tongue, and
Peter poking flaming drumsticks at us. Musically, they play nothing that hadn't been
recorded with the smell of grease paint in the record grooves. Triumphant renditions
of 'Deuce' and 'Firehouse' from the first album (though no 'Cold Gin', sadly) right
through to Dynasty's dubious disco-dabbling 'I Was Made For Loving (-Don't you
just HATE that! - Jason...)You'.
No KISS concert would be complete without its super-glitzy tech effects. Thus Gene Simmons spits fire, dribbles blood and sings 'God Of Thunder' from a perch high in the arena's loft, Ace plays an embarrassingly awful guitar solo, during which his instrument catches fire, shoots rockets and flies off into the rafters, Peter Criss' drum riser becomes a NASA shuttle that rises above the stage, while Stanley trapezes across the crowd to his own private stage at the back to sing 'Rock And Roll All Nite' (- Erm, no, but I'll let you off! - Jason...). From 'Psycho Circus' to the ultimate showstopper 'Black Diamond', the extravangaza's lashed together with Paul Stanley's inter-song stories, over 60 explosions, two cannons shooting multi-coloured tickertape, roses for the ladies during 'Beth', 30-foot jets of fire, and of course, excessive tongue stretching from Mr.Simmons. KISS are the Psycho Circus of their new album, a unique, ridiculous, tongue-in-cheek-festival of fun. The hottest band in the world? Call the Firehouse! JOHN PUGH
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