Wembley Arena,  March 25th 1999

Review and pics by Paul Finn
More pics are on their way!

wembley1.jpg (16483 bytes)Is it just me or is the day after a KISS show a complete downer? You just feel like something is missing from your life (as well as having ringing ears and a headache!). Anyway, once again the KISS Army invades London, literally every where you went around town there was somebody wearing a KISS T-shirt! We started to queue at the arena at about 5:30, after getting right to the front we were told to bugger off to another queue. The miserable gits working at the Arena didn't even bother to tell anyone about there being a separate queue for standing tickets until it was too late, like it really bloody mattered seeing as you can walk there from either side (I got my own back later on by getting my camera into the show past a body search)!!

wembley6.jpg (13679 bytes)Anyway, for me the show started after I went back to the car park to put something in the car - I walked past the other side of the Arena only to hear the sound check taking place! I heard the whole of Hotter Than Hell and some other stuff. HTH sounded brilliant, I don't know why they couldn't have added that to the set list, it used to make a good intro to Firehouse.

BuckCherry were the openers and I guess they were okay, definitely an improvement over Verve Pipe (but let's face it, that ain't hard!). The lead singer was jumping all over the place (or doing Riverdance auditions as Martin Curtis put it!), desperately trying to hold up his 2-sizes too big trousers. I thought the cleaners coming on at the end of their set list was a good touch, they started cleaning the stage and dismantling the drum kit while they were still playing!

wembley2.jpg (22330 bytes)Up went the new curtain - this time it was a red one covered with starts & moons as per the Psycho Circus cover. Just before the show started in walked 4 Playboy models in full KISS make-up, the whole of the standing section starting cheering at them and the girls were loving it (they were sitting in the section to the left of the stage)! At this point the arena that was more then half empty during BuckCherry really started to fill out, like Mercury told me this show was a complete sell out.

wembley11s.jpg (13138 bytes)The 'Alright London...' announcement was made and Psycho Circus started the show, this was a great opener, much better than I expected. The red curtain was cool, but you could easily see the band behind it so it took away some of the excitement from it when it fell down. The crowd was really getting in to the new opener, jumping all over the place. The only problem we had was that a few assholes decided that they were going to charge to the front at the start of the song - shoving anyone that happened to be in their way. I mean for god sake, get a life, there were kids nearby but they didn't give a shit. So this pushed us back a little but we were still nearer the front than I've ever been before.

Shout it Out Loud and Deuce came next, these were great songs to get you in the partying mood and sounded as good as ever, it wasn't until Do You Love Me that the new 3D effects came into play. I didn't really know what to expect, especially after the disappointing home video of Psycho Circus, but I was wrong to have any doubts, they were incredible. There was a mixture of Psycho Circus video footage, some new graphics and some live shots all in 3D. The live shots didn't work as well as the others (they were in double vision during some of it), but the other stuff like the 3D hearts, cubes and stuff were brilliant.

wembley9.jpg (14396 bytes)Around about this point Paul Stanley announced 'I've got to tell you that when we started out we didn't like American Rock 'n' Roll bands - we listened to bands from England!' which went down well with the crowd. The next songs included Firehouse (also in 3D),  Shock Me, Let Me Go Rock 'N' Roll and Calling Dr. Love. These cwembley7.jpg (4739 bytes)lassics all sounded great, for once I actually got a great view of Gene's fire breathing in Firehouse. Ace & Peter were both sounding great, Ace didn't really mess up at all apart from on the next song. Into The Void was Ace's next chance to sing, I don't know what went wrong but there were some parts where you couldn't hear him at all, especially near the end. His solo was moved from Shock Me to this song and was a lot more enjoyable than previously (I think the 3D effects helped out a lot). Near the end he said 'This ones for Stan Kubrick' and he played some music from '2001, A Space Odyssey' which was a nice touch. The usual rockets and smoking guitars were all there - this time the second rocket "knocked down" 3 lights from the lighting rig (they actually fell this time instead of hanging down as per the other tour), and the third rocket was fired right about the heads of everyone in the standing section!!

wembley13s.jpg (5471 bytes)Paul asked 'What is the first song on Destroyer?' to which everyone shouted 'Detroit Rock City', 'Well we're going to play the second song!', and in kicked King Of The Night Time World which went down very well with the crowd. Some blood spitting from Gene followed by a flight to the lighting rig was next. God Of Thunder sounded fantastic, especially the effects put on Gene's voice towards the end, made him sound more demonic than ever. Within followed with some more 3D effects, although the chorus sounded okay I still don't think this one makes it as a live song. I wish they'd replace it with something else off the album (We Are One would be nice). Peter then started his solo, bit of a strange song to have a drum solo but there you go. This was much more exciting than the last tour aswembley10s.jpg (13627 bytes) the whole drum kit was lifted up and hovered over the first few rows of the crowd (see the picture on the right!), smoke came shooting out from below as it was moving, excellent stuff.

After I Was Made For Lovin' You (which didn't sound as good as it sometime does, maybe this one could be replaced with something else?) Paul said that he wanted to come and see us but he didn't was to come unless we really wanted him too 'I don't like it when you knock on someones door and they say oh no it's you'! So we all had to cheer until the tacky show meter hit the end of the scale, then out came Paul over the crowd while the rest of the band kicked into Love Gun. This was brilliant, probably the highlight of the show, I didn't have a brilliant view but I think Paul even stepped off his platform to see meet some of the crowd,wembley3.jpg (7583 bytes) cool or what!

100,000 Years and Rock And Roll All Nite finished off the main set, personally I would have preferred the latter to have been at the end of the show. The amount of ticker-tape that came flying down was incredible, we were absolutely covered! Lots of people say they're fed up of this song always being played live but as far as I'm concerned it's KISS' anthem, and one hell of a way for the band to say goodnight. During the solo Ace had a spinning catherine wheel on his guitar, at one point he even got it to stop and change directions, he must have a hell of a lot of guts to do that! Just before Rock & Roll All Nite (at least I think it was here) Paul asked us all to sing our national anthem, the problem here is that Britain has 4 different national anthems and 90% of Brits (including me) haven't got a bloody clue what the words are anyway, so it sounded awful! Paul tried to start us all off again but it still didn't work, he then said something along the lines of 'I don't think you'll be getting the record contract'!!

wembley4.jpg (7314 bytes)After shouting 'We want more' out came Pete to sing Beth, a few roses were thrown into the crowd before the song. It sounded excellent, just a shame that the live version is so short, maybe it'd be nice if they played it acoustically as per Unplugged. All the guys returned to the stage (and took a bow) and Paul said he wanted to take us all home with him, so off we went to Detroit Rock City. The show then finally ended with Black Diamond with Pete's vocals sounding on top form. Paul got his solo slot before Black Diamond, part of it had the stereo swapping from left to right to try and get the crowd going. The band are no longer lifted out over the crowd during this song (Peter's drum kit rises again though), instead they stay put on stage. Did anyone else notice wembley5.jpg (6653 bytes)Ace shake his head in disapproval before Gene tried to start licking his neck? He didn't seem too chuffed from what I could see (but then wouldn't you if Gene tried to tried to place his 7-incher on you? - then again don't answer that!). The show then ended with a message on the screen saying 'Thank you London'!

One point that a lot of people have been mailing me about is Ace - quite a lot of you thought that he seemed out of it during the show. In fact I've heard that he had to be dragged back to the stage by Gene when they went to take a bow. He did start playing out of sync a little (especially on Detroit Rock City), and he didn't seem as happy as he usually does, but who knows, maybe he was just knackered. I've also heard that Ace & Gene started messing about doing some kind of hokey-cokey between songs, but I missed that too!

wembley8.jpg (2906 bytes)So that was it, another show over - and what a show! The pyro was amazing, I loved the huge columns of fire and indoor fireworks, they really worked well. The new effects were very good, especially the 3D and Peters drums. I only wish the old set list could be expanded, I didn't understand why there were so few new songs played, surely Raise Your Glasses and a few others would be worth a look? Obviously there's one other thing to moan about that I'm sure everyone agrees with - they go to all the trouble of getting their gear in our country, why couldn't they have stuck around for a few more nights? I mean it's not like Wembley had poor sales or anything - it was sell out! Tonight proved that there's only one way to put on a show - and that's KISS' way!

Full set list:-

Psycho Circus
Shout It Out Loud
Do You Love Me?
Shock Me
Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
Calling Dr. Love
Into The Void
King Of The Night Time World
God Of Thunder
I Was Made For Lovin' You
Love Gun
100,000 Years
Rock And Roll All Nite

Detroit Rock City
Black Diamond

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