James Vincent's Wembley Report
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Although this was my seventh KISS gig I was still looking forward with the same anticipation as in years gone by. When I entered the arena I was hit by the usual curiosity of the stage, particularly looking for the usual gimmicks and to try and notice any fundamental differences from the last time I saw KISS at the arena. There were the obvious screens at the side and a lighting rig that did not on first impressions seem as impressive as the reunion tour. Yet the black curtain obscured the majority of the stage, and that meant I would have to wait. However, the reports from the net had already informed me of many of the stage effects/ gimmicks and therefore I had to wait and see whether my expectations were met.
When the support band, Buck Cherry, hit the stage I was (quite soon) unimpressed. In past KISS gigs I have been fairly impressed by the choice of support bands but it certainly wasn't the case this time. It wasn't until the fourth song, and this was the only one, that I actually enjoyed one of their songs. I did feel that the sound was far to bass driven and the vocals were not loud enough. However, it was fairly humorous to see the drum kit be taken to bits at the end of the set while they were in their last song. Overall, I was disappointed!
Then the wait. Lights go down and the show that I came to see starts! KISS hit the stage! My immediate impressions were WOW! After the first three songs I came to the conclusion that I was not impressed with the mix and this did remain throughout. After reading the Modern Drummer interview with Peter, I knew that he was going easy and not over doing it for the set at the start but I really thought that he needed to get into it a bit more! The vocals were (in my opinion) throughout the show not loud enough. But it seemed to be tight and it did rock but it needed some more on the drums to drive it along. I always wonder that being in the crowd, right up the front is the best place to be but the overall sound did not seem as good as the reunion Wembley gig and the 1992 gig.
Psycho Circus was OK, vocals were cool and then it went into Shout it out Loud and I must say that I enjoyed that. But then it was Deuce and that did not seem to work. Not quite the same energy as I have heard it before. BUT one of the highlights of the show, and not because of the 3D, Do you Love me was excellent something about that song its great to have classic like that remain. Now this is where I get hazy at the songs that were played or the actual order they were played in. I thought the 3D was pretty cool but it did not seem to work for me on all the effects What was it like for other people?
There is one thing that I definitely noticed, and for me this was a down point, and that was there seemed to be little change from the reunion tour. I certainly thought that the stage was much better for the reunion (or actually I should say the lighting). It was great to have the fly over the audience but I saw that at Finsbury, the flying up to the rig is no different and the main disappointing point was Aces guitar solo. Why cant he change it yes you had the 2001 Odyssey bit but there was little difference to his solo two years ago or even 21 years ago. It was also far too long it should be over and done with within 3 minutes not 6. I cant believe I have come away from the gig with negative points because I have never done before!
I had a great time and things started to warm up for the band as it progressed. Let me go, Rock n Roll is a new personal favourite for me and DR Love was as safe as ever. Personally, Into the Void does not work for me, its a great studio track but does not work live. King of the Night time world and God of Thunder were great the pyros seemed hotter than ever. I actually thought that Within worked well, I know some people don't think so, but I thought it was great and Peters solo was superb he definitely has been practising the new drum riser is just brilliant! I really felt the second half of the show, after Aces solo, was the highlight and when they played I was made., Love Gun (I will never grow tired of this song), 100 000 Years and the classic Rock n Roll All Night this was just superb! It just flowed! Then the encores. Beth WOW! I think this is the best that I've heard Peter sing this one, even better than the original record I will have to get a tape to check that but it seemed to be note perfect! Detroit Rock City and Black Diamond followed and personally I wouldn't object to seeing DRC dropped for another that is not consistently on the set list. If they could play some other songs it would make my day, and I am sure for many others. I try to think of songs that they could take out and it is a very difficult thing to do. I could think of loads of songs I would like to hear: why not Take me, Love her all I can , Almost Human, Strange Ways, Hotter than Hell, Comin Home, All the Way, Flaming Youth etc.
I know that the current set list are the famous KISS songs but surely that was for the
Reunion tour do they need to continue the Reunion tour (and add a bit of 3D) because that
is effectively what they have done! It was one hell of a gig but to me it seemed like
there was little difference from the Reunion tour and this was the one thing that I found
disappointing. KISS are the masters for a show but lets have some different songs for the
music. I would be interested to know whether any other people feel the same?
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