George Tzimas' Wembley Report
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Could someone please rewind time back to Thursday the 25th of March so I can watch KISS
rock Wembley once again?
My first KISS concert and what a concert it was!!I've read and heard so much about the magic of KISS live shows and now I know it's all true!
For starters,Buck Cherry did an excellent job. I had actually read about them in a recent "Metal Edge" issue and I was looking forward to watching them. They didn't let me,and apparently the rest of the crowd,down.Despite having to fight against the awful sound,their performance rocked from start to finish. Enough energy and good enough music to get more cheers and applause than most opening acts I've seen.And the roadies' sweeping them off the stage and disassembling the drum kit during the last song was very funny.
On to the headliners...it's really hard to describe the feeling when the curtain dropped and KISS hit the stage running with "Psycho Circus". I'd been waiting for that moment,the curtain dropping at a KISS gig, for the last two years(I missed the Reunion shows) and when it finally happened it completely blew me away! OK,the sound could have been better,but,hey...
You probably know the setlist more or less,so I'm not repeating it. I'm sure there are people complaining about KISS playing almost the same songs they played the last time around and blah,blah,blah.Maybe it was because I hadn't been to any other shows,but I thought the set was brilliant!Yeah,they didn't play all of my most favourite of their songs.If it was up to me I'd have put "I Want You","Cold Gin","Dreamin'","Strutter" and "You Wanted The Best..." in there.Then again,I'm not quite sure which numbers I'd have dropped. If it was up to somebody else,they would have made a different set. The point is that not everybody will hear all their favourites.I think that what KISS do is just play the songs that they know satisfy most people.
The performances of the band as a whole and each member's in particular were simply great! It was evident that they were having a good time. I thought they played a tight show,didn't bore anyone with the solos and did excellent versions of all of the songs."Psycho Circus" was a hard-hitting, adrenaline pumping opener and "Into The Void"and "Within" fit in perfectly with the older numbers. The only "mistake"(if you can call it that),in my opinion,was finishing the main set with "Rock 'N' Roll All Night" and the encore with "Black Diamond". RNRAN should have probably been the last song of the evening.
As for the individual band members:
Ace: I heard that quite a few people thought he was rather out of it. Well,in my humble opinion, Ace was the personification of cool! He was the first one to come over to my side of the stage (eat your heart out,the playboy girls were sitting right above me!) and gave us a wink and a sly smile.Way to go!His playing was very good and his singing even better. He's always been the voice of sleaze to me and even though he doesn't live in the fast lane anymore he's still got that special way of singing. Great job.
Peter: A happy feline,that's the impression he gave me.To be honest,I've never thought much of Peter as a drummer,but I was pleasantly surprised at Wembley. Did anybody see him fooling around (or was he just trying to surprise someone?) when the band returned to the stage after a solo(I think it was Paul's)? He was behind his drum kit and almost crawling to his seat, just like a big stalking tiger would!
Gene: Man,does he get into the Demon character or what! He acted as if he was possessed during his solo!! That blood coming out of his mouth,his head thrusting from side to side...wow!Still,at certain moments,he was unbelievably funny...he reminded me of my mates and me trying to put on a "Don't fuck with me!" face and then burst out laughing!
Paul: Oh,my favourite KISS member. The man was born to be a superstar! Excellent singing, excellent playing and the stage antics that make the difference between great frontmen and amazing, charismatic ones! I can't say enough about him,he did even more than I expected him to. How could he put forward such an effort with a leg-brace on?!?! Definitely says something about his dedication, doesn't it? The highlight of the show for me was Paul just standing on the small platform in the middle of the crowd, his arms spread,absorbing the energy and admiration of the crowd while the rest of the band were thundering through "Love Gun"...unforgettable!
The visual effects, from the pyro to the flights and the 3D were spectacular, to say the least! I'd never seen anything like that before! The 3D worked beautifully, I actually tried to touch some of the things on the screens!
1.The four gorgeous playboy models in KISS make-up and little else sitting right behind me! No wonder they got a standing ovation when they walked in!
2.The guy sitting next to me buying them a couple of pints and being enthusiastic and generous enough to buy me one too. Cheers,mate! Lucky bastard,he got a kiss from one of them!
All in all,an amazing gig. It's probably going to be quite hard to settle for anything less. Thanks KISS and make sure you're back soon...very soon!
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