Kiss is the self-proclaimed “hottest the band in the world“, and with over thirty-five years of touring experience they are known for putting on a theatrical live show. After all this time is it possible that Kiss can still put on one hell of a show? Tonight they prove that not only can they still perform brilliantly, but that they can blow away many bands who are half their age with their energy and charisma.
Tonight’s gig doesn’t feel full and it hasn’t reached capacity, however the audience spans generations. From five-year-olds in the full Gene Simmons garb, to a couple of rocking pensioners. Around the room are several people in different degrees of costume and make up, showing their true loyalty to the Kiss army. The support for this evening comes in the form of Las Vegas band Taking Dawn. They certainly try their hardest to keep the crowd entertained and they manage it for a few songs but after a while it all starts to blend into one melting pot of classic rock fudgery. In our ears, the band are tight individually but as a group they don’t seem to gel as a unit.
As the Kiss curtain comes down, we hear the infamous opening: “You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world Kiss!” As the curtain drops we see the band on a lowering platform leading them to the stage with masses of pyro-goodness and an sonic pulse of sound in the form of new track, ‘Modern Day Delilah’. We were expecting an older classic to set the mood, but the new song sounds great live and is definitely a positive way to kick off the show. All the new songs (the band play four in total), sound fresh and vibrant. ‘Say Yeah’, and ‘I’m An Animal’ sound anthemic next to some of the older tunes like ‘Firehouse’, ‘Cold Gin’ and ‘Love Gun’.
All four members are on form and are able to really work the crowd. Paul Stanley has always been a great front man singing to the audience between songs with all of his camp glamour. Gene Simmons is still…well, drooling at everyone. The band’s newest member (well, since ’02 anyway) Tommy Thayer really feels like a part of the band now and his guitar playing skills keep everything together during all of the usual gimmicks. Simmons‘ spitting fire, check. Rockets flying out of guitars, check. Paul Stanley swinging to the middle of the arena on zip-line, check. It’s all very awe-inspiring, though, as ol’ Geno flies up to the top of Sheffield Arena’s lighting rig whilst dripping blood from his tongue, all we can think is: ‘our team could do this stuff better…totally.’
They played through other classics including, ‘Shout It Out Loud’, ‘Detroit Rock City’ and ‘Deuce’ with guitars being played above heads and some well-timed fiery madness. A particular highlight though is ‘Crazy Crazy Nights’. The band hasn’t played this for some time now in Britain and it was most notable absent for their set at Download ’08 but it’s there tonight and sounds ever relevant and powerful. Dear readers, if you ever get a chance to see this band, don’t miss it. Kiss is certainly one of the best we’ve ever seen.
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