The last of the Crazy Crazy Nights in Manchester as the bombast and panto costume pastiche of KISS bow out after 46 years of glam rock n roll.
Words by John Hayhurst
Photos by John Hayhurst
“We’ve been waiting and praying for two f*cking years to come back to Manchester” Paul Stanley shouts out loud to the eager audience at the Arena. “Although we still remember our first time at the Free Trades Hall in the 70’s, you people here have always been crazy”. The Kiss army decked out in regulation make up, lap it up, quote after quote, complete with a classic set list that could have been taken from a greatest hits collection put out in the 80’s. Opening salvo of Detroit Rock City, Shout It Out Loud and Deuce are enough of a reminder of the power and glory of a classic glam metal chorus band, all lights, face paint, silver monster boots, explosions and enough fire to burn the eyebrows off the front row.
With their last show cancelled due to the horrendous events at the arena two years ago, this is a sweet return date for their ‘last ever’ world tour and they have brought their biggest show with more firepower, blood and smoke seen for many years. They may be in their sixties, (Gene Simmons is approaching 70) but the masks hide most of that aging process, and you really can’t tell from the energy on stage that this band are self-declaring retirement from touring after 46 years loyal service.
Tonight, is packed with classic moments as you would expect – Gene Simmons breathes fire during War Machine and spits blood for God of Thunder. Paul Stanley transfers to a smaller stage by zip wire for Love Gun and the obligatory drum solo by Eric Singer during 100,000 years put his drum riser nearly at the roof of the arena. Crazy out of this world antics that should be seen as a historic showcase of this band that have branded themselves as the ‘hottest band in the world’ since they took to the stage in the early 70’s.
After a long setlist of classics we encore with Eric Singer at a piano for Beth and what a voice he has! The bombastic Crazy Crazy Nights and the finale of all – Rock and Roll All Nite where just about everyone gets covered in ticker tape, and when that combines with the sweat – we all have our own papier mâché mask to take away. Theatrical and quite superb, very loud – but we love it, fans of all ages enjoying every last moment of a band that will go down in history as ‘THE’ Classic American Glam Rock band. Will they return somewhere for a 50th year reunion – who knows, time will tell, for now they still remain the best of the best, the hottest band in the world – KISS.
Detroit Rock City / Shout It Out Loud / Deuce / Say Yeah / I Love It Loud / Heaven’s on Fire / War Machine / Lick it Up / Calling Dr Love / 100,000 Years / Cold Gin / God of Thunder / Psycho Circus / Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll / Love Gun / I Was Made for Lovin’ You / Black Diamond / ENCORE: Beth / Crazy Crazy Nights / Rock’n’Roll All Nite