Monday, August 09, 2010

KISS: Still The Hottest Band in the Land

The current KISS tour is called "The Hottest Show On Earth," and it literally is.  From the opening pyro blasts as Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, and Tommy Thayer descend to the stage over Eric Singer's drum kit on Saturday night, I could not only feel the heat, but I could taste the flames down my throat. The people in front me flinched at every bomb blast all night long, and while I've never bothered with ear plugs, even I had to block my ears for the show-ending barrage of seemingly non-stop explosions. In other words; an AWESOME show.

We had great seats; 20th row on Gene's side of the stage. It was a fantastic crowd too.  The Comcast Center was the fullest I've seen it in a few years, and lots of people were in makeup. There were a few outstanding costumes too, including a perfect Eric Carr in our section. The age range in the audience was the widest I've ever seen; five to infinity. There were a couple of the oldest women I've ever seen at a show. I would have been surprised to see them at a movie, let alone a rock concert. All hunched over and barely moving, but one of them moved all the way down to her seat in the fourth row. Sick!

All the long established KISS theatrics were included; blood, fire, flying... and some new tricks including a bazooka.  As expected, the band sounded great and this probably is the best version of the band in terms of musicianship.  Paul's voice sounded a bit hoarse at times, not sure if was the sound of age, or an off night. There was one awkward moment at the end of "Black Diamond", after an extended finish timed to bomb blasts, the band stood in mid bow for a few moments, seemingly waiting for one big pyro cue. It never came and they eventually stood up and played a final chord. Looking forward to seeing them again on August 19 in Connecticut to verify whether that was a mistake or not. The set was a good mix of tunes from all the various KISS eras.

The show included a couple new musical tweaks, including Paul performing a good portion of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" during the intro to "Black Diamond," and the entire band playing a segment of the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" during "Lick it Up." This tour also features an epic six song encore, which is so much better than bands going on and off stage wasting everyone's time.

KISS Setlist Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA, USA 2010, Hottest Show On Earth

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