Friday, 14 May 2010

Kiss LIve - I wanted the best and I got the best!

I didn't really have a major plan to go and see Kiss but a trip to ebay left me scoring a late ticket for the Thursday night gig after they had already played the previous night. Having never seen them before and not being a fan of the band at all apart from a few songs here and there, I wasn't that sure what to expect, well up to a point anyway.

On entering the Arena I saw the many 100s of Kiss Army fans getting in the mood for the show with lots of people with Kiss face paint which was pretty cool. Kiss fans are very much into their band and it seems Kiss attracts fans of many other bands be it rock fans who like bands like Led Zeppelin or The Who up to metal fans who like bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden. The atmosphere was quite joyous and very united indeed. Everyone was there to have a great time and what better way than seeing the greatest rock 'n roll band the world has ever seen as they would say!

First up was Taking Dawn whose album is pretty enjoyable. Live they were very energetic and tried to get the crowd going but I would say they never really quite managed to win the Kiss Army over. They tried really hard to get a positive response but alas they got mostly a lukewarm response in the main. These young boys sure have a lot of fire in their bellies, but their song material is so so. They definitely have a few cool tunes no doubt about it, but I think the sound was just a little bit muddy and this hindered them a touch. A decent warm up nevertheless.

Finally at 9pm and 15 minutes later than Schedule finally the legendary Kiss took to the stage launching straight into Modern Day Delilah from Sonic Boom. The sound was immediately a whole load better than it was for Taking Dawn, not unexpectedly! The packed Wembley Arena was singing and dancing to the chorus and the band was quickly into their stride. Not being a major fan of the band I don't even hardly recognise their classic material. The only songs that i knew well were Crazy Crazy Nights and God Gave Rock'n Roll to You from the make up free mid 80s. I didn't hardly know anything else, but alas the Kiss live experience is not cemented by having knowledge of the songs at all thankfully.You can easily enjoy the tunes as they are with the immediate groovy catchiness and a band in top form. I must say Paul Stanley's vocals are not my favourite and he tends to whine a good bit but the crowd was singing so loud that you could barely hear Paul anyway!

The songs that Gene sung were OK but again Gene's voice is nothing to write home about. Watching Kiss live is really an experience and a half. There is a sort of energy coming off from the stage that is hard to resist even if you are not a big fan of the band. The stage set and banks of video screens behind the band was very impressive indeed. The sound was amazing all night from my fairly close vantage point and I had no complaints at all on that score. They played until almost 11.15 which is not bad for an old timer band now is it! At one point Paul flew over the crowd on a pulley onto a small platform near the sound desk all the way at the back of the arena which was pretty damn cool. Gene also had his blood gurgling moment which I've seen on youtube before and he flew up to the top of the arena as well to play his dirty bass solo and singing the following song.

As Paul said, they are going to play one of the longest encores in history and he wasn't wrong as it was probably about 30 minutes or so long. To be honest I left the Wembley Arena amazed at what I'd witnessed. I still don't count myself a fully paid up member of the Kiss Army but hell, all these legions of devoted Kiss fans can't be wrong can they now!

1. Modern Day Delilah
2. Cold Gin
3. Let Me Go, Rock n Roll
4. Firehouse
5. Say Yeah
6. Deuce
7. Crazy, Crazy Nights
8. Calling Dr. Love
9. Shock Me
10. Tommy Thayer & Eric Singer Solos
11. Animal
12. 100,000 Years
13. Gene Simmons's solo
14. I Love It Loud
15. Love Gun
16. Black Diamond
17. Detroit Rock City
18. Lick It Up
19. Paul Stanley's solo
20. Whole Lotta Love
21. I Was Made For Lovin' You
22. God Gave Rock n Roll To You
23. Rock 'n' Roll All Nite