Monday, November 30, 2009

San Diego: The True Spectacle

By Scott McDonald

My introduction to the unstoppable force of nature that is KISS came in the form of a dubious confirmation. While she previously had her suspicions, my grandmother's fears were cemented by both neighbors and friends at church, when they told her that KISS was indeed an acronym for "Kings (or Knights) In Satan's Service."

My parents were understanding, but after being relayed this information, I was out of luck. They pulled the plug on my incessant, week-long campaign for the funds to purchase the KISS comics I wanted so desperately and seemingly everyone else in my third grade class had acquired.

I immediately went into super-stealth mode. Under the guise of "hanging out," I spent time at the loose-parenting confines of my next-door neighbor Todd, playing with Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley dolls, listening to "Destroyer" on his record player and watching their movie "KISS Meets The Phantom of the Park" on TV.

Years later, and long after they'd dispelled the acronym theory as silliness, my parents watched me and three high-school friends drive to the San Diego Sports Arena to see a KISS show in 1988. They were touring on "Smashes, Thrashes, and Hits," a compilation that included the single "Let's Put the X in Sex." It was a decent show, but they played without make-up or costuming and it was far from the full KISS experience.

Friday night, after almost three decades in the making, I was finally witness to the true spectacle of KISS.

Returning to the Sports Arena on their "ALIVE 35" tour, the band was in top form. Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer delivered a sensational rock and roll spectacle to the jam-packed arena.

From the time the perennial show opening "YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU'VE GOT THE BEST! THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD...KISS!!" was shouted over the speakers and the gigantic signature curtain fell, the fully-costumed band gave the throng of fans exactly what they came to see.

Ripping through six straight favorites recorded prior to 1978, it was obvious the quartet is more than happy catering to the will of its loyal subjects - many of whom painted their faces in allegiance to the macabre, super-heroes the foursome portray, one even going so far as to don Simmons' demon make-up and full vested suit as seen on the group's "Dressed To Kill" album.

The band did squeeze in two songs from their latest release, "Sonic Boom," tucked in between a non-stop barrage of long-time hits.

But even though the merchandising machine was in full effect - fans could buy the usual shirts and hats as well as anything from USB wristbands of that night's show to guitar straps to embroidered thongs - it seemed more than anything about giving longtime supporters a great show. Between two massive "KISS ARMY" wall drapes, the band pounded out hit after hit from a colossal stage littered with video screens, bright lights and fog machines.

Even as they approach the four-decade mark in their career, the group doesn't seem tired of entertaining. Throughout the entire two-hour show, each member continually mugged for the audience, Simmons constantly sticking out and wagging his trademark tongue and Stanley spitting and throwing guitar picks as far as they would reach.

The highlight of the night came as Gene Simmons spat blood during a fog-ridden bass solo that culminated in him being lifted a few stories in the air to a small platform above the stage. All eyes were focused near the Sports Arena's rafters as he led the crowd in a version of his trademark "I Love it Loud."

Topping that, as they played their biggest hit and last song of the set, "Rock and Roll All Nite," 350 pounds of confetti were shot out of high-powered air cannons, covering the entire building inside and out into the hallways.

After a quick break, it was back for an encore filled with more than enough pyrotechnics, flames, fog, explosions, and sirens to match the bombing of Dresden. The appreciative capacity crowd, ears ringing and eyes adjusting, sent them to the next tour stop with an extended ovation.

As satisfied fans coursed out of the arena doors and I headed back to my car, I couldn't help but smile. For a group that first caught my attention when I still slept with a night-light, it seemed the "hottest band in the world" was better than ever.

Peter Criss On "That Metal Show"


On Saturday, November 28, 2009, Peter Criss was the special guest on VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show".

Or, to view the episode click HERE. Only available in certain parts of the world.



Free Ace Frehley iPhone Application



Ace Frehley Twitter

Check out the Ace Frehley Iphone App. Its free!


The Official Ace Frehley Application is the only thing you’ll need to access Ace’s universe. Check out Ace’s upcoming tour dates (and get a reminder for your show), scroll through fan photos or upload your own with real-time sync, view Ace’s discography, listen to sample tracks from his latest album and buy your favorite songs. As well, you’ll get all the latest news, photos and videos including blogging and tweeting from the original guitarist of KISS Ace Frehley himself. Note; Ace’s brand new album "Anomaly" is now available.

Click HERE to get the application.

KISS' Latest Magazine Covers

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

KISS is on cover of the new number of Metal Hammer Spanish magazine.

Kiss is on cover of the December issue of Spark magazine from the Czech Republic.

Ace Frehley's Set List In Drammen

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Photo: Rune Folkedal
ay:
Here's Ace's set list from his show in Drammen yesterday.

Rocket Ride
Parasite
Snow Blind
Sister
Outer Space
Speedin' Back To My Baby
Rock Soldiers
Love Her All I Can
2.000 Man
Fox On The Run
New York Groove
Foxy & Free
Shock Me (incl. Solo)
Shout It Out Loud
Deuce
Love Gun
Cold Gin

Click HERE to see some photos from the show.

Ace plays Medis tonight www.debaser.se

KISS Talk Europe




Alan Duke interviewed KISS backstage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on November 25, 2009.

Check out the interview above.



KISS Celebrates 35 Years At Pearl

Story and photos by Erik Kabik

The KISS Alive 35 2009 North American tour made its stop at The Pearl Concert Theater inside Palms Casino Resort on Saturday, November 28, 2009. Celebrating 35 years of rocking the world like no other, KISS treated their fans to a set of some of rock's greatest hits, including Rock and Roll All Nite and Detroit Rock City, as well as songs from the band's new album Sonic Boom.

Our thanks to Las Vegas photographer Erik Kabik for these great photos and special report:

I first saw KISS in 1977 at The Capital Center in Landover, Maryland when I was 6 years old. They were the first band that I became a true fan of. I joined the KISS Army, bought the lunchbox, The KISS dolls, posters, all that stuff. I got my parents to take me to see them in 1977 and then again in 1979 in my full Gene Simmons makeup. I saw a lot of music during those years, as I grew up in the rock and roll world seeing mostly my parents' music (they took me to see all of their shows), but KISS was my show and the one band I made them take me to see when I was a kid.

Being a serious music collector and following bands of many genres for the past 32 years, KISS holds that place as the first real big one that got me. I found other music that hit me deeper and transformed my view of music and the world later, but those four dudes in makeup, breathing fire and pounding out ear splitting rock anthems, was about the coolest thing for a young boy growing up in the 1970's. Although I saw a lot of kids at the show tonight at The Pearl, it was mainly the grown up KISS fans back for a nostalgic ride, dragging their kids to see the band rather than the other way around.

The show tonight at the Pearl proved that KISS is still the ultimate concert spectacle and it's backed by straight forward, no holds barred, rock and roll tunes. KISS is about escaping for a couple of hours and being totally over the top and a place to let your inner rocking, air guitar playing and sign of the horn waving spirit flow freely. To paraphrase what Paul Stanley said tonight, "Lots of other bands get up on stage and talk about stopping global warming, or getting rid of world hunger, but KISS is about forgetting the world's problems. The world is going to be just as screwed up tomorrow when we all wake up, so let's take off for the night." Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley still rock and pack a mean punch, blasting off what sounded like a few hundred of pounds of pyrotechnics just to make sure you noticed.

They opened the show with Deuce, Strutter and Let Me Go Rock and Roll - three classic tunes. The show openers were followed by a big set of mostly early KISS material originally recorded before the band shed their makeup in the early 80's. Thankfully they reformed in the 90's as the original KISS and revived their early material along with their classic show, outfits and makeup. It reminds me of classic Coke - you just don't mess with a formula that works. They closed the set tonight with their most famous and well know rock anthem, Rock and Roll All Night and blasted out the largest amount of confetti I've ever seen at a concert blanketing the entire venue in white paper strips up to my ankles.

They returned to the stage for not one but three encores: Shout It Out Loud, Love Gun and Detroit Rock City. The songs still hold up and they still sound like KISS even with half of the original lineup out of the band. It's definitely a nostalgia trip that was worth hopping on a for a few hours and I hope the guys keep at it because KISS Alive 45 will be a lot of fun to watch!

Vegas Gets A KISS

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Photos by Al Soluri for KISSonline

On Saturday night, KISS packed its giant stage show into The Pearl, a 2500-seat theater in Las Vegas' Palms Casino and Resort. Check out these pictures!

"Love Gun" And "Rock And Roll All Nite" In Las Vegas






Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Boys Are Back In Town: KISS At Staples

By Gustavo Turner/Photo by Anna Weber

Twas the night before Thanksgiving and much of LA had either left town
or stayed at home to prepare for the imminent family holiday, but you
wouldn't have guessed that if you had been at the Staples Center, where
KISS had convened its Army for a back-to-basics, old-school rock and
roll show.

Faithful fans and curious gawkers alike were in for a special treat, as
the band pulled all the stops for what ended up being KISS's first ever
live concert webcast, streamed exclusively through Facebook.com and
Ustream.tv.

The current tour pretty much follows the template of the second CD
included with copies of KISS's new release Sonic Boom: a riff heavy,
high-energy set of "classics" impervious to critical assaults or
accusations of cheesiness, embarrassing sexism, repetitiveness, etc.

The band is heading into its fourth decade unrepentant and, shall we
say it, victorious. Who cares if the Spaceman and the Cat are now two
(very good) hired hands instead of Ace Frehley and Peter Criss? The
foursome who took the stage last Wednesday led by Gene Simmons and Paul
Stanley reenacted the KISS of the good old early days, a kabuki circus
full of fire, stage blood and stage banter.

Stanley and Simmons (to paraphrase their two favorite bands) got back
to where they once belonged because it had been a long time time since
they had rock'n'rolled. Bottom line: they delivered.

Here are a few memorable snapshots from the KISS show last Wednesday at the Staples Center:



1. Half of the fun of attending a KISS show: the fans



When Gene Simmons thought up the KISS concept (read his amazing manual
Sex Money Kiss where he explains his entire gameplan and how it
succeeded), he realized that each concert could become for the fans a
cross between the circus, the freak show at a country fair, and a
year-round Halloween parade.



He was right.



2. The other half of the fun: showmanship!



It's really four guys on a stage, a couple of them pushing 60. And they
really, really wanna give you a lot of bang for your buck.



KISS plays in front of a wall of screens that can flick in seconds from
an illusion of Marshall stacks to the very flames of hell. Speaking of
which, there's a lot of actual fire onstage, and the heat could be felt
from the back of the Staples Center. Our photographer, standing next to
the stage, was almost burnt to a crisp within 20 seconds of the band's
entrance. (Yes, KISS is even closer to the firebombs and flares for the
entire show, which partially explains Simmons' melting makeup later on.)



3. Did we mention the insane, circus-like, old-school carny showmanship?



After a rumbling bass solo and black and white images of foreboding
clouds, for no apparent reason Simmons start gargling blood, as the
giant screen focuses on his face. This goes on for several minutes.
Then, he flies to a platform over the stage, from which he regales the
audience with "I Love It Loud". Everybody loves it, loud.



Later on, it's Paul's turn to dazzle the punters, by jumping on an
acrobatic harness, flying across the stadium and doing "Love Gun" from
an elevated platform in the middle of the crowd.



New guys Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer also get their stunts: the
drummer rotates 360 degrees during his solo, and the lead guitarist
gets his chance to show the skeptics he can fill Ace Frehley's platform
boots by shredding alone onstage while the other guys take a break.
Thayer even riffs on Beethoven's Fifth and (so that you don't forget
this is a KISS show and not a Steve Vai recital) he ends by switching
to a guitar that orgasmically shoots fire from its neck.



4. The music, against all odds, holds up.



There were a few musical highlights, particularly towards the end.
"Rock and Roll All Nite" is still untouchable, and the band was cooking
during "Black Diamond" and "Lick It Up". Even though some of their
lyrics and posturing (particular Simmons') are easy to mock, last
Wednesday's stroll through their "classic" repertoire confirmed their
status as a credible bridge between the heavy rock they started
emulating in the early 1970s (The Who's Live at Leeds, early Sabbath
and Deep Purple, Zep), and a lot of later American heavy metal. During
"Calling Dr. Love," it was hard not to notice how much Guns N Roses and
Motley Crue are indebted to the original Rock n Roll Circus.



5. The bizarre communion between KISS and their fans is something to behold.



Can you spot the Gene Simmons doppelganger in the audience? You know,
the guy who probably woke up early the day before Thanksgiving and
planned his whole pre-show schedule around decking himself out in an
exact replica of whatever ghoul drag Simmons wears onstage, including
hair and make-up? See him?



This dude came to the show alone and spent the entire performance
mouthing Gene Simmons' lyrics in perfect synch. You could switch from
the stage and the giant screens to where this guy was sitting and not
miss a line. That's motivation--and it's also testament to a kind of
loyalty that these ancient clowns (we're calling them clowns in the
Grand Gignol/Fellini way, so no judgment is implied) can inspire.



Or, as Paul Stanley put it from the stage near the finale:



"LOS AHHHNNGEEEEEHLEEEEZZZ!!! TURN UP THE LIGHTS. HOLD UP YOUR
CHILDREN. WE WERE THERE FOR YOUR MOMS AND YOUR DADS AND WE'LL BE THERE
FOR YOU!"

The Boys Are Back In Town: KISS AT Staples

By Gustavo Turner/Photo by Anna Weber

Twas the night before Thanksgiving and much of LA had either left town
or stayed at home to prepare for the imminent family holiday, but you
wouldn't have guessed that if you had been at the Staples Center, where
KISS had convened its Army for a back-to-basics, old-school rock and
roll show.

Faithful fans and curious gawkers alike were in for a special treat, as
the band pulled all the stops for what ended up being KISS's first ever
live concert webcast, streamed exclusively through Facebook.com and
Ustream.tv.

The current tour pretty much follows the template of the second CD
included with copies of KISS's new release Sonic Boom: a riff heavy,
high-energy set of "classics" impervious to critical assaults or
accusations of cheesiness, embarrassing sexism, repetitiveness, etc.

The band is heading into its fourth decade unrepentant and, shall we
say it, victorious. Who cares if the Spaceman and the Cat are now two
(very good) hired hands instead of Ace Frehley and Peter Criss? The
foursome who took the stage last Wednesday led by Gene Simmons and Paul
Stanley reenacted the KISS of the good old early days, a kabuki circus
full of fire, stage blood and stage banter.

Stanley and Simmons (to paraphrase their two favorite bands) got back
to where they once belonged because it had been a long time time since
they had rock'n'rolled. Bottom line: they delivered.

Here are a few memorable snapshots from the KISS show last Wednesday at the Staples Center:



1. Half of the fun of attending a KISS show: the fans



When Gene Simmons thought up the KISS concept (read his amazing manual
Sex Money Kiss where he explains his entire gameplan and how it
succeeded), he realized that each concert could become for the fans a
cross between the circus, the freak show at a country fair, and a
year-round Halloween parade.



He was right.



2. The other half of the fun: showmanship!



It's really four guys on a stage, a couple of them pushing 60. And they
really, really wanna give you a lot of bang for your buck.



KISS plays in front of a wall of screens that can flick in seconds from
an illusion of Marshall stacks to the very flames of hell. Speaking of
which, there's a lot of actual fire onstage, and the heat could be felt
from the back of the Staples Center. Our photographer, standing next to
the stage, was almost burnt to a crisp within 20 seconds of the band's
entrance. (Yes, KISS is even closer to the firebombs and flares for the
entire show, which partially explains Simmons' melting makeup later on.)



3. Did we mention the insane, circus-like, old-school carny showmanship?



After a rumbling bass solo and black and white images of foreboding
clouds, for no apparent reason Simmons start gargling blood, as the
giant screen focuses on his face. This goes on for several minutes.
Then, he flies to a platform over the stage, from which he regales the
audience with "I Love It Loud". Everybody loves it, loud.



Later on, it's Paul's turn to dazzle the punters, by jumping on an
acrobatic harness, flying across the stadium and doing "Love Gun" from
an elevated platform in the middle of the crowd.



New guys Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer also get their stunts: the
drummer rotates 360 degrees during his solo, and the lead guitarist
gets his chance to show the skeptics he can fill Ace Frehley's platform
boots by shredding alone onstage while the other guys take a break.
Thayer even riffs on Beethoven's Fifth and (so that you don't forget
this is a KISS show and not a Steve Vai recital) he ends by switching
to a guitar that orgasmically shoots fire from its neck.



4. The music, against all odds, holds up.



There were a few musical highlights, particularly towards the end.
"Rock and Roll All Nite" is still untouchable, and the band was cooking
during "Black Diamond" and "Lick It Up". Even though some of their
lyrics and posturing (particular Simmons') are easy to mock, last
Wednesday's stroll through their "classic" repertoire confirmed their
status as a credible bridge between the heavy rock they started
emulating in the early 1970s (The Who's Live at Leeds, early Sabbath
and Deep Purple, Zep), and a lot of later American heavy metal. During
"Calling Dr. Love," it was hard not to notice how much Guns N Roses and
Motley Crue are indebted to the original Rock n Roll Circus.



5. The bizarre communion between KISS and their fans is something to behold.



Can you spot the Gene Simmons doppelganger in the audience? You know,
the guy who probably woke up early the day before Thanksgiving and
planned his whole pre-show schedule around decking himself out in an
exact replica of whatever ghoul drag Simmons wears onstage, including
hair and make-up? See him?



This dude came to the show alone and spent the entire performance
mouthing Gene Simmons' lyrics in perfect synch. You could switch from
the stage and the giant screens to where this guy was sitting and not
miss a line. That's motivation--and it's also testament to a kind of
loyalty that these ancient clowns (we're calling them clowns in the
Grand Gignol/Fellini way, so no judgment is implied) can inspire.



Or, as Paul Stanley put it from the stage near the finale:



"LOS AHHHNNGEEEEEHLEEEEZZZ!!! TURN UP THE LIGHTS. HOLD UP YOUR
CHILDREN. WE WERE THERE FOR YOUR MOMS AND YOUR DADS AND WE'LL BE THERE
FOR YOU!"

Las Vegas: KISS Still Impresses

By John Katsilometes, Las Vegas Sun


Paul Stanley said something profound at Pearl Theater at the Palms on
Saturday night. It was a pointed comment explaining his lack of onstage
profundity.


"If you think a rock and roll band is going to solve the world's
problems, you're in the wrong damn place!" he shouted to the sudience.
Then the band attacked a robust little number called, "Rock and Roll
all Nite."


Solving world hunger or global warning or any of the world's ills is
not the objective of KISS, glowered the grease-painted 57-year-old rock
icon, whose work attire remains an ensemble of tight black Spandex
pants stamped with silver stalls, tall silver heels and a sparkled
black vest exposing ample swarthiness.


Stanley's point is well-taken. KISS has never been about anything but
rockin' out, escaping from whatever stress reality presents. That's one
reason for the fantastic onstage alter-egos - to get away from it all.
Some have a stiff drink to knock the edge off; others dial up "Rock and
Roll Over."



There's little question, given the proven KISS formula, that it would
be impossible to stand in front of an audience with a face full of
demonic makeup, wearing a codpiece the size of a catcher's mitt, and
intone, "I need to take a moment here and say this: I think it is
sinful that more than 47 million Americans are living without health
insurance. And now, here's, 'Dr. Love.'"


Some bands can accomplish the delicate merger of rock and moral
consciousness - Bono has turned the midshow call-to-arms monologue into
an art form. But those bands need to exist on separate planes. Sad to
say, but we can forget about ever seeing a KISS/U2 double billing.


That's fine. KISS exists as a singular entity. It is a uniformed
culture, this 35-year-old KISS Army, and it seems to be growing with
every reunion, anniversary, and lineup change and time demarcation.
Saturday's audience was a sea of veteran rock zealots who had grown up
with KISS, many of whom seemed bent on making sure their children
followed suit, even if it meant explaining to their pre-teens that
there was fulfillment in being painted to look like a cat or spaceman
for an event that was not Halloween.


The band borrowed from its early years, much to the delight of those
who played KISS on the miracle of vinyl in those days. "Strutter" is
still a favorite. "Hotter Than Hell" was in there. "Dr. Love," "Shock
Me," "Shout It Out Loud," "Lick It Up," and the finale, "Detroit Rock
City." Fans of KISS shtick delighted in Gene Simmons' fire-breathing
moment to cap "Hotter Than Hell." Playing to his strengths as always,
Simmons still regularly tongues at the audience. Eric Singer and
guitarist Tommy Thayer were provided lengthy segments to prove that, if
it ever came to this, they could hold an audience for six or seven
minutes without the others. The current KISS lineup - with Eric Singer
on drums and Tommy Thayer on lead guitar -- has produced a release,
"Sonic Boom," most critics like and that debuted No. 2 on the Billboard
charts in its exclusive distribution deal with Wal-Mart.


Theatrically, KISS still impresses visually and audibly. But KISS'
famed pyrotechnic show, replete with flames and sound bursts,
repeatedly rocked the small theater, and just when you thought, "One
more blast from that stage would be obnoxious," - the show's over.
"Rock and Roll all Nite" and the encore, capped by the great "Detroit
Rock City," was set amid a blizzard of white confetti that nearly
rendered the band invisible.


At the center of all this tumult was the familiarly hypnotic KISS sign.
KISS continues to flash and fire away, glad to rock 'n' roll, and
that's the only message today's KISS Army needs to know.

Coldwater Kids Rock Like KISS



Kids from Coldwater rock out at a talent show!

Paul Takes Flight

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Photos by Hiro Shiga for KISSonline

Check out these incredible photos of Paul airborne during Friday night's show at the San Diego Sports Arena!

KISS Held Court At Summit Center

By Pennman

The house was a-rockin' at the Sommet Center (Nashville) as Kiss held court. I think the word of the night was "LOUD" as the amps and PAs were turned up to the max. If you're the type who wants more than just an aural experience at a rock show, this was the place to be. As in the past, Kiss provided plenty of excitement for the eyes as well as the ears. Lights, smoke, pyrotechnics, harnesses (allowing Gene & Paul to fly), big screens, and confetti machines were all employed during the show. All the stops were pulled in this extravaganza. There are only a handful of acts I can think of these days that put on such a stage spectacle; Alice Cooper, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Tubes, AC/DC. None demand more of your full-blown attention as Kiss.

Before the show, I checked out the merchandise stands. Kiss is still the master of marketing as they have been for decades. The atmosphere was more like a carnival than a concert. CDs and/or digital storage devices of the show were being sold for immediate distribution after the performance. T-shirts, posters, and other collectibles galore were for sale, and face painting was available (just pick your favorite Kiss persona, past or present. People were buying; recession be damned. The people watching weren't too shabby either. Lots of Kiss look-alikes were walking the halls. These fans really get into it.

The stage was covered by ceiling to floor curtains while the crew set everything up. Then it was time for Kiss. As the big screens showed their march through the halls of the Sommet on the way to the stage, Gene Simmons gave us the first of at least a hundred tongue wags right into the camera. Dressed to kill in their traditional costumes and makeup, they were like soldiers marching off to war. And they would be taking no prisoners.

The first thing that struck me was that Simmons' bass was coming through loud and clear and strong. The sound was excellent, and the visuals, well, were typical Kiss, which equates to fantastic. Stanley did most of the inter-song bantering, and everyone else did their talking through their vocals and instruments. Simmons breathed his fire, drooled continuously (so much so I was afraid he would short out his guitar), spit his blood, and flew up high above the stage on the lighting trusses at one point during the show. Stanley flew in a different direction; across the length of the arena to a back platform he gave the folks back there a treat for one song. At one point the two original members were on really high elevating platforms on opposite sides of the stage. Guitarist Tommy Thayer was all over the stage and blazing the fret board throughout the show, and drummer Eric Singer was absolutely insane for two hours.

As for the set list, any group with as large a set list as Kiss is vulnerable to complaints. They just can't physically play everyone's favorites in two hours. For example, several women asked if they played "Beth." Well, this show was too rocking for that. What they did do was an impressive cross-section of their hits, with a few off the new album (Sonic Boom), which by the way are pretty darn good. I won't list them all, but some of the notables were "Hotter Than Hell", "Modern Day Delilah" (one of the good new ones), "Dr. Love", "100,000 Years" (with a nice drum solo by Singer), "Black Diamond", "Shout It Out Loud" (good to hear), "Love Gun", a rockin' "Detroit Rock City", and the ever-popular "Rock and Roll all Nite". Whew!

In general, this was the ultimate rock show. If I wanted to show a rock virgin what a rock and roll concert was all about I think I would take them to a Kiss show. I'll have to try that next time; should be very entertaining.

On The Road With KISS


Here's an article from the Australasian Lighting Industry Association trade publication about KISS's Lighting Director, Motley! Motley discusses working with the band, the current stage setup, and many other behind-the-scenes tech details.
___________________

If any of you are wondering why you haven't seen Australia's renown lighting crew chief Motley recently, it's because he's been living a childhood dream - working for KISS!

"I filled in for Bryan Hartley (KISS's longtime Lighting Director)on some KISS shows in the USA and Europe (07 & 08) after doing the Paul Stanley tour as Lighting Director in Australia," Motley explained. "Bryan was / is busy with Aerosmith and Trans Siberian Orchestra so Patrick Whitley sent an email, "Need KISS LD, what you up to for 18 months off and on?". My reply: "touring with KISS, I guess!"

Motley has been getting great feedback from all industry types.

"I had Lenny Kravitz in NYC at front of house, and I nearly got nervous, but once the first 30 seconds of the show are over, I am in the groove and don't realise what is going on around me until just before the encore."

The rig is 64' wide and made up of 7 trusses wit 2 x 8' side trusses to give it a wider look. The stage is 106' with scaff wings built in the seats at most arenas. The set and backline is set up at front of house on a rolling stage. Lights include 7k Syncro Lite x7, V*L3000 Spot x24, V*L3500 Wash x82, 4Lite DWE {Inline} x26 {Audience}, 4Lite DWE {square} x18 {Stage}, Atomic Strobe x34, CB12 LED Truss Toner x58, ETC Source4 Par NSP x4 {Gene Blood Gag}, Red Police Beacon x10- all controlled by a grandMA.

All air lights are in pre-rig truss except Syncrolites and inline Audience 8lites, so there are not many cases to store. Lighting is supplied by Epic, based in LA. Crew Chief is Sean Kohl, and Andy Figueroa is the KISS sign tech. There are 13 trucks and 6 tour buses all pretty full up.

"The show design started with the band saying they want a set full of video and a big video screen {60' by 20')," said Motley. "We went to do a bunch of Festival shows in Canada and two in the USA, so it was different lighting vendors and systems everywhere. The VL3500 with the beam blaster in was the only fixture that would cut over all the video. We took the big screen and the old set to see what would stick and ended up with the show.

"Then Patrick sent me a hand drawing and asked me to draw it up in 3D; after a few bounces back and forth he went to the set company All Access and got it turned in to a reality.

"The strait truss look fit with the big square set and video so I kept it simple. The joke is that you can tell it was designed by a crew chief! The only thing I was asked was the band want Syncrolites, the rest it up to me.

"There are a few cues in a KISS show that must be done - the rest is what I call a 80's Ozzie pub rock rig on steroids. There is not a lot of movement in the rig until the end of the show. Drum riser goes up to 16' and rotates, Paul flies from front of house and Gene flies up to the front truss.

"It's been a good buzz, as I went to KISS in 1980 in Sydney and came home and told Mum I am going to be a roadie and make big rock shows. Somehow I have now gone full circle. At first it was a bit weird talking to band members in full make up and 8" boots so they end up 7' tall - twenty-nine years later who would have thought, but after so many years of touring I have no problem with it at all."

KISS Is Everywhere!


KISSONLINE FAN LETTER

Just want you guys to know that there was a fine Kiss moment in tonight's episode of Swedish Idol when Erik Gronwall performed "Shout it out Loud" before a sold-out Malmoe Arena of 12,000.

Take care and please get on a plane to Sweden for another great show! That will be my 10th Kiss concert.

Stefan Eriksson, Karlstad, Sweden

"Detroit Rock City" In Las Vegas



"Detroit Rock City" At the Pearl Theatre At Palms Casino, Las Vegas, November 28 2009.


More Video OF KISS In San Diego














"Deuce", "Strutter", "Let Me Go, Rock N' Roll", "Hotter Than Hell", And "Shock Me" In San Diego on November 27, 2009.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Video: KISS In San Diego











Peter Criss On "That Metal Show" Tonight


Former KISS drummer Peter Criss will be on VH1's "That Metal Show" tonight at at 11 p.m. ET.

For more information and to view a clip, click HERE.


Download Ace Frehley's 'Outer Space' For Free


Amazon.com is offering a FREE download of Ace Frehley's first single "Outer Space" as a Black Friday Deal.

Click HERE to get your free copy of "Outer Space" today.

Eric And Gene On ESPN Set

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
KISSonline.com/Photos by Gary Reynolds/ESPN.

Here are some photos of Eric and Gene on the set of SportCenter. The guys appeared on the show just before their Staples Center concert on Wednesday.


Tommy Thayer's Solo In San Diego




"Calling Dr. Love" In San Diego




Even The Critics Love Today's KISS!



Say what you will about KISS, but even after all these years, the face-painted foursome is still provocative.

This year, the band launched a first-ever fan-routed tour and released "Sonic Boom," its first album in 11 years (which entered the pop charts at No. 2, a career high for KISS).

If you ask Paul Stanley, KISS' co-leader, the band is KISS at its best- with co-leader Gene Simmons at his side, as well as recent additions Tommy Thayer (guitar) and Eric Singer (drums).

We talked to Stanley about the fan-routed tour, its new album and why critics and multi-generations seem to love KISS these days.

I know you guys are a little more than halfway done with the tour; how do you feel it's gone so far?

In terms of worldwide, it's the biggest and most successful tour we've ever done. It's been not only a great show in terms of turnout and response from the audience, but I've never seen so many great reviews. You have to remember we're a band that's always been loved by the public and hated by most critics. All of the sudden, either those critics are out a job, or they've had a change of heart, because it's suspicious to see so many over-the-top reviews.

Along those lines, I've seen pictures on your Web site of little kids and families at your concerts. Thirty years ago, that wasn't the image people had of KISS.

KISS has always been about writing our own book as to who we are and what we are. It usually doesn�t follow what other bands are doing. At this point, we are so multigenerational and proud of it. We do have new fans, meaning teens and 20s, but we also have older fans with their kids. For many people, KISS has always been the soundtrack to their lives, so it�' passing something along to their kids. I couldn't be more proud of the band and what we mean to so many different people.

Where does that dedication come from? What is it about the band that inspires that in people?

I think it's the idea of being the underdog who always manages to win. We've had a career of doing things our way in the face of every known obstacle and we do more than survive, we thrive.

If you were going to create "the perfect KISS," which past or present members would be in the lineup?

They're in. This is the best KISS ever. Because this is a KISS where you've got four unique personalities, but you've got four people who are all dedicated to the idea of trying to make the band more famous, rather than trying to figure out how to have the band make them more famous. You only have to come see the band to know that this is as good as it gets.

Thayer Says KISS IS Better Than Ever

By Bill Locey

Here's an interview Tommy did to promote the Staples Center Show.

Westlake Village native lives the Kiss dream

Lead guitarist Tommy Thayer, an 805 native and "the new guy," discussed the latest, including this impending home game gig.

So evidently, you have the duty. How many phoners do you have to do a day?

Not that many, maybe one or two here and there because everyone in the band does interviews.

So they're not just torturing the new guy?

Naw. Gene and Paul like to talk too much, so they�re not going to let that happen.

How's the Kiss biz treating you?

Well, without sounding typical, it's going better than we could even imagine. You know, "Sonic Boom" was just released three or four weeks ago - I'll get to that in a minute - but the tour has just been spectacular. We've just come across Canada, and now we're coming down the West Coast, as you probably know. The shows have been packed out, and we've got a huge stage set out with us: bigger, more and better of everything. It couldn't be better, because to be quite frank with you, a lot of tours are kind of struggling in this day and age because of the economy, but the Kiss tour continues on and it's very strong.

Who goes to a Kiss show these days?

Well, that's changed and that's part of the success. You've always had the die-hard fans, the ones that�ve been with the band forever, and those people are still there, which is great, but now they're bringing their kids. The face of the Kiss crowd has completely changed: a lot of younger kids, a lot more girls these days.

That's a good thing.

Yeah, it's more diverse, and you know, multigenerational, I would say. You've got a whole new resurgence of young kids coming and joining the Kiss Army. We didn't really notice until last summer in Europe - we did a big tour over there - and then we were in South America this spring, and the whole face of the crowd was changing and just getting bigger and growing. It had to do with all kinds of things. We were on "American Idol" this year, and we have songs on the "Rock Band" video games, Dr Pepper commercials. There's just all kinds of stuff where the shows are really packing out.

So where does "Sonic Boom" fit into all the rest that came before?

Well, "Sonic Boom" is the first Kiss studio album that I've been actively involved with as a member of the band, and if I do say so, it's a great record. We're really proud, and the critics and the fans alike have been exemplary. We did this record with the idea that we weren't going to do it like most bands do it anymore. We went back and did it on analog tape. Actually to begin with, we wrote and rehearsed songs with the band. There wasn't anybody from the outside, record labels or management saying you should try to do this or that, and we just did something from the gut, really. And we wrote 11 rock 'n' roll songs that are sort of in your face, from the gut songs, no outside writers. We didn't try to write a radio song, a power ballad or anything like that, and it just came really pure and for real, you know, and more so than any Kiss record in a long time. I didn�t realize it until near the end of the recording that this thing is really good, and it feels right, and I think it's because we didn�t have outside influences and politics playing a role. Usually, you have A&R people telling you what they think because they have money invested, but we did this all ourselves and put it out on Kiss Records.

Most bands fall prey to the dreaded "creative differences," which often means "need a bass player, man" or "need a drummer, man" but in Kiss the guitar player seems to be the rotating position. Do you ever feel like the extra crewman that beams down to uncharted planet with Kirk and Spock?

You know, Kiss has been going for 35 or 40 years now and there have been several guitar players, but a couple of the guys were just in there for a year or two. But it's kind of a hallowed spot to be filling. You know, Ace Frehley was the original lead guitarist, and I grew up as a fan.

Did you go see them as a kid?

Oh, yeah. I was a huge Kiss fan. I got their first record for Christmas in 1974. I went to their shows in Portland, where I grew up, and I put on makeup when I was 15 and - lo and behold - you never know where things will take you.

How�d you get this job? I know you were in a Kiss tribute band as well as Black 'n' Blue before that, but did you have to go through some crazy, intense audition scenario or what?

Not at all. It kind of happened organically. I used to be in Black 'n' Blue, which had several records out on Geffen, and before that, we had an opening slot on a Kiss tour in 1985. That's where I met these guys. We hired Gene to produce a couple of records, so we got more involved, and I started writing with them and so on and so forth. Eventually after Black 'n' Blue had run its course, they asked me to just come and work for them because they needed someone to understand, which I always did. I got Kiss and I understood, so they had me spearheading a number of projects. They did the reunion in '96. Ace and Peter came back, and they put the makeup back on, and it was a big, successful tour and at that point, I was working behind the scenes just doing whatever needed to be done. I was looking more to a music career at that point. I had my band and we took our shot. We did good, but it wasn't a career for life, so I was thinking more music career. So when they were having problems and Ace and Peter left, I happened to be there. I had done sound checks, rehearsals, even some recording behind the scenes, so it was just kind of natural, and about seven or eight years ago they said, "Tommy, you're the guy!"

How many thousands of songs did you have to learn overnight?

Already knew 'em, you know? Like I said, I'd done sound checks and rehearsals and when Ace re-entered the band, I actually had to help him relearn his parts. The other cool thing is that my wife and I actually live out in Ventura County out in the Westlake area. I love it out there. We've been out there 11 or 12 years. I used to live in town, but all the traffic and the craziness, I just got tired of it.

Black 'n' Blue had quite a run. You�re too humble. How did all that prepare you for all this?

Well, they say Tommy is the new guy, but I've been doing this professionally for over 25 years. I've been at this for a long time, and I know what's going on.

How did you end being a guitar player?

When you're a kid in fifth grade and they say, "Hey, you wanna join the band?" I ended up picking up the saxophone, and I played it all through high school. But when I was in junior high, I wanted an electric guitar, and the main reason I wanted to do that was because I thought it looked cool. Finally, I got one, and that completely took over, and I lost interest in the concert band. Even though saxophone is very cool, I was just overcome with the electric guitar and being in garage bands and all that.

So your first gig with Kiss then was an easy transition?

Yeah, it really wasn't as extraordinary as some people might think. Just the fact I was officially in the band was amazing, but as far as actually doing it, it wasn't a big challenge.

Was there any discussion of any sort of Plan B or were you always going to be the Spaceman?

Paul and Gene didn't want to change and have new characters. It's so established - 35 years and going on from there - they don't want to start reinventing the wheel at this point. They did that 20 or so years ago when Ace and Peter left, and they changed it, and it didn't really work out very well. There's a few diehard fans out there who think it's blasphemous that I'm wearing Ace Frehley's Spaceman makeup. There's still a few people saying that, but we've got 15,000 people out there every night and they're not complaining. You know how the Internet is. It just gives people something to bitch about, but they still come to the shows.

Tommy Thayer Custom Guitar Strap

Tommy Merchandise


Available now, Tommy Thayer custom guitar strap autographed by Tommy. The Custom Guitar Strap will only be available for a limited time.

Please allow 3 to 4 weeks delivery. ONLY $40.00 USD (+ $5.00 shipping & handling)

To order yours click HERE.

Friday, November 27, 2009

KISS Demon Gene Simmons Greets Superfans

Scottsdale Arts Examiner - Dolores Tropiano

Gene Simmons is giving KISS fans something he always wanted as a teen – face time with their favorite rock star.

The bassist, vocalist and self proclaimed “Demon” will meet and greet fans who purchase his new axe bass guitar. The event takes place from 6-8 p.m. on Nov. 30, at the ROCK STAR gallery in the Kierland Commons, Greenway Parkway and Scottsdale Road. A Gene Simmons look-alike contest will be held from 4-6 p.m. that same Monday and is open to the public.
“Growing up I was never able to really connect with the Beatles in a personal way,” said Simmons, from Saskatoon, Canada where he was performing. “If I liked one of their instruments, I just had to go off and buy it in a store. It was very impersonal. There was this gulf between the fan and the band. I wanted to make it personal for my fans. If you are buying something from me, I owe it to you to talk to you, take a picture and maybe kvetch a little.”
But the Demon and marketing genius may have some materialistic motives for the event that takes place on the eve of his concert at the Jobing.com Arena cq in Glendale.
“It is clear that these are super fans because each bass cost $5,000,” Simmons said. “Besides being a collectible, the bass itself is on the highest level and it is autographed.”
The exclusive black and silver axe shaped guitar is a limited edition Gene Simmons Axe Bass autographed and hand numbered by the performer. The guitar comes with a custom painted, leather case, hand embellished with the likeness of the superstar’s stage persona – the Demon.
KISS is currently on a 48-city tour that includes stops throughout Canada and the United States to promote the band’s latest CD, “Sonic Boom.” It sounds like a grueling workout, but the 60-year-old hard rocker claims he does not need any preconcert workouts for his blood-spitting, fire-breathing act.
“I am on stage with 8-inch platforms (shoes), guitars, leather and armor. It’s like being in the Marines and doing two hours of training,” Simmons said.
After 35 years, the singer still digs his music gig.
“It doesn’t suck,” is how he described touring.
Simmons co-founded his legendary band in the early '70s. KISS has broken box office records set by the Beatles and Elvis Presley and is still going strong after several decades.
Simmons was born, Chaim Witz, in Israel to a German Nazi concentration camp survivor. He came to the United States when he was 8. Simmons attended college in New York and graduated with an education degree although he was in rock bands ever since he was a teen.

The heavy metal star is also a major merchandising whiz and his empire has grown to include reality TV show “Family Jewels,” cartoons, comic books, best selling books, clothing and more. He has been in numerous films including “Extract,” which was released this year and “The Christmas Story” which is expected in theaters in December.
“All I ever wanted to do was fit in. I couldn’t speak a word of English. Everyone would make fun of me and call me stupid,” he said. “My revenge was getting them all to work for me. Education is powerful. Once you know that, you can rule the world. Without an education, you get to ask the next person in line if they want fries with their order. Power comes from brains not brawn.”
Simmons doesn’t do many private meetings so the event at the ROCK STAR gallery is something special. The gallery sells music collectibles and celebrity fine art. When asked what was the most unusual thing a fan ever said to him during similar events, the man who has allegedly bedded many women during his illustrious career quickly responded.
“Hi dad.”

What: Private party for anyone purchasing the Gene Simmons Axe Bass. A Gene Simmons look-alike contest takes place before the star arrives and is open to the public.
When: Meet and greet from 6-8 p.m. Nov. 30. Pre-party and contest from 4-6 p.m. Nov. 30.
Where: ROCK STAR gallery, Kierland Commons, Greenway Parkway and Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale.
Info: 480-275-4501 or www.rockstargallery.net.


European Tour KISS Meet & Greet Experience

KISSonline.com

2010 Sonic Boom European Tour KISS Meet & Greet Experience and KISS Premium Ticket Packages go on sale Friday, November 27, for the 2010 Sonic Boom European Tour!

KISS Meet & Greet Experience includes:

- One general admission floor ticket with early entry
- Exclusive Meet & Greet with the members of KISS
- Personal photograph with KISS
- Autograph session (includes 8X10 autographed photo)
- Exclusive KISS Concert Shirt
- Collectible KISS Tour Poster (limited edition, numbered)
- Official KISS Tour Program
- Official Meet and Greet Laminate
- Set of KISS 'Sonic Boom' guitar picks
- $100 voucher to the official KISS on-line store

KISS Premium Ticket Package includes:

- One premium ticket located within the first 10 rows of the reserved section OR general admission floor ticket with early entry
- Exclusive KISS Concert Shirt
- Collectible KISS Tour Poster (limited edition, numbered)
- Official KISS Tour Program
- Early access VIP laminate (GA packages only)
- Set of KISS 'Sonic Boom' guitar picks
- $50 voucher to the official KISS on-line store
- Two guests per show will be upgraded to the KISS Meet & Greet Experience

Visit the KISS Tour Page - http://www.kissonline.com/tour

For Paul Stanley & KISS, Rock And Roll Is Not Over


By John Katsilometes

KISS, indefatigable glam/rock pioneers who spawned a billion Halloween costumes and its own teenage army, returns to Las Vegas on Saturday night for a show at Pearl Theater at the Palms. This fall, the band, powered still by founding members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, released its first studio album in 11 years, "Sonic Boom."

This week the Las Vegas Sun corralled the 57-year-old KISS vocalist and guitarist as the band prepared for a show in Anaheim, Calif., this week. Following is the conversation as our BlackBerry chimed with Stanley's eagerly awaited call:

"Hello, this is Paul Stanley."

"Excellent. Where are you calling from?"

"Anaheim, getting ready for a show here."

"Anaheim! The home of Disneyland and No Doubt!"

"Right! Gwen (Stefani) has played the Pearl Theater, hasn't she?"

"She opened the place, yes. Speaking of that, I want to ask about this concert. How are you going to be able to scale down your live show, which is built for arenas and stadiums, for a small theater like the Pearl?"

"We have special shoehorn where we take our size 12 foot and jam it into a size 9 shoe. But rather than go back to a big arena, we wanted to play the Pearl again (KISS performed at the theater in August 2008). Every seat is unobstructed, which you don't get often, but we're not going to do the lounge thing. We're going to test how much volume this place can handle."

"Palms owner George Maloof likes to bring in bands he's a fan of. Is that how KISS came to play the Pearl?"

"Yeah, he is a fan. I've known George for about 15 years now. It's funny, I was there when the Pearl Theater was just rebar, talking with him about the day KISS would come to town. We were envisioning it even then."

"It's really interesting to be talking to someone on the phone you've known mostly from album covers, in concerts, on TV, almost like a fictional character. When you got to be famous, was there ever anyone you met and hung out with where you were saying, 'Wow, I can't believe I'm talking to this person?' "

"Of course, the first time I met Jimmy Page, Paul McCartney. Hopefully none of us get beyond that feeling. It keeps it exciting. You always have to have heroes, people you look up to, and it's amazing to have them as peers. I think that idolatry, hero inspiration, is something we shouldn't lose."

"What was it like to meet Jimmy Page? Can you describe that experience?"

"Oh yeah. Led Zep was mixing 'The Song Remains the Same' soundtrack, and we were coming into the studio after them. We were in the lobby, and Jimmy came up and he knew who I was, and who the band was. It was stunning. Not five years earlier, I was in the audience, watching Led Zeppelin with my mouth open, just not believing it."

"There is a sense that KISS has a Led Zep-like influence on on rock music."

"Maybe, but I leave it to others to determine where I belong in terms of stature. I like to keep those people I admire on a higher level."

"The other day I was looking back at the 'Alive' album cover, the back..."

"Excuse me for interrupting, but everyone was at that show."

"Hah, well I wasn't at that show (most of the album was recorded during a concert at Cobo Hall in Detroit). But I'm looking at that audience. All those people, and a bunch of fans seem to be stoned, or getting stoned, smoking joints right there in the arena and waiting for you to go on. There were no children around, it was a young-adult crowd, but today you've got all these children in makeup being brought by there parents to KISS shows."

"Yes, yes, they want to share the KISS experience with their kids, and it's cool. It's cool to experience the magic that they had when they first saw us. I love seeing the wonderment on young kid's faces. It's really, very, very gratifying, humbling and exhilarating. We're breaking down barriers. Don't have a set audience. We have a multigenerational audience."

"But originally, KISS was not something you shared with your parents. It was the naughty place, where you went to misbehave and disobey authority. I never thought to listen to 'Hotter Than Hell' or 'Love Gun' with my parents."

"No, no, no, you wouldn't. But there was not yet a precedent for a band lasting that long. For a long time they were disposable, pop idols, seen as a commodity and pre-manufactured. You had Fabian and Frankie Avalon being thrown at you, but once bands started writing their own material and transcending time, you saw them evolve over generations. Before, parents didn't have any connection to rock 'n' roll, because it was disposable."

"You've set a standard for production that really changed how concerts are staged, and now a lot of bands are using pyrotechnics and costumes onstage. How do you continue to stay ahead of the curve in your live show?"

"We've inspired a lot of bands, sure. Everybody is borrowing from us, but they will never be us. It only takes money to have a KISS-type show, but you will never have KISS. I'm flattered by all the mimicry, the bands who have borrowed from us. To me, we just have to keep doing what we've been doing and continue to be musically great."

"You've said many times that this is the best version of KISS (with co-founder Gene Simmons on bass, Tommy Thayer on guitar and Eric Singer on drums) ever."

"Totally. A night doesn't go by that we are not consistently in top form. We've now got four people who are all saying, 'How can we make the band more famous?' Instead of, "How can I make me more famous?' "

"You've talked before, during the 'Monster Circus' reunion project with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, that it was difficult to work in the studio with attorneys instead of musicians."

"Yeah, if only attorneys could sing and play instruments, we'd have been a better band. But Eric has been with us for 18 years now, Tommy has been in the band for seven years and around us forever (as a onetime member of the band Black 'n Blue and a KISS tribute band who became an assistant to the band and helped Frehley's re-learn some of his solos for the 'Monster Circus' reunion tour). We're a great band."

"Your new album, 'Sonic Boom,' is getting good reviews, and so is this tour. What's going on?"

"(Laughs), I am suspicious of this. It's either that all of the old-guard critics have died off, or KISS fans have taken over the office."

"Maybe both."

"Maybe, yeah. But the reviews have been unanimously over-the-top for 'Sonic Boom.' It's gotten reviews I couldn't write better. But it is great to have an album out that is undeniably good, like we've reclaimed what is rightfully ours."

"I want to ask you a couple more Vegas-centric questions. You have a place at Palms Place, right?"

"I've had a place there since it was under construction, before it was completed, yep."

"And there reports last year that you might be in Las Vegas, as a resident, playing the Phantom in "Phantom - Las Vegas Spectacular" at The Venetian. Any truth to that?"

"Yeah, I had been in Las Vegas, having meetings, and we'd discussed that. I'd played the role before (in the Toronto production), but for a lot of reason it wasn't to be. I think it's a great show. Terrific. I still intend on doing it on Broadway, but there are only so many hours in the day, you know?"

"We have The Beatles-Cirque du Soleil show, 'Love,' at The Mirage and an Elvis-themed Cirque show at Aria called 'Viva Elvis.' You�ve seen 'Love,' right?"

"I did and it was absolutely terrific."

"Would you be interested in a Cirque-produced show with a KISS theme?"

"Sure, we've been in talks with different people with possibilities... not Cirque people, but we'll see what develops over time... Anything is possible with KISS."

"I would be remiss not to ask you about wearing makeup. After 35 years, hasn't it become an inconvenience to still have to wear that when you perform?"

"I liken it to putting on my war paint. When you go to fight, you want to be in your best possible form. ... It would be like going into the Super Bowl without the right equipment or the World Series. ... I don't know - I'm stammering here, because this is a big part of what makes us who we are. The idea of it being an inconvenience doesn't play into this. At the very least I would say, if you win the lottery, you don't complain about the taxes. When you've been as lucky as we are, there's not much to complain about."

KISS Unleash Sonic Boom In Birmingham



Rock legends Kiss return to Birmingham NEC next year when they play the LG Arena in support of their spectacular new album, Sonic Boom.

The face-painted rock superheroes, riding on the crest of a wave after a stunning performance at Download in 2008 and the seemingly never-ending Alive 35 world tour, arrive at the LG Arena on Tuesday May 11, 2010. Tickets go on sale at 9am this Friday, November 27..

In typical bombastic Kiss style, the tour goes by the title of "Sonic Boom Over Europe: From The Beginning To The Boom", hinting at a setlist including nearly four decades of Kiss classics, right up to the new material, which deliberately evokes the spirit of the early Kiss albums.

The tour features Kiss's first UK arena shows in 11 years. Acclaim for Kiss on the Alive 35 tour has been universal. Metal Hammer hailed the "return of the kings!", while Mojo declared: "A Kiss show is as thrilling and bombastic now as it was in 1975."

Whilst utilizing elements of "Kiss Alive 35", the Sonic Boom tour will be a new show tailored to the band's European fans and showcasing the Sonic Boom album.

Guitarist and singer Paul Stanley says: "The Kiss Alive 35 Tour was just the start. 'Sonic Boom Over Europe' leaves that show in the dust. New stage, new setlist, new outfits, new album!

"We're covering the whole musical history of the band on a stage that takes Kiss one giant step further in our eight inch heels. We're stoked. You wanted the best? You GOT the best!"

Bassist and singer Gene Simmons says: "Now, more than ever, Kiss is a four-wheel-drive monster truck. Our mission? To rock planet Earth. To spread the gospel of Sonic Boom."

Today - November 25, 2009 - Kiss, which also features drummer Eric Singer and lead guitarist Tommy Thayer, are performing to a global audience when their show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles is streamed live on Facebook. This one off event will be unique chance for European fans to see the Kiss Alive 35 show before it changes for the European run.

KISS European Tickets On Sale Today

KISSONLINE

Tickets for the general public will go on sale this morning, Friday, November 27, for the following cities of the KISS 2010 Sonic Boom European Tour!

Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, London, Zurich, Geneva, Vienna, Ostrava, Berlin, Leipzig, Bratislava, Hamburg, Oberhausen, Stockholm, Malmo, Arnhem and Madrid.

http://www.kissonline.com/tour/

Newest KISS Guitarist Comes Into His Own

By Doug Pullen, El Paso Times, Texas

Nov. 26--EL PASO -- Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer's heard it all before. He's just imitating Ace Frehley. He's just a lackey for Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.

The reality is that the 49-year-old Portland, Ore., native has been a part of Kiss' inner circle for more than 20 years, but only a member of the group -- whose "Kiss Alive 35" tour comes to the Don Haskins Center Wednesday -- since 2002, when Frehley left for the second time.

"People say I got their coffee. Yeah, I went and got the coffee. Other times, if we were meeting at the studio, Paul might call and say, 'I'm going to get the coffee today. What do you want?' " the guitarist, more amused than defensive, said during a tour break in Florida.

And, yes, it's true that Thayer once helped Stanley paint his house. Thayer was staying with Stanley while sifting through hundreds of the band's photos for "Kisstory," their limited-edition, 440-page memoir published in 1995.

"I was in Paul's guest house doing the photo thing and one day he walks in and says, 'Hey, can you help me paint my master bedroom?' It wasn't all of the sudden I'm painting his house," Thayer said. "Paul and I were painting his bedroom. ... It wasn't just me. He was painting, too."

Thayer knows there are Ace fans who don't like him, who criticize him for donning Frehley's "The Spaceman" makeup and costume (owned by Simmons and Stanley) and re-creating Frehley's guitar solos.

As a Kiss-loving kid, Thayer was an Ace fan himself. He later played Frehley

in Cold Gin, a Kiss tribute band. He also helped Frehley relearn some of his own guitar parts for the original lineup's reunion tour in 1996.

"These things take time," Thayer said of fan acceptance. "You can't expect to walk in on the first tour and own the world. There's a certain reverence to the thing I'm doing, the position I'm coming into in the first place. It's Ace Frehley; a big shoe to fill."

But with Kiss' new album, "Sonic Boom," Thayer feels he's come into his own. It's his first studio effort with the group, which also includes Eric Singer on drums. He's been credited by fans and critics alike for helping make it one of the group's better albums in a long time.

"I feel almost a little more liberated now, because when I joined this band I had big shoes to fill replacing somebody like Ace, which is not an easy thing, and everything that goes along with that," Thayer said. But he noted that "I can say (the album's) as much mine as anybody's."

Thayer said the band has been re-energized by the first three legs of its "Kiss Alive 35" world tour, which was launched last year to mark the band's 35th anniversary. The North American leg contains much of the material included on its breakthrough "Kiss Alive!" concert album, plus plenty of the pyro for which the band is famous.

It's the band's first extensive tour in several years, and the longest one that Thayer has been a part of as a member.

The idea to make a new album grew as the band toured Europe and other parts of the world for the first time in years.

"We had a gut feeling that maybe we should do this now," Thayer said, noting Simmons' and Stanley's reluctance after their last studio effort, 1998's "Psychocircus," tanked.

Thayer first met the band when his former group, Black 'n' Blue, opened for Kiss in the 1980s. Simmons took them under his wing, producing two of their four studio albums that decade.

Simmons later asked him to help write songs for Kiss, the first in a "long list" of duties the guitarist has performed over the years, including working as Simmons' assistant, road managing for Kiss fan conventions in the '90s, and contributing to various projects, such as the "Kisstory" book and "Kissology" DVDs.

"Sometimes people don't realize that I've been in their inner circle for quite a long time and I've seen a lot. I've done a million different things in and around Kiss and really enjoyed every aspect of it," Thayer said.

The "Kiss Alive 35" tour has been good to tour openers Buckcherry, who last toured with Kiss in Europe after their debut album came out a decade ago.

"We were excited. We've been touring 10 years and they're celebrating 35 years," singer Josh Todd said. "It's just kind of a rock 'n' roll event. At this time, there are not a whole lot of rock 'n' roll events."

Thayer understands the importance of being in a band as big, and notorious, as Kiss. He prefers the detractors to the alternative.

"The day when nobody is talking about it anymore," he said, "is when we need to be concerned."

Doug Pullen may be reached at dpullen@elpasotimes.com; 546-6397. Read Pullen My Blog at www.elpasotimes.com/blogs.

make plans --Who: Kiss, with Buckcherry.

--When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

--Where: Don Haskins Center, UTEP.

--How much: $19.50, $39.50, $80 and $130, plus service charge, on sale at the UTEP Ticket Center and through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com and 800-745-3000.

--Information: 747-5234, www.utepspecialevents.com.

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