Monday, March 11, 2013

Crue Crude, But KISS Not Sloppy

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Etihad Stadium, March 5

Old dude in scary make up dribbling blood? Cool. Old dude in scary make up dribbling dribble? The horror, the horror.

Demonic bass player's unsightly rivers of sweat and spittle aside, '70s spandex metal monsters Kiss had several advantages over their '80s successors Motley Crue, not least face-paint and girth-flattering superhero costumes.

Gene Simmons' grimace and arthritic lumber were Frankenstein-esque as ever in plastic armour and dragontooth boots. Pouting, prancing frontman Paul Stanley had a very wide sparkly belt and lace-up man-bra to keep focus on his firmly packed butt.

The Crue were a slovenly mess by comparison. Cluttered stage, sloppy sound, pointless bondage stunts with bosomy bikini blondes and oh yeah, dreadful songs, from Wildside and Girls Girls Girls to "a new song about sex and it's called — Sex! Who likes sex out there?" singer Vince Neil wanted to know. Oh dear.

Kiss's sound was impressive and their stunts slick; the blood spitting, fire breathing, rocket launching and hydraulic platform pieces as cleanly executed as Tommy Thayer's precision guitar work. Stanley's flying-fox spin to the back of the hall during Love Gun was thematically mystifying but positively balletic in execution.

The safety net the Crue can only dream of under Tommy Lee's ridiculous rollercoaster drumkit, however, was Kiss's song list. With Detroit Rock City, Shout It Out Loud and Rock and Roll All Nite stuffed down their tights and a brave smattering of newer material equally tautly served, they managed to honour the rock'n'roll soldiers in their daft circus act.