Wednesday, July 17, 2013

KISS To Take Brandon Stage Ahead Of Winnipeg Concert

Band takes two Manitoba stages amid controversy over morals of rock stars

U.S. rock phenomenon KISS has arrived in Manitoba. The iconic rock stars arrived to play in Brandon on Wednesday and aset to take the stage in Winnipeg on Thursday.

KISS superfan Mike Edgar can’t wait.

“I’m extremely excited. It’s going to be a once in a lifetime thing in Brandon,” he said.

Edgar has been a huge fan since 1975 and owns every album on CD, vinyl and tape. He has everything from guitars to figurines to tattoos dedicated to the band.

“The philosophy I guess is just interesting to live by — rock and roll all night, party every day,” he said.

The group is landing in Manitoba amid controversy over the morals and ethics of rock stars.

Chris Brown announced plans to hold a concert here on Tuesday and was met with immediate and furious opposition from Winnipeggers.

Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting pop star Rihanna in 2009, who was his girlfriend at the time.

No one in KISS has been convicted of a crime, but the group has seen its fair share of controversy over their exploits with women and haven't lost many fans as a result.

“If they’re true fans or they’re fans of the band or artist, they’re probably going to follow them through thick and thin,” said Edgar.

And the City of Winnipeg wasn’t bothered by KISS’ previous and very public dalliances with women. KISS frontman Gene Simmons was awarded the key to the city in 2011.

Stephen Tobin works with Drop Entertainment Group, the company that’s promoting Chris Brown’s concert. He said regardless of artists pasts, consumers can choose for themselves what to see -- and what their limits are.

“If we stopped acts with bad pasts from performing, we wouldn’t see any performances at all,” said Tobin.

Mayor Sam Katz seems to agree with him.

During a city council meeting on Wednesday, Coun. Paula Havixbeck confronted Katz on the Brown concert. He said it wasn’t up to council to ban artists based on their pasts.

“Let’s talk about professional athletes. Let’s talk about everybody. Let’s not just talk about one performer,” said Katz. “The realities are the public has a right to make that decision.”

And later this week, Winnipeggers will get to make that choice with their pocketbooks. Chris Brown concert tickets go on sale on Friday.

See video HERE: