Monday, August 19, 2013

The KISS Army Invades Amway Center | Jim Carchidi

As a kid, KISS kinda scared me. At an age when I was just learning about the world through the harsh realities of the grade school playground, seeing the Destroyer album cover was enough to steer me away from heavy metal for a couple of years. It wasn’t until I was able to listen to Detroit Rock City all the way through that I was able to understand – these guys weren’t just a bunch of nightmare clowns in ridiculous boots, they were a band.

As I got older, the nightmare clown thing became more appealing. How could it not? But what really blew my mind was the way these guys infiltrated every aspect of pop culture. Not only did they have their likenesses on everything from T-shirts and toys to coloring books, they actually printed a comic where the red ink was mixed with the band members' blood. And it kept growing. From Gene Simmons’ TV show to a cruise with the band to a coffin. Yes, a coffin.

It figures KISS would be a part of ArenaBowl weekend. The indoor football league's party atmosphere combined with the "rock ’n’ roll all night and party every day" band would make for a big weekend. Church Street venues like Harry Buffalo and Paradise Island Cafe had their share of KISS fans in face paint and T-shirts making their way through the door. Oddly enough, it didn't seem like there were many ArenaBowl fans at the show. In fact, none of the people I met were planning on going to the game. Granted, I didn't talk to everyone there. I even met one guy who wasn't a KISS fan. He just figured a KISS concert was something everyone had to see at least once in their life.

Hey, if a band can inspire loyalty from people who don't even like them, I'm shocked KISS isn't invited to be a part of every major event.

Their lineup has changed over the years, but KISS continues to inspire fan loyalty. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has never heard of them. And honestly, if you can take KISS with you to the grave, there’s never going to be a generation that’s never heard of them.

See photos HERE: