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KISS
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
*Click images below to view larger versions.
KISS
KISS
KISS
KISS
Gene Simmons
KISS
KISS
Gene Simmons
KISS
KISS
Paul Stanley
KISS
KISS
Paul Stanley
KISS
KISS
Tommy Thayer
KISS
KISS
Tommy Thayer
KISS
The Wachovia Center
Philadelphia, Pa. • October 12, 2009
 
        A KISS concert cannot be considered just a show ... it’s more like an event. Fans have waited a long time to see their idols and on this night, KISS did not disappoint their fans. From explosions, fireworks, blood and flying, it was a no holds barred KISS concert. Waiting for the show to start, a huge curtain with the KISS logo covered the stage and an announcer’s voice said, "You wanted the best, You got the best ... The hottest band in the world .... KISS!”  As the curtain dropped, bombs and explosions rocked the arena walls, and the members of KISS, Paul Stanley on guitars, Gene Simmons on bass, Tommy Thayer on guitars, stood in front of Eric Singers’ drum riser that had hundreds of light bulbs flashing the KISS logo all night long. This was a massive stage, with an entire row of speakers going all the way across the ground level. Above them were three layers of what I would call TV screens that showed the members of KISS performing as well as album covers, colors, etc. There were two massive "KISS ARMY" banners that hung on both sides of the stage and in between them there was this colossal video screen that showed the band’s every movement with the highest "HD" quality and size you have ever seen, with an enormous lighting rig over top of the stage.
        They opened the show with "Deuce," and "Strutter." Then Paul says hello to the crowd and launches into "Let Me Go Rock And Roll."  Next they play "Hotter Than Hell" as the screen appropriately shows flames blazing everywhere and pyrotechnics exploding on both sides of the stage. At the end of the song, Gene takes center stage with his torch and you know what’s coming ... yes, the ‘spitting of the fire’ which he does so dramatically. Then "Got To Choose" led into a scorching version of "Modern Day Delilah" from their just released album "Sonic Boom."  Before launching into their next song, Paul says to the crowd, “So this is ‘Flyers’ country?” To which he receives a standing ovation and raucous applause. Then he says, "well, your Phillie's just won,” referring to the baseball team just winning the opening round against the Colorado Rockies. Then they played a lost classic, "She," where halfway through the song Tommy Thayer performed his famous solo on a smoke-filled stage. He ended this solo by shooting ‘flames’ out of his guitar at the  light riggings on both sides of the stage creating an awesome lighting explosion effect.
        The classics continued with "Parasite" which hasn’t been played live in a long time, and Paul then stated the next song was the classic of classics, "100,000 Years." Half way through this one gives Eric Singer his drum solo spot, getting the crowd participation to hand clap as he pounds the skins. He and his drum kit was lifted into the air for a solo that stretched beyond the 10 minute mark. For Gene's bass solo, he is swiftly lifted up to a platform on top of the light rig, high above the audience where he starts out by spewing blood out of his mouth before rocking out to "I Love It Loud," with the crowd singing word for word. After "Black Diamond," Paul says, “if you came here to save the whales, you’re in the wrong place. If you came here to decide which war to start and which war to stop, you came to the wrong place. But if you’re here for only one reason, an escape from our day to day worries and to Rock and Roll then you gotta "Rock And Roll All Nite" and party every day.” Huge cannons in the front of the stage and at the back of the arena shot out confetti that flew through the entire arena and the band exited the stage.
        After about a five-minute break, they returned to the stage to bow to the audience and throw guitar picks and drum sticks out to the crowd. Paul lets the crowd know that they will not be coming on and off the stage for encores but will have the “longest encore in the history of music.” They opened their encore with "Shout It Out Loud," "Lick It Up," "Cold Gin" and the highlight of the encore, "Love Gun." Aided by this huge hook on a cable, Paul flew over the audience to a small circular stage at the back of the venue where the crowd was awaiting his arrival and he danced around the stage sending the crowd into a frenzy. He flew back to the main stage and the band ended the night with "Detroit Rock
City," with a 4th of July style of fireworks, explosions and pyrotechnics that left fans in awe of another memorable KISS experience. The dedication and effort put into the show by Paul, Gene, Tommy & Eric proved to everyone why they have lasted for 35 years. And I know the same audience (and future recruits) will be there when they come back for their 40th, 45th and 50th. Thank you, Gentlemen, for a ROCKING EVENING!!!
Gary Crouthamel,concert photojournalist
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