D.C. KISS LOVES YOU

Written by on August 26, 2010 in August 26, 2010, Cover Story, Live Reviews - Comments Off on D.C. KISS LOVES YOU
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KISS5 Minutes before the show is due to start, the stage hands come out to lower the black “KISS” curtain and the crowd got loud, then, they show the jumbotron with the band making their way towards the stage as the crowd goes nuts, speakers boomed “DC, You Want The Best, You Got The Best. The Hottest Band in the World” and then KISS ascends from the “belly of the beast” on a revolving platform that rose above and over Eric Singer and his Drum set and the crowd went absolutely ape shit.

This is exactly the welcome a legendary band like “KISS” deserves and received from the nearly sold out crowd at the Jiffy Lube Live Arena in Bristow, Virginia (www.jiffylubelive.com), on a sweltering Saturday night, August 21, 2010.

They opened the show with “Modern Day Delilah” and a rousing guitar solo from Gene Simmons.  The stage is outfitted with the jumbotron, Red & Green flames and all of the speakers are doubling as video screens.  Paul Stanley addresses the crowd by saying, “DC, let me hear ya!” and the crowd screams in response, “Let me see your hands” and the crowd raises their “horns” and he says, “How Ya’ doing people?”, “How about a little rock and roll party tonight?”, the crowd yells back in response and you can tell the audience was definitely in the mood for a party, the pulse was palpable. People were definitely ready for this show tonight.

Next up was “Cold Gin” sung by Gene Simmons and then Paul asks the crowd “How we doin’ so far?”, “We’re just gettin’ started but I wanna check your pulse.”, he “divides” the crowd and asks each side for a response to check to see who’s was the loudest, of course it ended up being the side I was on.

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After “Cold Gin”, was “Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll” with Tommy Thayer pounding out 2 awesome solos during this one song, and “Firehouse”, to which the jumbotron showed live video of all four members surrounded by flames and the smaller screens all showing flames with lights and sirens blazing and Gene Simmons spouting flames from a flaming sword, followed by “Say Yeah” with some pyro explosions and sparks flying upwards.

This was when Paul Stanley told the audience, “It’s time to go back to the old testament of KISS” which they rolled into  “Deuce”, “Crazy, Crazy Nights”, “Calling Dr. Love”, and “Shock Me” which was sung by Tommy Thayer and included a guitar solo by both he and Gene Simmons.  Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley exited the stage and took a much needed break while Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer entertained the already frenzied crowd by playing a freaking awesome guitar solo and showing off his skills by playing it behind his head for a minute, then, stringing it up and letting it fly to the ceiling and then Tommy left the stage and left Eric Singer to pound the crowd into oblivion for a few more minutes with a drum solo so loud you could have heard it at the nation’s capital some 20 miles away.   Thayer returns and both he and Singer rose up from the stage floor on risers that looked like they were UFO’s with the smoke shooting out from underneath them.

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons rejoined their fellow members on stage and Paul announced the next song which was “I’m an Animal” was off of the album “Sonic Boom”, which is available exclusively at Wal-Mart and mentioned he had to get the plug in.  Paul Stanley showed some of his awesome guitar skills to the crowd by playing it behind his leg during “100,000 Years” and Paul just loves showing how much he loves to interact with all the members of the KISS Army while he is on stage.

KISS“The Demon” took the stage next with his trademark axe guitar, took center stage and was lit by green lights and purple glowing smoke.  The spotlight shone down on him 3 times then the blood flowed from his mouth.  The lights changed to red and the crowd was chanting “Gene, Gene, Gene”.  Seconds later he flew up to the rafters and the crowd again chanted “Gene, Gene, Gene” and he plays with the crowd by acting like he was hocking a loogey and getting ready to let it fly, but he didn’t thankfully because I would have been in the line of fire if he had.  He then begins to play “I Love It Loud” and the audience belts it out with him.  Next was “Love Gun” followed by Paul Stanley having the stage to himself with his guitar and played a great rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, the band rejoined him on stage with Paul, Gene, and Tommy front and center they played “Black Diamond”.  Paul asked the crowd to sing and when he does, he compared them to the previous night’s audience in New Jersey which the audience responded with a resounding “Boo”.  So they repeated the chorus with the crowd singing and he said “now that’s better”.

Paul asks the crowd “DC have you had a good time?” to which the crowd responds “Hell Yeah” and he says “There’s more than one Rock City and you proved that tonight”, well you know what was next and that was “Detroit Rock City” that included another great guitar solo by Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer’s drums rising from the riser he was on.

Paul Stanley says good-bye with “Good Night DC, we love you” and the jumbotron begins to show fan pictures from other concerts with the huge KISS sign flashing.  Moments later all 4 members of the band come front stage and are waving to the crowd and Paul Stanley asks “You don’t want to go home yet do you?” to which the crowd answers back “Hell No”, he says “A lot of bands like to play 1 song, come back, play two songs, we’re gonna play the longest encore you’ve ever heard”.  I didn’t know what was coming up next but I was glad to hear the beginning notes of a song I hadn’t heard in a very long time and that was “Beth” and it was sang by Eric Singer.  During this song, the audience of course sang along and when I looked back at the crowd, it was so funny to see cell phones lit up and waving back and forth instead of lighters.  Good thing is instead of burning your fingers from trying to keep the lighter lit (ahh memories) you just had to keep pushing a button to keep the light on the phone lit up.

The jumbotron showed the United States Flag waving in the breeze with Paul’s face faded in the background and the band took a minute to talk about a more serious issue by talking about our “Brave Men and Women in our Armed Forces” and how they are the “Modern Day Heroes of the 21st century” and how “If the government doesn’t take care of them the way they should, we will”.  Paul explained how they have been raising money for the Wounded Warriors Care Project and then presented 2 United States Marines with a check for $217,528 which was signed on stage by Tommy Thayer and Paul told the audience “DC, we can send a message overseas” and led them into the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance and said “God save America, God save our Troops, this is the greatest country on earth”.  My only response to EVERYTHING he said was “Amen Brother”.

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The encore then continued with “Lick It Up” and the video screens/speakers showing pictures of all their past album covers and Paul asking the audience “Let me see your hands, we’re not done yet” and played “Shout it Out Loud” with the audience pumping their hands and singing loudly along with them.   Paul asks the audience, “DC, you’re not too tired are ya” and they answer him with a loud “Hell No”, he tells them “You People are the Best” and that he “Wants to come out and see ya’ but I would never come if I wasn’t invited.  So, I’m gonna count to three and you say “Paul” and we’ll see.”  So when the crowd finished saying his name he said “I’m coming out there” and jumped on his ring and flew to the middle of the audience to a revolving platform and they played “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” to which during the song he flew back to the main stage to join his band mates and informed the audience “You know, a KISS show is a little bit of church and a little bit of circus” and they played the next to last song which was “God Gave Rock & Roll To You” and the video screens were lit up with the faces of other rock legends such as The Beatles, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and many others as well as footage from past KISS concerts.  Paul received a “phone call” and said the caller wanted us to “Rock & Roll All Night” the arena exploded with applause, screams, singing, and finally a hurricane of confetti, so much the seats which people seemed to have never sat in all night and even the entire arena floor was covered, it looked like a January snow storm had come through.  When the song was over, Gene and Tommy once again rose above the stage floor and Paul smashes his guitar and then asks the crowd “Did you have a good time?”, “ DC, we love you”, and “Good Night” and the words “KISS LOVES YOU BRISTOW” flashing on the jumbotron.

We had the honor of seeing their tour last year and although some elements were very similar, as far as I am concerned you could never, ever get tired of seeing KISS in concert.  They have and still carry on the tradition of giving the audience a treat for the ears in their timeless music as well as a treat for the eyes in the set and their stage presence and performance.  I along with 99.9 percent of the audience was on their feet the entire time, singing at the top of your lungs, pounding your fists in the air, yelling back to the band members.  Their music spans the generations, my mom had the Destroyer album (this was on vinyl) and I discovered it before I was even a teenager, I had cassettes of their albums along with vinyl copies, and now, the next generation is buying them on CD’s and MP3’s and watching the videos on YouTube instead of MTV (when they used to show music videos).  I watched a father in the audience showing his son who couldn’t have been more than 11 years old how to do the devil horns with his hands and raise them in the air.  You know you got something special when you can say that that’s indicative of the music your band makes.  It will be a very, very sad day in music history when we will no longer be able to see them live but until then, I will continue to be in the audience as long as I possibly can.  I commented to my husband after we left the concert, that you used to know you had spent the night at an unbelievably good concert when you left with either A, ringing ears, or, B, you were losing your voice, or C, both.  I didn’t lose my voice but my ears rang well into the next morning so I know I couldn’t forget that I rocked out the night before.

I would like to thank the member of KISS first of all for the music that we all know and will forever love, secondly for their generosity to and support of our troops and for their donation to the Wounded Warrior Care Project.  I would also like to thank KISS Management for allowing me the opportunity again this year to attend the show and present this review to the readers of All Access Magazine.

Review by: Melissa Gibson
Photography by: Stephen Gibson Photography