Fireworks

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Kiss Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     June 30, 2017    
 
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Kiss - O2 Arena, London UK) - 31 May 2017

This is the first full UK tour since 2010 with the line-up still consisting of founder members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, alongside Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer in Spaceman and Cat make up respectively. The bombastic opening number 'Deuce' has the band coming down on a platform from above. The make up hides the bands aging years well and it could be 1977 all over again. What is surprising (and encouraging) is the fact that for many of the audience this is their first Kiss show – the older generation now arriving with their offspring in tow.

After 'Shout It Out Loud', they do the UK proud with a respectful moment of silence for the tragic terrorist act that occurred a few days before, resulting in the cancellation of the Manchester tour date.


Kiss Live London 1

Much has been said recently about the state of Paul Stanley's voice. It is true he has lost a lot of his upper register, and he clearly struggles on certain songs like 'Firehouse' and 'I Was Made For Loving You', but for a man staring seventy in the face, he is still an absolute legend, and his moves and his charisma still make him the "Starchild". Simmons may not have the moves, but his voice and demonic character have lost none of its evil charm. During 'God Of Thunder' he is bathed in green light, and spitting blood, as an ominous bell strikes in the back ground, he then rises to the ceiling to the delight of the Kiss Army.

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The set-list these days is quite formulaic, though the inclusion of 'Flaming Youth' and a spirited 'Say Yeah' made this long term Kiss fan very happy.
I have never got used to Thayer doing 'Shock Me' or the guitar solo piece, especially since the song is about former guitarist Ace Frehley. The solo mimics his predecessor a little to close for comfort, but that said, for many they only know Thayer as the Kiss guitarist and have no comparison.


Kiss Live London 2

'Psycho Circus' and 'Black Diamond' give Stanley a chance to swing out to the centre of the arena on to a rising podium where upon he dances and sings to the fans at the back. Notable omissions on this tour is the dropping of anthem 'Love Gun', no drum solo, and a shorter set-list, though no one leaves feeling let down.

Of course 'Crazy Nights' has to be played, as it was a huge hit in the UK. With confetti cannons going off during 'Rock And Roll All Nite', the arena looks like a giant snow-globe. Simmons and Thayer rise over the audience on platforms during finale 'Detroit Rock City' to tower above the smiling faces and hands held high in the air to celebrate the hottest band in the world... Kiss.

Ray Paul


Kiss Live London 3

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