Photography by Paul Medved and Roger Lauzon
Though the road to reaching the 'rock & roll dream' is daunting to say the least, one wonders what is left to accomplish once the dream becomes a reality. Is the catch then sweeter than the chase? Certainly for some, contentment could be found in the acquisition of a second or third stylish roadster or possibly some well sought after Malibu beachfront property. However, for the true artist, resting on laurels is not part of the agenda.
The machine that is KISS has been unyielding since their maiden assault on New York City in the early 1970's. Through member changes, respective side ventures and reunion tours leading into pseudo-farewell tours, the band has continued to connect with fans worldwide for over 38 years. Though some left turns may have felt right at the time, the notable team of Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons seemed to have now refocused their attention and commitment to delivering the show that they themselves have always wanted to see.
Aptly penned the “Hottest Show On Earth” tour, KISS brought their bombastic stage to the Colosseum inside Caesars Windsor once again to a sold-out crowd. Words cannot truly describe the event as the performance must be experienced to be fully understood and appreciated. The creativity in design as well as the preparation and execution of a show of this magnitude, undeniably deserves the ranking stated in this tour’s declaration.
Originators Simmons and Stanley, joined by Tommy Thayer (lead guitar) and Eric Singer (drums) continue the legacy of KISS. Though garnished in face paint and costume, they show no signs of weathering from their highly demanding tours. From the opener “Modern Day Delilah” to the finale “Rock & Roll All Night” the 70s glam-rockers delivered an astounding show despite the rather small soft-seater arena. Having played to much larger audiences, Stanley’s tongue-in-cheek comment that ‘size didn’t matter that night’ reassured fans that they were there to give it all.
With most of the set-list flaunting anthems from their earliest albums, songs such as “Deuce”, “Firehouse”, “Black Diamond” and “Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll” returned fans to the band’s roots. However, more commercially recognizable hits “Love Gun”, “Shout It Out Loud” and “Detroit Rock City” had even the most modest of supporters rising to their feet. Truly, there was no need for chairs that evening. Supporting this was the banter-filled Stanley who exclaimed, “If you can stand - then you should stand”.
Amongst their unrivalled stage antics of smoke bombs, fireworks, fire-breathing, rising platforms and smashing guitars, KISS’s music is fundamentally about celebrating life. Definitely non-political, they wanted all to be present in the moment that evening. With fists shaking and a relentless crowd demanding for more, each hard-earned dollar spent on tickets was returned through one more eye-catching and ear-ringing experience.
Any rumors that KISS will call it a ‘rock ‘n’ roll night’ after the completion of this tour will surely be smothered, as the band’s next highly anticipated studio album is due for release in early 2012. With a tour sure to support their new music, our local KISS Army will no doubt be called upon to witness the next event in the band’s KISSTORY.