Thursday, July 29, 2010

KISS-Alive 35 at the United Center, Chicago

Post #102
[This is a concert review from the show on 11-6-2009 at the United Center, Chicago, IL] Living Legends of rock n' roll, and my long-time favorite band, KISS are back on the road in support of their come-back album Sonic Boom. Last fall I made it to one of their shows. They had taken a few years off recently, so it was a nice opportunity to see this band that I had thought were retired.

Granted this is not the original line-up for KISS, despite the deceiving use of the original make-up designs. Eric Singer (who had been in KISS from '92-'96) is the drummer behind the 'Cat-Man' make-up, while Tommy Thayer (who had been a collaborating musician for the band, off and on, since the late 80's) is now the full-time guitarist as the 'Space-Man' (note I didn't say 'Space Ace'). Regardless, this is a very talented line-up, and they proved more than capable of putting on a phenomenal vintage-style KISS show!

For this show I brought a friend along, who I had just introduced to the music of KISS a couple months before. This friend was a fan of several similar-sounding bands from the 70's and 80's, like AC/DC & Guns N' Roses, so it was somewhat easy to convince him to come along.

Not to be overlooked, the opening band was Buckcherry. Often compared to Guns N' Roses and other late-80's glam-bands, Buckcherry had gotten the show off & rolling with a great attitude of straight forward, hard-edged rock n' roll. They included several of their well-known hits, like 'Lit Up', and 'Crazy Bitch', but also included a great cover of Deep Purple's 'Highway Star'. Though we were a little late and didn't catch the beginning of their set, what I heard was enough to sway me further into their fandom. Shortly after the tour, Buckcherry also released their first live CD, Live & Loud, which closely mirrored the set they played on this night.

However, the best was yet to come, as the crowd now sat in eager anticipation of KISS...

Eventually the familiar intro boomed out to the audience, "All right Chicago! You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world, KISS!!!" The curtain fell as the band kicked off the set with 'Deuce'. The show continued from there, with song selection heavily favoring their 70's material. Understandably so, given this was a tour honoring the 35th Anniversary of the album KISS: ALIVE! They didn't play the entire track list from ALIVE!
That would have been very cool, but also taken up almost all of their set-time. Enough of their early classics were included that you could tell they were focusing on delivering a performance true to that classic, first live album of theirs.

They did include a few songs from the 80's and one, 'Modern Day Delilah', from their new album Sonic Boom. After Gene's bass solo, during which he spat blood & 'flew' up to the rafters on his demon's wings, the band played 'I Love It Loud'. Each member took a solo at some point during the show. Eric Singer's drum-solo was played while the drum kit was lifted and spun around. Tommy Thayer shot several fireworks off the neck of his guitar during his guitar solo, and Paul Stanley played a few extended riffs as part of a solo, before soaring out to a central platform among the crowd along a gondola cable, where he then performed another song up close with a part of the audience who previously had a poorer view of the show.
Top notch pyrotechnics we employed during the encore, and tons of confetti was spewed across the crowd during 'Rock & Roll All Nite'. All-in-all a great KISS show. As good as any of the other times I'd seen them (I may review those shows later on as well). As a long-time fan, I'm glad they are touring again. Hopefully, if they continue touring, they'll plan a tour that would include a better-rounded set-list. I feel they have too many good albums that are always under-represented in their choice of set-lists. Time will tell.
Last but not least, one of the coolest features of this concert was the fact that you could buy THAT NIGHT'S PERFORMANCE, on CD or mp3, immediately after the show! I took advantage of this opportunity and got a copy. Amazing how far technology has come! Sure enough, I had the first half of the concert in my hand when I left the show, the other half was sent to me in the mail after redeeming an online voucher.
From this night of rock & roll music from Buckcherry & KISS here's a rough list of the songs:
-Tired of You
-Next 2 You
-Out of Line
-Broken Glass
-Lit Up
-Rescue Me
-Highway Star
-Crazy Bitch

-Let Me Go, Rock N' Roll
-Hotter Than Hell
-Shock Me
-Calling Dr. Love
-Modern Day Delilah
-Cold Gin
-100,000 Years
-I Love It Loud
-Black Diamond
-Rock And Roll All Nite
Shout It Out Loud
Lick It Up
Love Gun (w/ part of 'Stairway To Heaven' as an intro)
Detroit Rock City

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