KISS return with the same summer blockbuster

A review of KISS at the Comcast Center on August 7, 2010

, Managing Editor

KISS are like going to see a comedian with jokes you’ve already heard. You know what’s going to happen but you can’t help but laugh because it’s still funny. With KISS, one knows what to expect (explosions, fire breathing, fake blood, etc.) and that’s exactly what keeps fans coming back, because in this case it surely couldn’t be the setlist.

To KISS’s testament, the opening of their show was a display of just how much fans enjoy the mere sight of the band, not to mention the music. The band kicked off the show with “Modern Day Delilah” off their latest album, 2009’s Sonic Boom, and didn’t play a hit until the sixth song of the night with “Deuce”. However, they still kept fans entertained as bassist Gene Simmons used his infamous tongue to lick guitarist Tommy Thayer’s neck during “Cold Gin”, guitarist and vocalist Paul Stanley split the audience for a cheer-off before “Let Me Go, Rock N’ Roll”, and some gold ol’ fashioned fire breathing finished off “Firehouse”.

The hits did come, but unfortunately there were some duds to go along. “Crazy, Crazy Night” wasn’t that crazy at all and “100,000 Years” featured such a drawn-out interlude that it felt as long as it’s title. Still, these didn’t compare to the least rock n’ roll moment of the night, as Stanley introduced “I’m An Animal” by saying “This one’s off Sonic Boom…available at Walmart!”. Of course, KISS have always been salesmen but there was still something unnerving hearing that.

Still, when the hits did come they came with a force. “Love Gun” featured a grand fireworks ending. Eric Singer’s drums were hoisted in the air on a lift during “Detroit Rock City”, keeping him out of harms way as blasts of fire and explosions shot off continuously to close the main set.

The encore began with a bit of a trade off. Singer did Peter Criss’s “Beth”, a song they used to omit in respect for the former drummer, which didn’t sit well with some fans. However, KISS followed it with an announcement of the band’s involvement with the Wounded Warrior Care Project as Stanley spoke on the troops behalf and then led the audience through the “Pledge of Allegiance”. Only in America can a guy in face paint lead thousands of people through something so patriotic and then follow it up with a song called “Lick It Up”. God Bless America.

It was clear that KISS were saving most of their magic for the encore. They packed all their biggest hits in (“Shout It Out Loud”, ”I Was Made For Lovin’ You”, “God Gave Rock N’ Roll To You II”) and of course closed the show with “Rock N’ Roll All Nite”. The encore boasted everything a fan could ask for, and surely made it worth sitting through the less rousing numbers. Forget comedians, KISS are more like the Harlem Globetrotters of Rock; things may be a little ambiguous at the start but you know they’re always going to triumph in the end.

Perhaps trying to bridge the gap to younger fans, KISS appointed The Academy Is… as openers. Despite their best efforts, it seemed the experiment didn’t exactly work as the band drew a modest number of spectators.

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