KISS-Adelaide-TEO Magazine
“You wanted the best! You got the best! The hottest band in the world…KISS!” – Paul Stanley

35 years after they first set foot on our shores, rock gods KISS returned to perform once more for the people of Adelaide. Tuesday night saw diehard fans lining up outside the Entertainment Centre’s doors and extending a full block in both directions. Despite ages ranging from under 10s to over 50s, face paint, KISS shirts and extravagant costumes were a uniting factor. The crowd buzzed with anticipation and practiced their Gene Simmons face until the doors swung open and they streamed in.

Along for the wild ride were The Dead Daisies whose lineup consisted of John Corabi (Motley Crue/RATT), Richard Fortus (Guns N’ Roses/The Psychedelic Furs), Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses/Hookers and Blow), David Lowy (Red Phoenix/Mink), Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy/White Snake) and Brian Tichey (Ozzy Osbourne/Billy Idol). Unfortunately, a motorbike accident kept guitarist Richard Fortus from performing, so Dave Leslie (Baby Animals) stepped in to lend his guitar. With such a stellar collection of seasoned musicians, they definitely knew more than a thing or two about stage presence, and their performance showed everyone the classic rock stars that they are.

THE DEAD DAISIES-TEO MAGAZINE

Bassist Mendoza strutted back and forth and played with such confidence it was contagious; paired with Corabi’s gravelly voice the crowd’s temperature surely rose a few degrees. “Are you ready to sing?” Corabi shouted, “Maybe you didn’t understand my broken American-English – are you ready to sing?” The hype was there and Tichey’s drum skills were certainly showed off when he tossed his drum sticks into the air numerous times, and caught them every time without fail. They played crowd favourites including ‘Midnight Moses’and ‘Angel in Your Eyes’ and even threw in a song they co-wrote with Jimmy Barnes called ‘Empty Heart’. The Dead Daisies ended their set with high energy song, ‘Helter Skelter’, and left the audience craving more under dimming lights.

The AEC grew more crowded in the wait for KISS to come on, and speculations were made on what was going on behind the black curtain surrounding the stage. Beats of ‘Detroit Rock City’ blasted as the curtain dropped, revealing Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Tommy Thayer standing on a spider shaped metal framework towards the roof. There were fireworks, there was fire and there were a lot of screaming people. The Spider Stage descended slowly to meet drummer Eric Singer on the ground and it quickly became clear that this wasn’t just a concert, it was a full blown theatrical performance. And damn, they delivered.

KISS-Adelaide-TEO Magazine

KISS-Adelaide-TEO Magazine

Each member had their moment in the spotlight. Gene Simmons (The Demon) was hoisted up to the Spider while playing ‘War Machine’ and spat blood, then still rocking out, he was floated down where he brought a sword onto stage with a flaming hilt, and breathed fire. Tommy Thayer (The Spaceman) shredded a massive solo with that pouty black lipstick and, shockingly, shot fireworks from his guitar. Eric Singer (The Catman) was levitated on a stage with blue dappled lighting for a ridiculously good drum solo that ended with fireworks, and Paul Stanley (The Starchild) flew across the crowd on a swing to a stage at the back of the crowd and sang ‘Love Gun’ to everyone in the stands.

KISS-Adelaide Entertainment Centre-Gene Simmons-TEO Magazine

They played classics from all eras including ‘Creatures of the Night’, ‘Calling Dr. Love’ and ‘I Love it Loud’, but all too soon it was over. The stage blacked out and the crowd was left hanging. But not for too long, fans were then treated to a four song encore: a partial rendition of ‘Shandi’ sung only by Stanley, ‘Shout It Out Loud’, ‘I Was Made for Loving You ’and ‘Rock and Roll All Nite. Hands were clenched in the rock symbol and voices grew hoarse as the crowd belted out the lyrics along with KISS. It was an encore to remember as cannons exploded confetti, fire jetted from just about everywhere and fireworks were timed to the drum beats.

KISS-Adelaide Entertainment Centre-Gene Simmons-TEO Magazine

KISS-Adelaide Entertainment Centre-Gene Simmons-Paul Stanley-TEO Magazine

KISS sure know how to put on a show, and fans sure know how to appreciate one that goes for an hour and 45 minutes with some synchronised guitar dance moves. It seems that the members of KISS aren’t over the hill yet, they’re not even half way if their energy and musical performance is anything to go by. And as they say, there’s only one nation, and it’s KISS Nation.

KISS-Adelaide Entertainment Centre-TEO Magazine

Words: Ebony Story
Photos: Supplied