Brisbane Entertainment Centre, QLD
October 13th, 2015
Supported by The Dead Daisies
Alright, time to officially kick things off by saying years ago when I was a wee little kid, my Mother used to pull out her vinyl records and the one band that always comes to mind that I remember jumping around the room like a troubled toddler busting to go to the toilet, was KISS (mainly their song Love Gun), but still the image of these four rock stars with awesome face paint was forever lodged in my brain for years to come and 24 years later I finally got the opportunity to cross these legends off my band bucket list at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
The evening started off relatively slow, walking through the mass Kiss Army, most of whom were sporting their face paint too (which made me feel like I was totally missing out on the fun that was about to be had), but the thing that gave me hope for the future was the amount of younger generational kids who were looking just as impressive as their parents and fellow army members. This is what there needs to be more of, parents taking their kids to REAL rock music shows.
The Dead Daises opened the evening which at first glance gave the vibe of a Dad Band of blokes rocking out on stage to a barely filled arena. The John Corab (Mötley Crüe) fronted band was lacking original guitarist Richard Fortus who was involved in an accident before venturing to Australia, but filling in for him was Australia’s very own Dave Leslie (Baby Animals) who joined the likes of Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol) on drums, Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses) fingering away at the keyboards, Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake) slammin’ the bass well and good not to forget Damon Johnson also shredding on guitar too. By the end of the show the crowd seemed almost ready for the onslaught that was about to be bestowed upon them… but first a toilet break!
As we returned to our seats in time the lights started to dim and we were exposed to the Led Zeppelin backing track “Good Times, Bad Times” as Kiss made their way to the stage and took their places behind the big black curtain stretched across the stage. The screams grew wilder as the anticipation started to kick in, then (as expected) the bellowing voice screamed “BRISBANE, YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST. THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD… KISS!” before the curtains dropped, the lights went nuts, flames filled the air with additionally unnecessary (but welcomed) heat and Kiss slowly descended from the roof on top of their infamous spider stage and immediately kicked off the night with crowd favourite “Detroit Rock City“. You wouldn’t believe these rockers were in their late 50’s and 60’s as they had no trouble at all getting us all amped up for the next couple of hours. Next up Gene Simmons took control of the band with “Deuce“, his groany voice didn’t seem to bother the elderly lady in front of me who instantly lost her shit when the axeman proceeded to stick his tongue out of his mouth and shake it wildly to the cameras. “Psycho Circus” and “Creatures of the Night” followed shortly after with more explosions and fire than a Taliban BBQ, before the guys got into “I Love It Loud” which set the entire arena off in what seemed to be a collective Kiss Army sing-a-long. At this point it felt like the flames from the stage were starting to singe my eyebrows, but I didn’t care because Paul Stanley looked directly at me and acknowledged my devil horns waving frantically to get his attention… well that’s what I keep telling myself.
The flames continued with “War Machine” which we finally got to see Gene’s infamous fire spit towards the end of the track, proving once again he really is the satanic member of the group. The nostalgia of the show was brought with “Do You Love Me” as the big screen on stage was flooded with memories and crowd shots from the very early years, only to be modernised with the visuals of Brisbane’s current crowd, featuring audience members who’s parents definitely would have conceived them to this band. Even though it was Kiss’s 40th Anniversary World Tour, they still found time to play “Hell or Hallelujah” a “future classic” from their 2012 album “Monster” before Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer‘s joint guitar and drum solo took over the show. Proving once again these guys love their pyrotechnics Tommy‘s guitar starts shooting out fireworks, an action I have never seen any band perform to this date. While it wasn’t as cool as former member Ace Freehley‘s smoking guitar (which I caught on his solo tour earlier this year) it still deserves to be mentioned.
Next, Gene Simmons’ vocals seem to take a turn for the cooler as he transforms into a somewhat angry grandfather for his rendition of the classic track “Calling Doctor Love” then Paul Stanley (for about the 50th time) calls out to the crowd “Hey Brisbane!” before getting us off our fat arses to join the band and rock out to “Lick It Up“. As the spider stage came down, Kiss once again returned to the roof of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre on top of this incredible stage addition. Now this is where the night got extremely entertaining, Gene Simmon‘s bass solo was a purely terrifying moment of rock and roll as we witnessed blood gushing from his mouth, which looked far less attractive than a dolmio grin, then The Demon himself flies up to the roof and lands on the spider stage, stands upon it gazing at the crowd with the most evillest of glances as he then proceeds to kick off “God of Thunder“. Following his moment in the spotlight, he’s back on the stage and we see a funner side of Gene when he jokingly tries to lick Tommy‘s face as they’re both mid-guitar battling during “Cold Gin” and with a tongue of his size it didn’t take much effort to end up lashing his guitarist brother’s face as Thayer cheekily tried to not get distracted by the lashing.
Back to Paul Stanley now who asked the crowd in the mosh if they’d like him to come out and play with them, much to their approval “Love Gun” starts up as Paul flies across the crowd to a spinning platform located towards the back of the room where he continues to play the song effortlessly while his band mates are forgotten and out of sight. Hanging back there on his own, he then rotates and performs “Black Diamond” before he returns for an awe inspiring guitar solo in the light of the big disco ball hung in the middle of the room. By this point the audience have pulled out their mobile phone torches (and about 3 people still used their lighters like the good-old days) as he partially performed “Shandi” on his own to mellow out the mood.
Well that feeling didn’t last long as next minute we were straight into “Shout It Out Loud” which at this point flooded the Entertainment Center full of screams and mobile phone recorded videos, but the party didn’t end there as instantaneously we were right into “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” which set the bar a little higher than the previous song. That was until the final closing song of the night “Rock & Roll All Night” took control of our emotions and we were blinded by the seemingly endless explosion of confetti. I’m serious, this shit didn’t stop shooting out for the entirety of the song which made it hard to actually see the band doing anything on stage. It was at this moment I realised, it’s not about watching what they’re doing but listening to how these older gentlemen have come so far and seamlessly still stayed at the top of their game in their elderly years.
In closing I have witnessed a lot of bands over the years including new, old, current & former and I have to say the stage show and presence of the older acts are far superior than the newer bands which are doing the rounds right now. Kiss would have to be by far the most entertaining band I have ever laid eyes on and I am glad to have finally witnessed what my parents have all those years ago. Do yourself a favour and don’t be discouraged by an older band because of their age, witness the true professionalism and craft they have come to perfect during their time. You won’t be disappointed.
Detroit Rock City
Creatures of the Night
I Love It Loud
Do You Love Me
Hell or Hallelujah
Guitar and Drum Solos
Calling Dr. Love
Lick It Up
God of Thunder
Shandi (Partial, only Paul)
Shout It Out Loud
I Was Made for Lovin’ You
Rock and Roll All Nite
Until next time, rock the fuck out