Gene Simmons obviously has not been dethroned as the king of whoring himself out for cash yet. So I hung around outside for a while, seeing as the doors had yet to open, and noticed that about half of the audience waiting around were wearing makeup. Not your basic eyeliner, but full on KISS makeup, some going as far as wearing the exact costumes of the band. It was something you couldn't help but feel good about in a situation like this, that people can take a night off, dress up, and have fun. And the other great thing was that almost all of these middle aged KISS Army members brought all their kids to see a real rock show, something that doesn't really happen much anymore. So the doors open, and I check my cheap seat i bought, and notice I'm up there quite a ways.
3 rows from the back to be exact. but that's why the call them cheap seats! There's gotta be a catch. So I hang out, people watching, and the lights dim for the opening act Buckcherry, with a surprisingly large audience for and opening band. They play through all of their songs with great energy, though the vocalist could use a little less rasp and a lot more melody, but I guess this is what they're good for. I didn't know any of there songs except for the huge hit "Crazy Bitch" (which my band played at a high school function back in the day, needless to say we almost got expelled before graduation.)
So Buckcherry finishes a pretty good opening set, and I go out to walk around, get a drink and ran into an old friend from back home which was very nice. We talked a little while, and got back in the arena just in time to see the lights dim for KISS.
So everything is dark, and the band has a clever Google Earth thing up on the screens, which zooms into the top of the Target Center, leading to a video of the band "getting onstage" (obviously not exactly live, but the thought was nice) So the big curtain is still up, the band hits a huge rockin note, and the massive light show is revealed. It becomes very apparent that KISS obviously haven't floundered in this recession...
As you'll notice, I was able to walk around to various entrances into the arena, and able to snap some much better pics and get a greater glimpse of the band, a nifty little trick for those with the ultimately shoddy camera phone.
The band proceeded to play through all of the classic tunes you know, and some newer ones, which could still hold up as pretty rocking tunes in most cases. But what really impressed me was the fact that Paul Stanley could connect so well with the audience (who were more than willing to please their Gods.) When Stanley said anything, it evoked a reaction from the crowd, which is something that has been really getting lost at most rock shows, people just don't want to interact anymore. The other thing that really impressed me, was that every song brought something new to the table, some new lighting scheme, or some insanely massive stunt. Such as Gene Simmons' fire breathing, blood spewing flying into the rafters antics, or Tommy Thayers guitar solo, which involved shooting fireballs from his guitar, setting off explosives in the lighting rig, and making dummy lights fall from the ceiling. On one of the final songs, Love Gun, Paul Stanley got onto a little rod it looked like, and flew out into the audience, to a small stage right next to the sound booth, something that made you feel even closer to a band that is giving you their all.
Overall I would have to say this was probably one of the most impressive concerts I've seen production wise (definitely up there with Britney Spears) but the bands attitude and willingness to please the audience, and the audiences willingness to interact cemented it in a definite top 3 position in my favorite concerts of all time.