KISS Sonic Boom Tour 2010
Manchester MEN Arena – Monday 10th May 2010
I was really looking forward to this show and although I have seen KISS a few times over the years, I do not consider myself a die-hard fan.
As the lights went down the two large video screens showed Planet Earth. The picture then zoomed in similar to Google Earth coming all the way down to the MEN Arena. Then the sound of giant footsteps and Godzilla size KISS characters walking to the stadium. The cameras then switched to the dressing room and out step the four protagonists – larger than life which is an ideal way of describing KISS.
The curtain then dropped to reveal Eric Singer thumping away on the drums, sat above the giant illuminated KISS logo. The rest of the band then entered the stage together, on a gantry; first behind the drum kit, then over the top of the drum kit, before being planted firmly on the massive stage front. Opening track is the opener of the latest album Sonic Boom: Modern Day Delilah. It is obvious from the start that the near capacity crowd (there are a few empty seats and closed off sections) are really up for it.
The sound was full and loud – no backing tapes or musicians under the stage as Paul Stanley was keen to point out.
The first KISS classic -aren’t they all- Cold Gin had Gene Simmons taking lead vocals for the first time. Those who know me know that Gene is not one of my favourite vocalists but on the live stage he brings a whole new dynamic to the songs. Firehouse continued and saw even more pyrotechnics culminating in Gene Simmons fire-breathing!
Deuce was just pure power and my favourite Gene vocal track and one of many taken from KISS’ eponymous 1974 album.
Crazy, Crazy Nights is popular this side of the pond and went down a storm this evening.
Calling Dr. Love is another regular song from set-lists over the years.
Shock Me might have upset a few of the KISS purists, it being Ace Frehley’s signature tune, however, Tommy Thayer paid great tribute to the Spaceman with a sterling rendition. Tommy and Eric’s solos were pure theatre: Tommy’s guitar firing rockets and Tommy producing a bazooka to return the fire – only KISS!
Probably the weakest song of the evening and arguably the weakest of the new album was I’m An Animal.
I Love It Loud is a plodding heavy metal track, however, it takes on a new lease of life when Gene Simmons is singing it from the top of the lighting rig with blood dripping from his mouth!
Paul Stanley does enjoy his audience chats in between songs and it would be a tad tiresome if it was not for his great charisma.
Paul sang the opening verse and chorus to Love Gun which the 10,000 plus audience duly joined in. He then stopped to start the song again with the full band. For me, this is where the band kicked into overdrive and really brought it home. The crowd went crazy during Detroit Rock City and Lick It Up really kicked ass especially with a few bars of the Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again in the mid-section.
Paul flew across the crowd to sing the classic and my personal favourite I Was Made For Loving You.
“If you’ve come To Save The Planet then you’ve come to the wrong show,” announced Paul, however, if you wanted the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll show then Manchester was the place to be this evening.
KISS were determined to leave everyone hoarse through singing with Shout It Out Loud, God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll To You and set closer Rock ‘n Roll All Nite with cannons blowing ticker-tape throughout the whole arena.
I like many still don’t have a problem with rock ‘n’ rolling all night but work does get in the way of parting every day...
This was great show even if Paul does not move around like he once used to – do any of us?
Everyone in the crowd from the KISS Army to first-timers went home happy knowing that after 36 years KISS still put on one hell of a rock ‘n’ roll show. We wanted the hottest band in the world; we certainly got them tonite!