The next in the Kiss Bootleg Series is a show from March 19th in 1975 on the Dressed to Kill Tour. The show was at the Roxy Theatre in Northampton, Pennsylvania and is actually opening night of the Tour.
As usual, we will start with the packaging and what this bootleg has to offer. First, it is a double LP, however, they skimped and there is no Gatefold to be had. It is actually a pretty flimsy album jacket and I don’t think it will hold up over time. The back cover is another live shot of the band but you can’t see anyone’s face. Not the best choice for a picture.
The album came with a couple surprises. The first being a collection of Kiss photographs from an L.A. photoshoot at the Playboy Club Rooftop on January 16th, 1974. The photos came in a nice little mailer as seen below…
There 5 pictures of various different poses from that photoshoot and they are great quality and really nicely done.
And there is still more as the album also came with a full size poster all folded up nice and neat. It looks like a photo from the above shoot as well…
And the last thing is the 2LPs themselves. They are colored vinyl that seems to be in the red spectrum, just a duller version of red. They are translucent and actually quite nice. I love the fake Casablanca Record labels as that is a nice touch.
Now it is time to talk about the sound of the bootleg. It doesn’t sound like an audience recording as there isn’t much crowd noise, but it doesn’t sound like a soundboard recording either as it isn’t always very loud or even very good. The volume goes up and down throughout the show. It is muffled at times, but if you turn it up loud enough you can hear the vocals fairly well, but musically it is a little lackluster is it isn’t always clear. Headphones help.
The show opens up with “Deuce” and it is really poor quality. It sounds like they are in another building recording through the wall as they are trying to get the balances right. I don’t hear any much crowd interference so not sure how they are recording it, but it isn’t starting out very good. After the song when Paul comes on to talk, it is much better and they go in to “Strutter” and the sound goes down again. I have found that you have to have the volume up really loud to enjoy it. They rattle through “Got to Choose”, “Hotter Than Hell” and “Firehouse”, all classics, but dulled by the dampened sound quality. So far, not too good. The siren on “Firehouse” though sounded great!!!
Side 2’s volume was much better as they tuned up for “She” which was from ‘Dressed to Kill’ which wasn’t coming out for another week when the show was played which means no one really knew this song yet. This is one of only 2 songs played from Dressed to Kill on this show and the other is not “Rock & Roll All Nite”. After blasting through this, Ace kicks it up with his solo which is sensational as usual at this time in the band’s career. These two have been the highlights so far. Then the band kicks it up a notch with “Nothing to Lose” with Gene and Peter sharing vocal duties. Peter sounded really great and goes all out with the chorus. Then they go into “Parasite” which is one of my favorites to hear, but the sound went back to a little lackluster. It lost the punch of the last 3 tracks. Still great to hear it though.
Gene’s menacing bass starts off Side 3 when they go in to “100,000 Years” which is way uptempo and way too fast for my liking. I like it slowed down a little more. Sound is still a little muffled, however, I can always enjoy this song. Peter lays down some great drumming in a brief solo and you know he was really great at one time. And then Paul goes in to a way too long discussion with the crowd and the balancing gets messed up from ear to the other which is why I felt it went on too long jumping from ear to the other.
The guitar opening of “Black Diamond” was actually really loud and clear and so were Paul’s vocals, but when the song kicked in and went to Peter’s vocals, quality dropped off big time. Very distracting and disappointing. Peter was screaming his lungs out and Ace was laying down some great riffs and some big explosions to end the set, but not loud enough. Then for the encore, we finally get in to the 2nd and last song from Dressed to Kill, “C’mon and Love Me”. The sound went flat and got even worse with even some vinyl popping included. Ughh!
The final two encore songs were up next “Let Me Go Rock and Roll” and “Cold Gin”. The sound started out all in my right ear before eventually moving over to finally be mixed in both. The fans clapped and stomped their feet a long while before Kiss came back out a 2nd time. “Let Me Go Rock And Roll” started up and the sound immediately dulled and Gene’s vocals were quiet. More of the same with this set. And of course, as you would expect “Cold Gin” was the same way. Paul’s spill about alcohol sounded loud and crisp and when Gene took over on vocals and the song kicked in, surprisingly the sound didn’t drop much so we were able to go out with a decent track. It sounded like the band was on fire that night, but we couldn’t hear it. This recording didn’t capture any magic. Avoid this set if you can.
Out of the ones I have gotten from Paris, this was my least favorite and least enjoyable of the bunch. The sound was muffled, soft and the balance was wrong at times. Side Two had some of the best sound and was my favorite piece of the set. There were some nice moments throughout, but the sound quality really killed it for me. It is still a nice packaging and it is another tour checked off the list, but I am only going to give it a 2.0 out 5.0 Stars. It is a great set list, no doubt, but I can’t get past the sound quality.
Check out the rest of the series if you have time!! Thanks for stopping by!!
- Kiss – ‘Accept No Imitations’ (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (ASYLUM TOUR)
- Kiss – Look Wot You Dun to Me (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (CRAZY NIGHTS TOUR)
- Kiss – The Summer of Satan: The Devils Ride Out! (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DESTROYER TOUR)
- Kiss – Return to Capital Center (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (DYNASTY TOUR)
- Kiss – With Fire & Thunder (Bootleg Series) – Album Review (HOTTER THAN HELL TOUR)
- Kiss – Northhampton PA March 19th, 1975 (Bootleg Series) Album Review (DRESSED TO KILL TOUR)