Kiss – Kissworld: The Best of Kiss – Album Review

I know what you are thinking.  Why do we need another Kiss Greatest Hits compilation?  Honestly, we really don’t.  We have tons already and there is nothing new on here that the real fan doesn’t already have.  So Why?  Well, easy.  Kiss is touring their End of the Road tour and they wanted product out there that the casual fan or new fan that they get from all the press can run out and grab.  Simple!

But is this something worth getting?  As a casual fan…No.  Probably not as there are better compilations out there.  As the Hard Core Fan….Well, I did buy it if that tells you anything.  I had to because I didn’t have it in my ever growing collection.  Plus, it is so pretty.  Yes, pretty.  I bought the Special Edition double LP with Yellow/Red Splatter vinyl.

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The packaging is a gatefold with the Group photo on the front and the track listing on the back such as below…

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Continue reading “Kiss – Kissworld: The Best of Kiss – Album Review”

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Kiss in Concert – The First Time to The Last Time

Back in October, Kiss announced their final tour called “End of the Road” World Tour.  The tour would last three years according to them and that is one helluva a long tour.  But it has made me sad for many reasons.  One, all the rockers I grew up idolizing and following are getting old and are not going to be touring for too much longer.  As a result, I need to catch as many shows now as I can before they are all gone.  Two, It means I am getting Old.

But this is Kiss.  One of the very first concerts I ever saw was Kiss. I think it was the 2nd concert I had ever been to see.  This a different sadness.  Thanks to the influence of my big brother, I became a huge fan of the band.  I have seen them only 7 times so far, but next to Def Leppard, that is the most I have seen any band.  I thought I would go through my Kiss journey in form of all the concerts of theirs I have seen.

It all started in 1983. Christmas morning to be exact.  I was turning 15 years old. I think it was a Birthday present and not a Christmas present (as they are the same day).  My older brother, Gary, gave me a ticket to see Kiss for my birthday.  That was a big surprise.  The other surprise was, the show was the very next day on December 26th.

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Kiss was touring in support of their album ‘Lick It Up’.  It was the first time they were performing without makeup.  It was a big deal…well it was to me!!  I never had seen them before so I was just happy to finally see them live in all their glory.

The opening acts were Pat Travers and the band Axe and the show was at the Omni which has since been torn down and became Phillips Arena (which I think just changed it’s name to State Farm Arena or something like that).  The stage was still the Tank stage from the Creatures of the Night Tour and was completely badass to this 15 year old.  It was pretty cool.  The lead guitarist at the time was Vinnie Vincent and Eric Carr was on drums. I am glad I got to see that  line up of the band.  Vinnie was fired after this tour.

Setlist:

  1. Creatures of the Night
  2. Detroit Rock City
  3. Cold Gin
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Firehouse
  6. Guitar Solo (Paul)
  7. Exciter
  8. War Machine
  9. Gimme More
  10. Guitar Solo (Vinnie)
  11. Bass Solo (Gene, duh)
  12. I Love It Loud
  13. I Still Love You
  14. Drum Solo (Eric)
  15. Young & Wasted
  16. Love Gun
  17. Black Diamond
  18. Lick It Up (Encore)
  19. Rock And Roll All Nite (Encore)

That was a damn fine setlist. Songs on here they will never play on their final tour.

On January 9th, 1985, brought me to my 2nd Kiss concert and back at the Omni.  The opening act was Krokus and they were great.  The tour was for the Animalize Tour and the lead guitarist on this one was supposed to be Mark St. John, but he was fired in December.  Bruce Kulick took over duties for the remainder of the tour and for years later. I hate I didn’t get to see Mark. He is the only Kiss guitarist I have not seen live.

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This time I bought a souvenir as I would have had a job.  I bought one of their big ass programs.  I still have the Tour Program from that show and it still had Mark St. John throughout since they didn’t have time to change them up.

The setlist for this show was similar to the last with some minor tweaks.

  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Cold Gin
  3. Creatures of the Night
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Heaven’s On Fire
  6. Guitar Solo
  7. Under the Gun
  8. War Machine
  9. Drum Solo
  10. Young & Wasted (Eric now on vocals)
  11. Bass Solo
  12. I Love it Loud
  13. I Still Love You
  14. Love Gun
  15. Black Diamond
  16. Oh! Susanna (Encore)
  17. Lick It Up (Encore)
  18. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

I started 1985 with a Kiss concert so I had to end it with a Kiss concert.  This one was on December 31, 1985 and where else, but at the Omni.  This show was for the Asylum Tour this time. The opening act for this show was Black n Blue.  Gene had produced their album so no wonder they opened. Same line-up as the earlier show so nothing really new.  I had to get another program…of course.

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This setlist was different in the sense that Rock and Roll All Nite was not the encore.  This encore was a big jam session with a lot of covers

  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Fits Like a Glove
  3. Guitar Solo (Paul)
  4. Uh! All Night
  5. Cold Gin
  6. Under the Gun
  7. Guitar Solo (Bruce)
  8. I Still Love You
  9. Bass Solo
  10. I Love it Loud
  11. Tears Are Falling
  12. Drum Solo
  13. War Machine
  14. Love Gun
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite
  16. La Bamba (Encore)
  17. Whole Lotta Love (Encore)
  18. Heaven’s On Fire (Encore)
  19. Oh! Susanna (Encore)
  20. Won’t Get Fooled Again (Encore)
  21. Lick It Up (Encore)

The 80’s still weren’t done.  Time for another show.  We are now in February 1988.  February 10th to be exact.  They were now touring for the Crazy Nights album.  The show was less pyrotechnics and more of a rock show.  Gene did spit fire though.  The opening act, if I remember correctly, was the one and only Ted Nugent.  For me, this was a dream come true as I hadn’t seen him before and I was a huge “Cat Scratch Fever” fan.  I was not disappointed.  He is a mad man.

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No tour book this time as I had been to so many concerts over the past 12 months and ticket prices were now up to $17.50 up from the $11.50 that cost for my first show.  Since it had been about 3 years since the last show I had seen, had the setlist changed much?  Let’s see

  1. Love Gun
  2. Cold Gin
  3. Bang Bang You
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Crazy Crazy Nights
  6. Shout it out Loud
  7. Guitar Solo
  8. Drum Solo
  9. War Machine
  10. Reason To Live
  11. Heaven’s on Fire
  12. Bass Solo
  13. I Love it Loud
  14. Lick It Up
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite
  16. Detroit Rock City (Encore)

This was a shorter set and a much shorter encore.  They must have been bored or something.  But some cool songs that they don’t play now like Bang Bang You.

Now we jump to the 90’s. The first show for me of this new decade was none other than…KISS!!  It was July 20, 1990 and this time it was at the Coca-Cola Lakewood Amphitheater.  This was a great show.  The opening acts were Danger Danger for sure and the other act was possibly Slaughter. This show got me hooked on Danger Danger so that is why I remember it.  I was already a fan of Slaughter, but Danger Danger was better live. The tour was for the album Hot in the Shade and had a huge Sphinx for the stage setup.  Ticket prices were now over $20 at $24 after fees.

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This one is probably my favorite setlist so far.  They played mostly old songs and some new and just a great mix of songs.  Plus a lot I hadn’t seen live yet.

  1. I Stole Your Love
  2. Deuce
  3. Heaven’t on Fire
  4. Crazy Crazy Nights
  5. Black Diamond
  6. Shout it Out Loud
  7. Strutter
  8. Calling Dr. Love
  9. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
  10. Rise To It
  11. Fits Like a Glove
  12. Hide Your Heart
  13. Lick it Up
  14. God of Thunder
  15. Forever
  16. Cold Gin
  17. Tears are Falling
  18. I Love It Loud
  19. Love Gun
  20. Detroit Rock City
  21. I Want You (Encore)
  22. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

The next time I saw the band was the big Reunion Tour in 1996.  Kiss reunited with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.  The make-up came back on and they did a massive tour.  I am glad to say that on October 1st, I got to see them finally in their make-up. I never thought I would get to see that and I never thought I would get to see Ace & Peter.  My dreams were fulfilled.  The opening act was the Verve Pipe.  Yeah, don’t remember their set at all.  The ticket price was $42 with fees, but I paid nothing  as my sister-in-law worked for the company that built the Omni so we were in their box.

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It was such an amazing show and my favorite so far. I got to see them do what they do best.  Gene looked so much more comfortable back in the make-up and the blood and fire spitting were back in full force.  I remember it was the best Kiss show I had seen because it was them in Make-up.  Ace doing his guitar solo with the smoking guitar and shooting fireworks.  It was what I wanted to see when I was a little kid, but I was too young.  I was in my late 20’s at this point so no longer too young!

The setlist was nothing but classic 70’s Kiss. No 80’s crap here (not really crap, I like the 80’s music too) since Ace & Peter were’t really there in the 80’s.  It was fan’freakin’tastic.

  1. Deuce
  2. King of the Night Time World
  3. Do You Love Me
  4. Calling Dr. Love
  5. Cold Gin
  6. Watchin’ You
  7. Firehouse
  8. I Stole Your Love
  9. Shock Me
  10. Guitar Solo
  11. Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
  12. Shout It Out Loud
  13. Strutter
  14. Bass Solo
  15. God of Thunder
  16. Drum Solo
  17. New York Groove
  18. Love Gun
  19. 100,000 Years
  20. Black Diamond
  21. Detroit Rock City (Encore)
  22. Beth (Encore)
  23. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

Damn!!!

Now, there was a long, long stretch before I saw them again.  In fact, it was 16 years.  The next show I remember was on July 19th, 2014 after we had moved to Charlotte.  It was Kiss’ 40th Anniversary Tour and the opening act was Def Leppard!!  That is right.  The 2 bands I have seen in concert the most were playing together in the same show.  Wow!!

My brother, my sister and her husband drove up to Charlotte to see them with me.  If I am being honest, Def Leppard was absolutely amazing.  Probably the best show I have ever seen them do.  They blew the doors off Kiss that night. Kiss has become a well organized, choreographed Las Vegas show and it felt forced.  It did not have the excitement as did Def Leppard’s.  However, it was still an awesome time and I am so glad my family came up to see it with me.  That meant a lot.  I can’t find a stub, but I have a shirt and some pictures!!

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And what about the setlist?  A little shorter as they are older and it was a double headlining show so both acts put on full sets.

  1. Psycho Circus
  2. Deuce
  3. Shout it Out Loud
  4. War Machine
  5. Hotter than Hell (Gene breathes fire)
  6. I Love it Loud
  7. Lick it Up (with Won’t Get Fooled Again)
  8. Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies to rafters)
  9. God of Thunder
  10. Hide Your Heart
  11. Cold Gin
  12. Love Gun (Paul flies out to audience)
  13. Black Diamond
  14. Detroit Rock City
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite

I thought this would be my last time seeing the band since I was a little disappointed (only a little).  But when Kiss announced their End of the Road Tour, I changed my mind.  I decided to take one more final ride.  This time I am taking my wife and two daughters whether they like it or not.  I want them to see, just one time, the band that has been a part of my life for so long and has meant so much to me.  I took my wife and oldest daughter to see my other favorite band Def Leppard just last year.

We have our tickets.  Four of them.  For August 10th, 2019 at PNC Pavilion here in Charlotte, NC.  It will be a sad and joyous day for me.  But one I am eagerly anticipating.  I know it is a long way away, but I can’t wait.  Once the show is over, I will definitely write about it, but until then I hope you enjoyed this walk back through my Kiss Experiences.  It has been a fun ride.

I haven’t seen them near as many times as those diehard fans, but I have had my fair share.  As my final sign-off for this post…here are the ticket stubs for my first time and what will be my last time!!! Prices have gone up a little.

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