I never saw KISS back in the day. A classmate in high school was literally a FANATIC when it came to the legendary band, owning every record (vinyl, baby) and seeing every show he could.
Fast forward more than 20 years later--and 35 years after their debut album hit record stores--and I took in my first KISS concert.
And I took my 10-year-old son with me.
How's that for the generations bonding together?
What a show it was. ARCO Arena in Sacramento (where the Kings play, as well as everything from Ice Capades to the Circus) was packed with KISS fans young and old.
There were kids as young as 4 (that I saw, anyway) and fans who looked to be senior citizens. And then there was me...rocking out to the painted faces and high heeled boots and fiery explosions from the stage.
I have to admit--Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley & company sure know how to entertain.
It was good old fashioned rock and roll. Bubble gum and silly at times? Absolutely. But what a performance.
If I didn't know any better, I could have sworn I had found a tear in the space-time continuum and made it back in time to the 1970s and 80s. I heard some fans saying they were just as good today as they were back in the glory years.
Better late than never to see Paul Stanley glide over the audience to a platform in the middle of the arena. Or Gene Simmons getting pulled into the rafters for an amazing guitar solo from high above.
And yes, Simmons even gurgled fake blood like the good old days.
I hate to admit it. But it was pretty amazing to hear "Detroit Rock City" and "Rock 'n' Roll All Night" and "Cold Gin" live and in person. It made me remember just how solid their hits were, many of them right from their first album in 1974.
Maybe it wasn't the COMPLETE original lineup. But it was pretty darned cool.
It was refreshing after the vulgar performance by Nickelback recently to hear these veteran rockers bring the house down without ever shouting the F-word or insulting the audience or praising drugs.
Paul Stanley was gracious as usual and showed that the band really does appreciate the KISS ARMY of fans who have supported them (and made them zillions) over the years. That was nice to see.
Their encore was more impressive than most other groups can show for the entire performance.
I even bought a t-shirt.
Nah. Just a chance to finally see what all the chatter was about.
And there wasn't a disappointed fan in the bunch.