KISS Rocked n’ Rolled all night at Perth Arena, Saturday 3rd October to kick off their 40th Anniversary tour. A night of hard-rock extravaganza, electrifying guitar riffs and of course their renowned theatrical stage show, KISS put on a performance that reminded you just why we fell in love with rock n’ roll in the first place.
To be honest, it’s all you can really ask for in a typical rock concert. Sure the sound and band quality are both essential, but it’s those moments – the screeching guitar licks, high-power energy, blood-pumping riffs and extreme sex appeal that make you really feel like you’re at a rock concert. Good, honest rock music. And 41 years on, KISS definitely still have it.
First up though were The Dead Daisies, a musical collective with a rotating line up of some of the world’s best rock musicians. Their support slot for KISS included the likes of artists from Rose Tattoo, Baby Animals, Guns N’ Roses, Ozzy Osborne and Thin Lizzy, just to name a few.
Promoting their new album Revolución, lead singer John Corabi (Motley Crüe) welcomed the crowd with humorous introductions to songs and an awesome love affair with his tambourine. Firing through their set, we heard a rockin’ track written by Jimmy Barnes which included raunchy guitar licks that got the audience buzzing with excitement. There were a few great rock-song singalong’s including a fantastic cover of Paul McCartney’s Helter Skelter and the band’s 2013 debut single Lock n’ Load, which originally featured Slash – pity he didn’t make a live appearance on the night though!
The Dead Daisies were a really cool opening act. Complete with powerful vocals and bluesy rock melodies, their sound certainly had the crowd curiously wanting more. With a stand-out drummer (Brian Tichy) who kept us entertained with drum stick spins between hits and a bass player (Marco Mendoza) who donated a good hundred guitar picks to the audience, they even offered to do free meet and greets at their merch stand after the set – nice one boys.
Kicking off their world tour with Perth (“the little gem no one can get too”, according to Paul Stanley), KISS exploded on stage with Detroit Rock City to a sea of painted faces and screaming fans. Dressing in their signature outfits and backed by a fire-spewing rig production known as ‘The Spider’, KISS are a band that hardly needs an introduction – their rock glamour, spandex craze and infectious energy speaks for themselves. And boy, did they live up to their name.
Front man Paul Stanley’s energy is massive. As a band, it actually just consumes you and sparks that rock n’ roll switch in the pit of your stomach. They’re not afraid to work the crowd – and they know exactly how to go about it, warning Perth they were only just getting started.
The crowd favourites were all performed from Creatures of the Night to I Love It Loud and War Machine, where bass player Gene Simmons had his fire-spitting demon character going on. Sliding his famous tongue up and down the bass as flames escaped it, Simmons worked his magic in the most spectacular way. Whilst his vocals weren’t as solid as they used to be, his guitar and tongue action were spot on.
Bringing out a few Monster album classics, Hell and Hallelujah got the crowd roaring and the timeless Dr. Love was a definite favourite. Guitarist Tommy Thayer seduced you with his finger-lickin’ solos (that also shot fireworks) and drummer Eric Singer spent more time in the air than he did on stage, thanks to the insanely awesome mechanics of ‘The Spider’. The liveliness of this four-piece was ridiculous, especially when you’re talking about blokes aged 60+. It was more than just a ‘rock concert’, it was a mind-blowing circus!
Paul was talkative through the entire set which added a sense of intimacy to the performance. Edging the crowd on, he pointed out to all those that were “sitting down like you’re old”, asking them to stand up if they believe in rock n’ roll. And to absolutely no surprise at all, the entire Perth Arena stood up and cheered. Long live rock n’ roll baby!
It was the perfect way to lapse into Lick It Up which was paired nicely with The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again bridge. As the band got lifted up by the giant metal spider to play closer to the roof of the stadium, you knew shit was about to get real. And it did. Launching into his epic bass solos, Gene turned all devilish again and went from spitting fire balls to fake blood oozing down his face whilst he took over the stage for his own music moment. Theatrical rock n’ roll at its finest.
The tone was slowed down by Paul’s acoustic version of Shandi and the band were back into it with a song off their first album, Cold Gin. And just when you think things couldn’t possibly get any crazier, Paul flew out into the crowd like MacGyver for Love Gun and played on a mini podium in the heart of the crowd.
Finishing up with Black Diamond, it didn’t take the band long to come back on stage for a string of encores including I Was Made for Lovin’ You and Rock and Roll All Nite, before they finished up with God Gave Rock n’ Roll to You II where Paul succeeded in breaking his guitar. I suppose it aint’ rock n’ roll until shit gets broken right!?
But despite being at a rock concert, it was surprising just how tame the crowd was. It wasn’t just for the rockers’ ready to get their mosh on; the amount of families that were enjoying themselves with young kids dressed up in classic KISS outfits made you realise the impact these guys have really made. It was an explosive rock concert that was child and family friendly all at once. And the dedication from fans was there too, with many travelling from all over Australia just to be at their opening show.
KISS are one of those bands that ultimately draws you in. A bucket list act that should be on everyone’s must-see-before-you-die list. You didn’t even have to be a massive fan to go and appreciate the glam rock that comes with them and the work that goes into their performances though, despite how eerie their intricately choreographed moves can be at times. KISS have an ability to mix state-of-the-art production with retro-roots and raw rock music that truly puts them in a league of their own.
“Perth, the little gem that no one can get too. And that’s the way it should, because Perth is so awesome. You’re all, so awesome! Stay the way you are!” – Paul Stanley
KISS Australian Tour 2015 (Perth Arena) | Set List
Detroit Rock City
Creatures of the Night
I Love It Loud
Do You Love Me
Hell or Hallelujah
Guitar and Drum Solos
Calling Dr. Love
Lick It Up
God of Thunder
Shout It Out Loud
I Was Made for Lovin’ You
Rock and Roll All Nite
God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll To You II