Well now, it’s time for two bands I don’t get to discuss much on here: Motley Crue and KISS. I saw KISS ten years ago on what was their “Farewell” tour with the original line-up. As a matter of fact I saw the last show in the United States with the four original members. A nice little life achievement huh? When my dad, who has been a lifelong KISS fan decided that he wanted to go too this show and he wanted me and Whitney to go as well, well I couldn’t say no! So let’s get into the discussion of how it was.
Nobody was really their for the opening band, let’s face it. They weren’t that bad though; as a matter of fact the more songs they played it seemed like the more people got into them. Not bad, an old school rock feel? Nothing to complain about. Hell any young band that comes from the UK that doesn’t sound like Bullet For My Valentine is something worth writing about.
As much as it pains me to say this but after reflecting on it for two days I think that Motley was the better of the two headliner bands. Their carnival/sideshow circus really put the set that KISS brought out to shame and showed much more creativity. Hell, even Vince Neil who is somebody that I have lauded at for years now because of lackluster performance ability was fantastic. His voice, when he wasn’t out of breath and missing words, sounded fantastic and better than it has in years. Of course you have Nikki Sixx that looks like a mis-lead member of Black Veil Brides but he does his thing with the flame-thrower bass and antics with the Crue “dancers” who used the water cannons, flame throwers, and their ‘assets’ to entertain the crowd. Tommy Lee’s drum solo may have been the most impressive thing, playing with numerous dubstep songs, including the Skrillex hit “Bangarang”, the drumming itself wasn’t so impressive as the theatrics. Lee’s drum riser spinning around in a complete circle really stole the show and the crowd loved it. Especially when a member of the audience got to ride on it with him during a lovely cover of “Love Rollercoaster”. It was one of those things in a concert that you couldn’t help but enjoy. Mick Mars is just impressive, he looks like the Grim Reaper on stage as he walks around hunched over but god damn if he doesn’t get up to the mic and sing and take center stage and fucking shred on his solos. Did I mention during his actual solo leading into “Kickstart My Heart” that for somebody that can barely move he gives his guitar absolute hell?
Crue opened their set with, what I guess to them is their auto-biographical song “Saints of Los Angeles” which worked well with their intro. The set contained their new song “Sex” which is about as lackluster on stage as it was when I listened to it for free on their website. But for the most part the set contained their hits: “Shout at the Devil”, “Girls, Girls, Girls”, “Wildside”, “Home Sweet Home” and the closer, my favorite Crue song, and what seemed to be the crowd favorite: “Kickstart My Heart.” Overall a fantastic show, performance, and set-list and pretty much sold me on going to see them again.
Ah KISS, a band that you know what to expect from them. Gene Simmons spit blood during “God of Thunder” and flames during “Firehouse”. Paul Stanley played with the crowd during ”Black Diamond” and flew out onto his mid-crowd platform during “Love Gun”, which was incredible to see. Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer took park in their dual guitar/drum solo during “Shock Me” with Tommy shooting rockets out of his guitar and Eric shooting a rocket out of a bazooka. Pretty standard for a KISS show, I must say. The band entered via a platform that descended from the top of the stage(still awesome) and began with “Detroit Rock City”. Overall it was a good show, the setlist was a standard KISS setlist plus the new song “Hell or Hallelujah” which was pretty damn good live. Much better than Motleys new song. As for their stage show, basic? Yeah it was pretty basic. An LED light staircase basically with a giant TV screen screen behind. The screen was pretty cool, but the stage itself was pretty….lame.
Seeing KISS for the second time really gave me an appreciation for them though. They are sixty years old still walking around in those costumes, doing those stunts, and making the fans happy. You can see that they may not introduce many new things into their stage show but they still go out and give the fans what they want, a damn KISS show. As for the shortened setlist, blame the curfew it seems. Although while looking up the set-list for the show on Setlist.fm a lot of people have commented and said that their start times have been moved up from 7 to 6 or other such scenarios. Perhaps they will begin to play more songs? Maybe Motley will take down their set faster and not be running late to start with?
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