Yeah, yeah, yeah....I saw KISS. Twice.
This is the point in my blog posts when I typically try and absolve myself for seeing a shitty performer, because -in my mind, at least - they had not by that point in time embarrassed themselves to the point that they currently have within the context of pop culture relevancy, artistry, human decency, or whatever.
I'm going to spare everyone of that charade this time around, because - despite the fact that this was the great big original-members-back-in-the-makeup tour that everyone was excited about - everybody also knows that KISS by this time had embarrassed themselves and their goofy legacy a thousand times over - be it via the "Dynasty" album, Gene Simmons' terrible solo record, the "Music From the Elder" experiment, that disaster with Vinnie Vincent, or the lyrics to "Let's Put the X in Sex" or "Spit" (...We really could go on with this game all night, couldn't we? I hadn't even mentioned "Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park" yet....).
Short form - KISS had killed any cred they had a long time before they put the makeup back on. Any way you slice it, there would be some explaining to do for seeing ANY KISS SHOW basically after, say, 1977.
My love/hate thing with KISS is nearly endless. It seemed so wrong to see them on that lame-ass tour when I was in college, and I wanted to try and tap into the KISS aura I'd been vaguely aware of since second grade -- that awesome bored-suburban-teenager-with-a-bag-of-weak-weed thing that had both frightened and fascinated my young self.
I DID want to see them in make up!
I DID want to see a set of nothing but songs from the first five albums!
I DID want to see Ace Frehley!
Dammit, there's no denying that I wanted to see this show. And there's no denying that as much as anything associated with the marketing of KISS makes me feel ill today, I totally enjoyed every second of this stupid band's concert.
Yes, I fucking did.
I went to this with a few co-workers....this guy Jeff and his then-wife, Joanna; and my buddy Brian.
The opening band was pretty terrible and we skipped it so that Jeff could have a smoke and some nachos (classy).
Aside from the opener, I can't take much of anything away from the show itself. It had all the trimmings - fire breathing, vomiting blood, Gene flying around like a fat, Jewish Sandy Duncan during "God of Thunder", the over-the-top drum riser, the burning guitar with the bottle rockets. The set-closer of "Black Diamond", complete with the 182 howitzer-style explosion chords.
It was absolutely everything that I ever wanted out of seeing KISS live.
I don't need to tell you what KISS is all about today. It's all about the cash. It's all about fleecing the fans. It's all about terrible reality TV shows and merchandise so ridiculous that it's not charming anymore. I truly hate them and their "brand."
And that's sad. Because I've backed into saying this six ways to Sunday, but the fact is that if Gene hadn't put so much effort into being a dislikable dickbag for the past ten years, I TOTALLY would have considered seeing this tour one more time....even today.
Cuz I love it loud...........