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Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 12, 2019    
 
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Kiss - Arena Birmingham, Birmingham (UK) - 09 July 2019

Whether you like them or not, Kiss are a musical phenomenon. If you haven't heard them, you will have seen them. If you haven't seen them, you will have heard them, somewhere. People who are not into Rock music have heard of Kiss. And having worn the same make-up for thirty-five of their fourty-five touring years, they are saying that this is the last time we will see them. Hmm! Bearing in mind these guys never miss a trick (they even tried to copyright the phrase "End Of The Road" so that no other band could use it), I have to wonder. But one thing is certain, they are total professionals at what they do, and tonight was no exception.


Kiss Tommy Thayer Live 2019

This was the first leg of the UK dates, and with no support, it seemed strange that the "first band" was on at 21:00, as they were lowered from the rafters (on platforms that also doubled as video screens and parts of the lighting rig) with 'Detroit Rock City' to a maelstrom of flashes and explosions. The hall appeared sold out as they went through a musical history of Kiss, which incorporated Eric Singer's drum solo and elevating drum kit ('100,000 Years'), Gene Simmons' fire-breathing ('War Machine'), Tommy Thayer's rocket firing guitar ('Cold Gin') and Paul Stanley's "I wanna come out and see you" stint in the middle of the floor ('Love Gun' and 'I Was Made For Loving You').


Kiss Gene Simmons Live 2019

We even got a bit of The Who, with a snippet of 'Won't Get Fooled Again' during 'Lick It Up', and I'm sure I heard a bar of 'All Right Now' (Free) followed by 'Rock Bottom' (UFO), too. The two octagonal platforms at either end saw Thayer and Simmons rise into the air on a number of occasions, and after the bass solo and blood spit, part of the lighting rig/screens turned into a centre stage platform for Simmons to be raised around eighty to one hundred foot in the air for 'God Of Thunder' with his infamous "Axe" bass. Seeing his face projected around ten times on all the smaller screens was quite something, but one thing which always makes me chuckle is when parts of Simmons' bass solo always reminds me of a notable solo of Nigel Tufnell's.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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During the evening, the explosions, of which there were many, were so loud that I think people of a nervous disposition would probably need spare underwear (It was particularly amusing to see the young lady next to me almost jump out of her skin numerous times before she realised that certain things generally happened before the bangs, then, on one occasion when she was prepared for the explosion, there wasn't one until she took her hands down from over her ears when it went bang again. Hilarious!).


Kiss Eric Singer Live 2019

Eventually, after many explosions, the band left the stage, after which drummer Eric Singer rose from below the stage seated at a grand piano, where he performed 'Beth', highlighting the fact that he does possess a very good voice and good piano skills. This was followed by Kiss' anthem 'Crazy Nights' before both Simmons and Thayer were raised on gantries on either side of the hall, which flew both guys in an arc over the front quarter of the audience throughout 'Rock And Roll All Night'. Then the stage sort of blew up with all kinds of sparks, colours, smoke and (obviously) more explosions before they said their farewells to the backing of 'God Gave Rock And Roll To You' over the PA, which I thought would have been a good song to actually play as their parting number, but there you go.


Kiss Paul Stanley Live 2019

So, that was it for possibly the last time. How true that is, only they know (possibly), and time will tell. As with all seventies era bands, they are all knocking on now and it obviously gets harder, but this tour is being extended as it goes on, and the third page of the programme says "The end of the road...but is it?" If it is, for almost two hours it was quite a spectacular way to say goodbye.

Review and photographs by Andy Brailsford

Set List:- Detroit Rock City, Shout It Out Loud, Deuce, Say Yeah, Heaven's On Fire, War Machine, I Love It Loud, Lick It Up, Calling Dr. Love, 100,000 Years, Cold Gin, God of Thunder, Psycho Circus, Let Me Go Rock'n'' Roll, Love Gun, I Was Made for Loving You, Black Diamond,
Encore: Beth, Crazy Crazy Nights, Rock And Roll All Nite, God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You.

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