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LIVE: KISS – Perth, 3 Oct, 2015

| 6 October 2015 | Reply

LIVE: KISS – Perth, 3 Oct, 2015
KISS with The Dead Daisies
Perth Arena, Western Australia
Saturday, 3 October, 2015
Reviewed by Shane & Tia Pinnegar
Photography by Maree King

I could write another review of KISS’s latest visit to Perth – I’ve written a few before. I could tell you that despite Paul Stanley’s voice being a bit croaky (Shandi was a misfire that should have been dropped or handled differently), and a set list which is getting a bit tired, the band delivered a gloriously exciting show that had the 90% full Arena singing and stomping their feet from start to finish.

I could – but that’s what everyone else will tell you, and this time round I had the distinct pleasure of taking my eight-year-old daughter Tia to see the band for the very first time. Here’s how she saw the show.

Bouncing out of her seat all day long, Tia was excitedly looking forward to seeing the band she’d been listening to since birth… “I can’t wait to see KISS!!!” she repeated ad infinitum all day long. We finally agreed to her request to paint her face like The Catman, and she was ready to rock.

When the time came, and we took our seats in the Arena, The Dead Daisies were just starting up, and she watched & listened attentively, soaking up the super professional hard rocking vibes like a sponge. “They’re really good, Daddy,” she said a couple of times. Good music resonates in the young and the old, the trick is ensuring their ears and minds are open to it. Despite the absence of Richard Fortus – out due to a motorcycle accident at the eleventh hour, replaced by Baby Animal’s Dave Leslie – and David Lowy – covered by Rose Tattoo’s Randall Waller – their mix of originals (Lock n’ Load, Mexico, Devil Out Of Time) and covers (SAHB’s Midnight Moses, Willie Dixon’s Evil, Billy Joe Royal’s Hush, The Beatles’ Helter Skelter) were led in fine style by the charismatic Marco Mendoza on bass, and singer John Corabi, possessing a fine voice and plenty of wise cracks.

Sure, she enjoyed the support act, but Tia kept her eyes on the prize, asking a couple of times, “how long until KISS start?”… she didn’t have long to wait before a huge curtain went up, the lights went dark, and she nudged us, “Look – the Spider is moving behind the curtain!”

When the curtain did drop, peals of explosions and the mighty opening salvos of Detroit Rock City ringing around the huge room, Tia’s face summed it all up: ecstatic, this was everything she had imagined it would be. The Spider – the huge many-legged lighting rig straddling the stage – lowered the three mobile band members (Stanley, Gene Simmons and Tommy Thayer) as they played on the back of it’s ‘body’, while drummer Eric Singer pounded away behind them in the centre of a barrage of flame bursts.

“You can feel the heat from the fire even back here, Daddy,” Tia squealed excitedly, pointing this way and that as pyro and sparks and smoke exploded all across the stage, or fascinated at this member or that’s exaggerated, cartoonish antics as they played their parts to the hilt.

Creatures Of The Night, I Love It Loud, Do You Love Me, Calling Dr Love and Lick It Up all provided (hopefully not in their original context) singalongs for her, while an instrumental segue through the latter into The Who’s We Won’t Get Fooled Again thrilled those of us old enough to recognise it. To her credit she did as well!

Gene’s fire breathing and blood spitting routines thrilled and spooked the youngster as much as it must have done when he first did it in 1975, and when he ‘flew’ three or four stories high onto the Spider to look down upon the crowd and sing God Of Thunder she totally bought into the spectacle, as hundreds of thousands of kids before her have.

Paul played Shandi solo before climbing aboard a mobile wire for his own ‘flight’ to a smaller stage midway in the Arena, delivering a rousing Love Gun to the excitement of those in the cheaper seats.

Confetti guns sprayed the crowd to the chagrin of the cleaners, while the triple-whammy encore of Shout It Out Loud, I Was Made For Lovin’ You and Rock n’ Roll All Night got everyone up, and in many cases (including Tia) singing and dancing, while yet more pyro went up in flame on stage.

Watching Tia’s reaction to KISS live – and seeing the show through her eyes – reinforced everything we love about rock n’ roll, but might have become a bit jaded about over the years. Yeah their songs are simplistic at times, and lyrically not exactly profound, but they tap into the core of why we all fell in love with rock n’ roll to begin with: they are fun, exciting, and BIGGER THAN LIFE.

Couple that to a stage show which is part circus, part cartoon-come-to-life, and part battleground, and you have an event which is far more than the sum of it’s parts: a magical extravaganza which can instantly tap into the child inside us all, no matter of our age, transporting us for an hour and a half to another world.

Set List:
Detroit Rock City
Psycho Circus
Creatures Of The Night
I Love It Loud
War Machine
Do You Love Me
Hell Or Hallelujah
Calling Dr Love
Lick It Up
God Of Thunder
Cold Gin
Love Gun
Black Diamond

Shout It Out Loud
I Was Made For Lovin’ You
Rock n’ Roll All Night

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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