KISS – Live at F1 Grand Prix, Melbourne AUSTRALIA

April 1st, 2008
by Marko Syrjala

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KISS 


Live at F1 Grand Prix, Melbourne

16.03 2008

AUSTRALIA


A large proportion of about 100 000 F1 Grand Prix fans stayed to the see American rock legends in full costumes in action. It was hard to pinpoint exact numbers but it was later announced that more than 10 000 people upgraded their standard F1 tickets for “KISS pole position” passes which gave closer access to the stage. The Melbourne show was the first stop on the bands 35th anniversary ALIVE 35 -world tour and it was definitely a good place to start. Australians have always been big KISS fans and the band still has a huge following there.  What also made this show very special is the fact that this was the bands first outdoor concert in Australia since their very first tour there in 1980.

 

Live review and pictures by Marko Syrjälä

 

The show started about 7:20 PM. A Huge black curtain with a massive KISS logo covered the stage and after the classic “All right Melbourne…” intro the band came on stage. Paul Stanly started to play the famous opening riff of “Deuce”.  Soon the curtain dropped and tons of explosives blew up. The stage was full of white smoke while the whole band headed into the song. The sound was really good and from the start the band seemed to have great energy on stage. In the end of the song theband did their usual ‘moves’ before they jumped on to the next song “Shout it out Loud”. The party was about to begin!

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Many fans have been worried about Paul Stanley’s motivations for KISS after he’s lately been more in headlines because of his painting art and solo activities but after seeing tonight’s performance Paul proved for everybody that he is still one of the greatest front man in business. His voice was still in top shape and physically he’s still capable to move around the stage more than most of us in half of his age. Consummate showman Stanley made a rare stumble, forgetting which album “Let Me Go, Rock ’n Roll” originally came from. First he stated that it was from the first album and the next guess was DRESSED TO KILL while the right answer would have been HOTTER THAN HELL. It was also interesting that Paul himself addressed the fact that this was bands third visit in Australia after their alleged “farewell” tour in 2001. “We’ll be there until you say ‘no more’. We’ll keep going as long as you want us”. There are strong rumors about this tour being the bands last tour ever. Perhaps Paul’s statement means that there will be some more life left in the KISS camp after this tour is over? Only time will tell.

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If people have recently been worried about Paul’s motivations for KISS, they for sure have been worried about Gene Simmons motivations for more than twenty years. There’s always lot of going in Gene’s world; movies, books’ TV –series, clothing lines there’s all kind of business going on all the time and at times it has seemed that KISS is not been too high on his priority list. Fortunately there was no sight of uninspired ‘Demon’ in Melbourne. Gene acted all his classic tricks here. In the end of “Firehouse” he breathed fire. Prior “God of Thunder” he spitted blood during his demonic ‘bass solo’ and then he did ‘fly’ on the stand which was on high of stage. This time there was no technical problems and everything went on very well. All in all, ‘the Demon’ seemed to be in really good spirits and he really enjoyed being on stage.

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It must not be easy to stand in Tommy Thayer’s shoes. Although the guy is doing his very best he’s still getting a lot of negative feedback from the fans for no real reason. For sure it’s not Tommy’s own choice to wear ‘Spaceman’ makeup and copy his predecessor’s playing note to note without having a chance to do something of his own. This is KISS in 2008 and that’s just something that KISS fans should learn to accept. In fact, his playing is much better than the original ‘Spaceman’. The guitar solo parts of ‘100 000 Years’ were phenomenal. What made this show also very special was that Tommy did his singing debut with KISS with ‘Shock Me’. Although he did such a good job there, maybe it wasn’t the best possible choice to do Ace Frehley’s ‘signature song’ in the front of such fanatic KISS audience? In spite of all it can be said that 95% of the audience were happy to hear that song and to be honest, it seemed most of them didn’t even recognized who was standing behind the microphone stand here.

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It’s funny that although Eric Singer is wearing ‘Catman’ costume he’s more accepted to do that than Tommy. Probably it’s because Eric has a long history of working with KISS. He originally joined in 1991 and recorded several albums, including the classic REVENGE in 1992, with KISS before the reunion started in 1996. He was then replaced by original drummer Peter Criss. Eric temporarily replaced Peter at the end of the  ‘Farewell’ tour in 2001. Peter came back for the ALIVE IV –tour but since 2004 Eric has been the drummer of KISS. For sure there are still some fans who still miss the original ‘Catman’ but there’s no denying that Eric is one of the best drummers around and it can also be said that he apparently adds some ‘extra kick’ on old classics. It was also great to hear him doing lead vocals on ‘Black Diamond’.

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The show included all the elements that people expected to see and hear at a KISS concert There was ton’s of pyro, bombs, fireworks, blood spitting, fire breathing, men were flying and the band was playing some of their best known songs. The set list was heavily emphasized towards the 70’s but fortunately the band also did a few 80’s tracks including “I Love It Loud” from the 1982 album CREATURES OF THE NIGHT and crowd pleaser “Lick It Up” which was the only track played from the bands non make up era. It’s somehow strange that, when the band is now doing their 35th anniversary tour, they hardly play any material from their ‘unmasked’ period? After all, that era lasted over 13 years and during that time the band released seven studio albums including many classic songs. It’s also obvious that band is ‘stuck’ on some material from the 70’s. There are some songs which would be easy to replace with other songs from that era. Some more variations on the set list would make it more interesting. It’s been said that the band will play the whole ALIVE album in Europe, that would be great, but hopefully the band remembers their 80’s fans as well?


Indeed KISS are still performing much the same concert like what they’ve done since the reunion in 1996. There are new substitute members and a few extra pounds, but they’re still capable of creating an atmosphere of great and fun rock’n roll!

 

SET LIST

1. Deuce

2. Shout It Out Loud

3. C’mon and Love Me

4. Lick It Up

5. I Love It Loud

6. Calling Dr. Love

7. Shock Me

8. Let Me Go Rock n Roll

9. Firehouse

10. 100,000 Years

11. God Of Thunder

12. Black Diamond

13. Love Gun

14. Detroit Rock City

extra nummer:

15. Shandi

16. I Was Made For Lovin’ You

17. Rock n Roll All Nite

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MORE PICTURES FROM MELBOURNE SHOW !!!

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