O2 Academy, Islington LONDON
MARCH 2 2010
REVIEW BY MARKO SYRJÄLÄ
KISS treated their fans and VIP/media –people with very special one off club show in London Islinghton’s O2 Academy. This was a historical show in many ways, or should we say “Kisstorical”, because this was their smallest gig in 22 years. It was back in 1988 when KISS last time played such a club show in Marquee Club in London in front of just few hundred people. The purpose of this show was to help promote bands upcoming SONIC BOOM OVER EUROPE –tour.
The place was packed, of course, and there were people from all around the world. There were fans from Brazil, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Finland just to mention a few nationalities that were represented. Unlike other KISS shows, there wasn’t any kind of merchandise available. That must have been because of the fact that this show was booked just one week earlier… The total capacity of this club is something like 700 altogether but when you split that number in two, there are two separate floors, which means that there was less than 400 people in each floor. The stage setup was otherwise fairly scaled down but there was still a huge KISS logo behind Eric Singer’s drum kit. There was no support band at all, which was fine. Instead of support band the DJ played many 70/80’s classics. It must be mentioned that for some strange reason he decided to play AC/DC’s “Back in Black” from start to finish at least three times during the evening.
The show was originally slated to begin at 07:30 PM but it was about 09:15 PM when the band finally took the stage by storm with “Modern Day Delilah”. Right from the beginning it was obvious that the band was clearly enjoying playing in such an intimate setting but the crowd seemed to be a little confused at first. Maybe it was partly because of this strange situation, people were still in shock, and partially because the band started with a new album track instead of “Deuce” or “Detroit” Rock City”? Things went soon back to normal when band next headed into classic “Cold Gin”. The whole floorage started to boil when people jumped and literally went crazy during the song. If people had some “hotter than hell time” in the audience it seemed that it was more than hot enough in stage as well. Especially Gene looked absolutely dead tired at times but he was still able to do a good, solid performance. Another classic “Let Me Go Rock’n Roll” was played next before it was Paul Stanley’s turn to have a longish speech about the bands forth coming tour and SONIC BOOM album. Another new track “Say Yeah” got such a good response and the band did an absolutely great version of that song. The backing vocals by Eric were especially impressive. It was good to hear Gene’s signature song “Calling Dr.Love” next. That song hasn’t been in the set list in Europe since the 1999 PSYCHO CIRCUS tour.
More familiar classics followed: “Got to Choose”, the epic “I Love It Loud” and “100 000 Years”. Then the band had a little break and Paul again advertised the upcoming tour before hitting his alltime personal KISS favorite song “Love Gun”. It has to be mentioned that although Paul’s voice isn’t the same as it once used to be. He really sounded good there like he did on the whole evening. Next it was Eric’s turn to sing lead vocals on “Black Diamond” and then “Rock and Roll All Nite” closed the main set. Tons of confetti was used during the song and for a brief moment everybody for sure did forget that this really was just a club show. Unfortunately there was some drama in the air there when the Co2 canisters used to blast confetti made breathing nearly impossible. Both the band and fans upstairs and in front of the stage were having difficulty breathing from the concentration of Co2 in the air. Fortunately nobody got hurt and after a short break the band returned to the stage and played a thunderous version of “Detroit Rock City”.
This was a great showcase for the upcoming tour. There wasn’t any surprise in the set list but the band was in excellent form both physically and musically. Besides the confetti used during “Rock and Roll all Night”, the band used no additional special effects. There was no blood splitting, no breathing of fire, no pyro’s or explosives but this show was still great proof of how great a band KISS currently is. Although such effects are amazing, this evening did prove that it’s not always necessary to have all those elements to have a great show.
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