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Dehaven, Devin (Director)
Kiss Rocks Vegas (Film)
Released: 2016, Eaglerock
I wanted to open this review with the immortal line, ‘You Wanted The Best… but I think that has been done 100 times so I’ll just say I recently a chance to see the best on the big silver screen.
KISS ROCKS VEGAS, the concert film debuted in theaters across North America on Wednesday, May 25th and I had the pleasure of attending. The attendance in the theater was average, more than the recent screenings of DEATHGASM, METALHEADS and the Wacken documentary but less than your average blockbuster film.
The film starts abruptly, with little or no fanfare (and no credits!) with a 10 minute documentary consisting of interviews with each member of Kiss inter-spliced with footage from the film. It was nice to see Eric singer and Tommy Thayer included equally. Each member talked about the excitement and challenges of the bands nine-day residency in Las Vegas at The Hard Rock Hotel in November of 2014.
Then after a very brief credit sequence, we see the band arriving by helicopter (naturally!) and then bursting onto the stage to the sounds of 'Detroit Rock City'. KISS ROCKS VEGAS is admittedly a standard concert film. It’s big, bold, brash and beautiful, just like the band, but in the final analysis it is a concert film. That alone will determine how important it is to you to see or if it has the merit for repeated viewings.
I was pleasantly surprised by the fire and energy the band still has. They really put a lot into the show, as they always do. There were any number of cool highlights, like the scene where Paul Stanley brings up the little girl to play guitar for a few moments, or that they threw in a few rarities such as ‘Tears Are Falling’ which they have not played with any regularity since 2004 and prior to that 1995!!
In terms of the set-list I was very pleased. Three tracks from arguably the heaviest Kiss album, ‘CREATURES OF THE NIGHT made the cut. ‘War Machine’ has never sounded heavier! The posers who claim that Kiss isn’t Metal should watch Simmons’ opening segment to the song, ‘God Of Thunder’, with the corpse-paint, spewing blood and maniacal look in his eye; The True Mayhem would be proud. Another way cool moment was the middle segment of ‘Lick It Up’ where the flawlessly transitioned into the who classic Who track, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’. In terms of audio and video, Kiss has never been better; huge surround screens, lasers, smoke, fire, huge risers, confetti cannons, all the hallmarks of a good Kiss show were in full force. And explosions. Lots and lots of explosions.
I’ve seen lots of Kiss concerts over the years and, as I mentioned earlier, it is ‘just’ a concert film…but it is a ‘KISS’ concert film and that makes it stand heads and shoulders above the rest. Watch for the DVD and Blu-Ray soon!
Detroit Rock City
Creatures of the Night
Tears Are Falling
Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll
Lick It Up
I Love It Loud
Hell or Hallelujah
God of Thunder
Shout It Out Loud
I Was Made for Lovin' You
Rock and Roll All Nite
God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II
Paul Stanley-Vocals, Guitar
Gene Simmons-Bass, Vocals
Eric Singer- Drums
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