The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world



Kiss open their Australian Tour with a stunning date in Perth

Perth Arena, October 3 2015


BOOKS & DVD'S 2009-2014 

The last time Kiss visited our shores it was part of a four band package that included Diva Demolition, Thin Lizzy and Motley Crue; this time the support was provided by The Dead Daisies, a band, if ever there was one, capable of making you question Mr. Simmons famous quote that “Rock is dead”.

On that night just two years ago Marco Mendoza was part of Thin Lizzy and The Dead Daisies founder David Lowy who was unexpectedly absent tonight, made up part of Diva Demolition. A lot has happened since then and The Dead Daisies have gone from strength to strength, whilst still interchanging personnel along the way, most notably Jon Stevens being replaced by ex-Motley man John Corabi. It makes Rock and Roll seem like such a small world.

For those that haven’t yet seen The Dead Daisies then tonight was always going to be a huge night. The energy that the band has on stage is infectious, and whilst many bands have been touted over the years as the being saviors of Rock and Roll you actually do feel that these guys may well be the real deal.

The original material, tonight mainly from the just released ‘Revolucion’ album, is just so good it leaves you breathless. But there’s also that feeling that these guys have lived it and appreciate the history of all that has come before with some choice covers including opener ‘Midnight Moses’ originally by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, and the evergreen ‘Hush’ and The Beatles ‘Helter Skelter’.    

It’s hard to pick a favourite moment from their 45 minute set, but original tracks ‘You and I’ and ‘Mexico’ (which we saw last December when Jon Stevens was at the helm) stand out. The Rockpit caught up with Marco and John earlier in the day and you can catch that interview HERE.

As for Kiss, what can you say that hasn’t been said a hundred times before? There are so few bands these days so self-aware and so gloriously over the top that somehow the well-worn cliché of their performance always manages to suspend disbelief and exceed expectations. As a veteran of just two Kiss shows two decades apart tonight just seems so much more than I could have imagined, or remember. Sure it’s cheesy, sure Paul’s sincerity, which is overwhelming at times seems too much, but in the context of the show it all makes perfect sense.

From Stanley’s pouts and ruffling of his glorious mane, to Simmons’ evil stares and fire-breathing antic Kiss has finally got to that point in their career 40 years on where the parody has become part of the enjoyment of the show. And whilst die-hards may moan about the face-paint worn by Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer – those guys are both an integral part of the spectacle.

Opening with the band descending from ‘The Spider’ the huge stage set the band has brought over to Australia for the first time – almost an update of the old Alive II staging – it’s gloves off; and as the riff from ‘Detroit Rock City’ hits with smoke and lasers and all manner of pyrotechnics in play its going to be a glorious visual as well as aural experience.

Tonight the set-list is spot on, bringing back as it does a slew of mid-period Creatures of the Night material -  starting with the title track and adding a rather fine ‘I Love it Loud’ and ‘War Machine’. It’s a welcome surprise interspersed at it is with the vintage: ‘Deuce’ ad ‘Do You Love Me’ (always a favourite that one!) and the newer ‘Psycho Circus’ and ‘Hell or Hallelujah’.

Of course it’s the set pieces that steal a lot of the thunder – from Gene’s blood spitting bass solo, during which he flies back up to the belly of the spider; to his fire-breathing during  ‘War Machine’ and Paul’s flying fox visit to the cheaper seats during an impeccable ‘Love Gun’ . But tonight every song has its pyrotechnic accompaniment, and the big screens reflect on the past forty years with some cool shots from the archive.

Closing the main part of the show the much-loved ‘Black Diamond’ still takes some beating. The encores of course were unforgettable: ‘Shout It Out Loud’ giving way to ‘I Was Made for Loving You’ before ‘Rock and Roll all Nite’ and several tons of white confetti  closed the set, and opened up the Australia leg of the World Tour.

It’s easy to take cheap shots at Kiss and their marketing, easy to belittle the music and the make-up but these guys know how to entertain. Kiss is still a band that can extract you from your daily life and show you all that Rock and Roll can be. If you haven’t seen them yet then with 40 years on the clock there might not be too many of these tours left to savor. As far as tonight goes many in the crowd leaving the venue were saying that this was the best they’ve seen the band so far, and for a band of this vintage that is a remarkable feat. Us? We loved every minute. Look out rest of Australia – you’ve a helluva show heading your way.


KISS SETLIST: Detroit Rock City | Deuce | Psycho Circus | Creatures of the Night | I Love It Loud | War Machine | Do You Love Me | Hell or Hallelujah | Guitar and Drum Solos | Calling Dr. Love | Lick It Up | Bass Solo | God of Thunder | Shandi | Cold Gin | Love Gun | Black Diamond ENCORE: Shout It Out Loud | I Was Made for Lovin' You | Rock and Roll All Nite



by Leslii Phillips


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