KISS concert review
On Monday, July 18, 2016 I attended a wonderful concert by a band I have been a fan of since I was about twelve years old. The band was rock and roll legends KISS. My friend Adam Carna and I went to the arena early for good parking then walked to a nearby Buffalo Wild Wings restraunt for dinner. It was so much fun seeing a lot of other KISS fans who had the same idea! A few people wearing makeup and many wearing classic concert t-shirts.
We headed over to the venuGe and met up with my friends Carla Blackburnand Bill Blackburn(always cool seeing you) then headed over to the venue to see about checking in. After some confusion about just where we were to report we received our wrist bands and we headed over to the VIP lounge where we waited for what seemed like a much longer time than it actually was. As I stood there waiting I chatted with Ken Tomczak who I always enjoy seeing and I saw my friend Luis Reyes, who was wearing his KISS makeup (as Gene). I also chatted a bit with Bobby Oz Vargas who was also sporting Gene makeup. It was so much fun just watching the crowd. Parents bringing their kids, and one little girl in a Gene outfit that was just precious!
Finally we were led into the lounge entrance. I guess this was the fire escape as we were led down three flights of steps. Our guide explained to us to stand to the right and keep the left side open. As always there were a few people who seemed to think that rule applied to everyone other than them. I actually told one woman that she was being stupid and suggested she lay off the mixed drink! Adam was ahead of me in line and went through the door which closed just after him! “Oh no!” I thought as I stood there waiting but that’s when I had a chance to say hello to Luis so it was cool. Finally the door opened and I was led in. I came around the corner and there they were, my childhood heroes, KISS! I could hardly contain my excitement! I’ve been very fortunate (especially in recent years) to meet many of my favorite musicians, including Bad Company, former members of the Scorpions, the guys in Judas Priest, London, Metal Church, Stonebreed, Snew, and many others, some of whom have become my friends. I have also been very lucky to meet and get to know musicians in many wonderful local acts and I’m so blessed to get to know all these wonderful and very talented people. But this was over the top special, this was KISS!
I walked up to the guys and Gene Simmons gave me a knuckle bump, I shook hands with Eric, Tommy, and Paul, then turned to the camera. We took two shots, the second of which I was thrilled with! I thanked the guys and out the door I went. I found my seat which was in the middle section on the floor. Wow! After a short wait the lights went down, the low bass rumble began and the intro: “Alright Colorado Springs! You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the world, KISS” The curtain dropped and Gene, Paul and Tommy descended from the lights! Kicking off the show with Detroit Rock City the band played a set that was a bit predictable to those in the crowd who, like me, have seen the band many times. However, when Paul asked the audience for a show of hands on who was experiencing KISS for the first time, hundreds of hands went up! I thought that was awesome. One treat in the set for the long term fans was the song “Flaming Youth”, from the Destroyer album, a song the band rarely has performed in concert.
Another highlight of the evening was a beautiful salute to the troops as the band presented a check for $150,000 to the veterans! Paul then led us all in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the band playing the “Star Spangled Banner”. The band closed with their classic “Rock and Roll All Nite” which included a huge confetti storm and an arsenal of pyrotechnics. An excellent show by a band who has influenced so many!
What an amazing evening and one I will never forget. My thanks to all who made this happen for me!