KISS Concert @ the Molson Amphitheatre – The Hottest Show on Earth Tour – Sept.10.10

Watching KISS in concert is everything one expects it to be: a pyrotechnic space-age extravaganza of epic proportions. Massive walls of LCD displays blaring a mixed barrage of live and retrospective visuals, towering flames, sparks shooting out of guitars, larger-than-life costumes. Then there are the required stage antics – tongue-wagging, flying over the crowd, being launched high into the air on raised platforms. There’s no lip syncing here – it’s a fucking kick-ass show. The Molson Amphitheatre was packed with people of all ages, families with kids dressed up and ready to rock – first generation KISS fans passing down the torch to their progeny. The KISS army lives on.

Only Simmons and Stanley remain of the original foursome, but they don’t look like they’re going to tire anytime soon. And why should they? They’ve selling out for decades, becoming one of the most popular bands worldwide, as well as having the widest variety of collectible paraphernalia worldwide – they might even be single-handedly responsible for eBay’s success. Their shock and awe theatrics is what made them their fortunes, and what drives the gravy train. So why is it surprising that they always book boring humdrum acts to precede them to contrast against their flash? And why should it be disappointing that their new album Sonic Boom is exclusively available at Wal-Mart and the audience was subjected to Stanley shamelessly plugging it throughout the show? They’re business men as well as artists – you don’t make an omelette this big without breaking a few eggs. Personally, I’m glad they made it this big and this far – they put on one of the most intense shows I’ve ever seen, and I thought I’d seen everything.

The bottom line is that The Hottest Show on Earth indeed lived up to it’s reputation, regardless of the sell-out tactics. They played a mix of old and new material, and a few poignant covers that had everyone rockin’ out all night. Aside from the bullshit security measures on the way in, and the expected exorbitant food, booze, and shwag prices, by the time KISS built up to a massive crescendo of light and sound, signifying an epic finale, the entire crowd was so caught up in the moment, forgiving them momentarily for their capitalistic sins, singing as one – “WE WANNA ROCK AN ROLL ALL NIGHT, AND PARTY EVERY DAY!” Yes indeed, the KISS army lives on.

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