Tuesday, 07 August 2012 10:48
"The hottest band in the land: Kiss!" That is how Kiss is always introduced, and the show at the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre in Tampa drove the point home, although opener Motley Crue gave them a run in the heat department.
Text and ph0tos by John Davisson
Kiss and Motley Crue are both known for their love of pyro, and both bands had plenty of flames and sparks for their full-length sets.
Both bands are now classic acts; the songs are a bit nostalgic, memories of the days when rock music was a mix of showmanship and musicianship. No surprise then that both acts stick to the classics, although Kiss did play "Hell or Hallelujah" from the upcoming Monster album (and now on iTunes according to Paul Stanley who said he bought a copy).
Motley Crue was the original line-up while Kiss now includes guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer replacing Ace Frehley and Peter Criss respectively (with the originals' make-up). Kiss also has new costumes for this tour.
Tommy Lee always has to do something outrageous. He has his drum on a rollercoaster that goes upside down. He even took a fan on the ride with him. Gene Simmons still spits blood and fire during the Kiss set, and he "flies" up to the top of the lighting rig to sing "God of Thunder."
Other than the Kiss costumes and new song, it was pretty much old-school. Critics may not like that, but the thousands of fans at the amphitheater enjoyed it. The fans were there to "Rock and Roll All Night," and they knew what they were getting and enjoyed it. Me too. The show was more fun than a lot of the shoe-gazing indie bands.