Saturday, July 13, 2024

KISS say farewell to Manchester once again

KISS have long since sealed their place in the pantheon of rock after their appearances in the 2015 direct-to-DVD classic Scooby Doo and KISS: Rock n Roll Mystery and with their inclusion in Tony Hawk’s Underground. They completely shifted the trajectory of rock music and influenced several generations of rock stars and developed an unstoppable army of dedicated fans of all ages. 

The Wild Things

The Wild Things came on first and all the pieces were there, they had an energetic frontperson, bombastic drumming, solid guitar work and vibrant synth but something was off. The Wild Things sound like a 90s alternative band in the vein of Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth. It clashes with the T-Rex aesthetic and it becomes a bit distracting when you notice how choreographed their act is and it is well choreographed but that seems to clash with the blasé 90s rock sound. It could be as simple as a costume change to fix that because the music itself is very good or maybe it’s just that the audience didn’t seem that into it but all the pieces of a great rock band are there, they just need some time to put everything together. 

The Wild Things
Skindred

Welsh Nu Metal legends Skindred were next accompanied by ‘The Imperial March,’ which is a walk-on song that a band has to really earn and Skindred have earned it based on this performance alone. 

The thunderous drumming at the start of ‘Set Fazers’ sent shock waves throughout the arena before Benji Webbe even showed himself and when he did, the stage belonged to him like he was the ringleader of some demented circus. He even managed to sing a few bars of ‘Wonderwall’ which all touring acts are contractually obligated to do at least once when playing in Manchester. 

Benji has a really chaotic stage presence, outside of being impeccably dressed at all times, he’s always dancing around and telling the audience to fuck off which is considered a term of endearment in Manchester. After all that playful banter, they blasted through ‘That’s My Jam’ which will shortly become the jam of hundreds of people in the building due its bouncy hooks and scream-along chorus. 

Skindred

Skindred ended their set with ‘Warning’ which everyone knows as the song that introduced the ultimate act of audience participation: ‘The Newport Helicopter’. Seeing dozens of people in a packed arena swinging sweaty T-shirts is a sight to behold and it’s no wonder it’s become a staple of their live show, it feels like a bonding experience even if you’re not swinging your shirt. 

Skindred

Once the lights went down a video came on showing all the members of KISS making their way to the stage in full costume and by the time they made it, it became impossible to resist the sheer spectacle of it all. There were pyrotechnics, explosions and fireworks all over the place as the band descended on platforms from the ceiling as they ripped through ‘Detroit Rock City,’ probably one of the best rock songs ever written. The dual guitar harmonies alone make this song a 90 mph highway anthem. 

KISS

There are certain bands that you shouldn’t think about critically and must get lost in the aesthetic and think about like Beavis and Butthead would. KISS is a show built on spectacle, they’ve had a lot of misses over the years but if you turn off the part of your brain that thinks critically and just enjoy fire and things blowing up then you’ll have an absolute ball at KISS. 

KISS

Classic tracks like ‘War Machine’ featured intense pyrotechnics and bombastic drums from Eric Singer’s Catman that gave it life that it arguably doesn’t have on the record. ‘Lick it Up’ was another iconic track that transcended the studio version and further cemented them as an act that is best experienced on live albums. 

KISS

The middle part of the set was strange, massive tracks like ‘Crazy Nights’ and ‘Strutter’ were absent but tracks like ‘Say Yeah’ and ‘Psycho Circus’ were played and there’s not really anything wrong with those tracks but they still feel like bizarre tracks to add. There are still masterful classics like ‘Love Gun’ and ‘Black Diamond’ on the setlist and those moments were actually some of the most impactful as Paul Stanley flew over the audience to the stage at the back of the arena. 

KISS

Seeing KISS live is a very different experience from the record, all the imagery feels vivid and grandiose with moments like Gene Simmons’ Demon schtick as he spits blood and fire before being ascended to the heavens to play the bombastic ‘Thunder God’ like the larger than life figure he’s worked hard to establish himself as. 

KISS
KISS

Paul Stanley’s Starchild has a magnificent stage presence in between songs and is a fantastic hype man as well as carrying the songs with his iconic voice, it’s when he starts speaking that the problems start. He has this grating Harley Quinn voice that makes you question whether or not it’s actually real and this is best exemplified in the bizarre acapella intro to ‘Cold Gin’ where he seems to struggle to find the notes or maybe he’s just screaming musically either way, it seems like he’s having fun and that’s all that matters really. 

Eric Singer took over vocal duties as he played the piano for ‘Beth,’ a beautiful ballad that belongs in the hearts of every girl named Beth who dated a metalhead back in 1976 and since then has been passed down to their children who love it just as dearly. Once the piano was removed it was time for more rock, ‘I Was Made for Loving You’ is a masterpiece of a rock song and there wasn’t a single person sitting quietly and this continued into the last song: ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’

KISS

‘Rock and Roll All Nite’ is a perfect closer, it’s such a hopeful track that has transcended time and feels like it’s always existed like it was too obvious a song to release before KISS put their stamp on it. The track ended with all the bells and whistles, explosions, fireworks, pyro and when it all ended and the lights came on we were reminded that “God Gave Rock and Roll to everyone” as we left having experienced one of the best rock shows of all time. When the show ended there was this stark realisation that this would be the last time KISS in this form would play in England and we would perhaps live in a world without KISS. 

KISS

Farewell tours don’t really mean anything, it’s just a marketing tool but there was still an air of finality as everyone experienced some of the greatest rock songs ever made before watching four giants of the entertainment walk off into the sunset leaving only colossal monuments of rock and decades of unforgettable music. KISS may be over but their legacy lives on as long as there are kids picking up guitars for the first time or learning how to spin their drumsticks. 

Prove you’re a true member of the KISS Army and get your KISS Kasket today! Rock harder than anyone else in the afterlife before it’s too late! 

KISS Kasket
Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

Our site contains articles about Gambling. If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling-related problems, contact the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 1333. Free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please Gamble Responsibly.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

nineteen + 19 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RAMzine is proud to support The Mike James Rock Show!

Latest Articles