by Alan K. Stout- Music Columnist/Weekender
PHILADELPHIA – Legendary rock band KISS brought its hard rock spectacle and “Alive/35 Tour” to the Wachovia Center on Monday, and though some things certainly must have seemed familiar to the KISS faithful, some things have also clearly changed.
And perhaps that’s exactly as it should be.
Great songs? Check.
Dazzling stage show? Check.
Packed house? Check.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley flying around the arena? Check.
A good time? Most definitely a check.
But KISS in 2009 is not your father’s KISS, and even if you’re only a 30- or 40-something, not the KISS you saw bump and grind its way through the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s with a fixation on extremely loud amps, sex, sex and sex and a lock-up-your-daughters mentality. Perhaps it’s because Simmons and Stanley are now family men themselves, or perhaps it’s because they see all of those parents in the crowd hoisting their kids on their shoulders to get a better look at them. Whatever the reason, KISS gets it. The band knows its age, knows its audience, and knows what parts of it show to leave behind (lots of f-bombs, tales of sex-capades and onstage strippers) and what to keep (glitzy guitars that shoot rockets, plenty of pyro and a big, bright KISS logo.)
And, of course, they still know how to rock and roll.
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NOTE: KISSING the Flyers. The rock band KISS recorded fire-up-the-crowd videos Monday before the group's show at the Wachovia Center. Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer did the videos, which will be shown on the scoreboard during Flyers home games.