by J. Frank Hagan
What a magical night! Here we are, 2009, a new album of Kiss music, a spectacular tour with a new stage production (not since the 1996 Reunion tour has there been such a grand production in my opinion) that blows others away. It had been five years since Kiss had played the Philadelphia/South Jersey metro area and by the attendance at the Wachovia Center, fans have been waiting anxiously and showed up to see the band that does it like no other band can or ever could.
Kiss exploded onstage to a deafening roar of the crowd with the opener, "Deuce." Kiss delivered the show of shows as they only know how. The band sounded incredibly tight. The sound system was clean and clear. The effects were amazing! My eyebrows are singed off from the flamethrowers which appeared in different colors from orange to red to a light green which was cool (or hot if you will) as hell. You could feel the heat that these throwers send off.
Kiss followed with a collection of songs from the 1975 classic, "KISS ALIVE!" performing "Strutter" to "Parasite" to "She" to "Hotter Than Hell." "Hotter Than Hell" saw Gene breathing fire, a spectacle that never grows tired, and for those seeing it for the first time (as I saw a lot of young fans there in their 20's), a gasp from the crowd followed by a loud cheers. Paul dazzled the crowd with his dancing, running around and vocals of perfection. Paul sounded amazing! Eric's drum solo was a highlight of the evening. Back to using the double-kick bass drum, his solo featured his kit on a turn-table, spinning around to every angle of the arena. But it was not only the visual of Eric's drumming, but his solo itself that was pleasure to the ears. Tommy's solo was a visual as it was pleasing to the ears. The guy has it all. I've come to the conclusion that Tommy is very under underrated as a lead guitarist.
Gene spat blood high a top his perch above the audience before launching into "I Love It Loud," a change than he's done before (with a bell toll added to the PA) going skyward. Paul headed out to the audience for "Love Gun" on a turn-table which gave him a chance to see everyone in the back of the hall.
And the confetti! I've never seen so much confetti in my life! Tons and tons. How much of that stuff they actually go through in one night? It was quite a night. A night I will not soon forget. The Kiss spectacle had come to Philly, assaulted the crowd with sound and visuals, and onward to the next city. Hopefully, Kiss will return to the City of Brotherly Love again real soon!