KISS Friday 13th Donington


Giu 16 2008, 14:44

I wanted the best, and I got the best, I saw the hottest band in the world, KISS !!!

A huge curtain hid the stage from the audience. Even the KISS set without KISS on it is more 'rock' than any other act on the planet. KISS have an effective and powerful back catalogue of songs and they were about to unleash them to devastating effect. The stage is massive and every song has its own show elements and theatrical magic, and this show had thirty five years of dramatic creativity packed into an ultra expensive rock extravaganza.

The curtain dropped and the band descended onto the stage, and proceeded to smash open a classic show with ‘Deuce’, to the blast of fireworks, a phenomenal light array, and 10 pillars of burning flame shooting out from the stage to singe the eyebrows of anyone within 50 metres. 'Awesome', is the only word to describe the initial impression. And there was much more of this to come!

Deuce’ has been a killer opening KISS song for nearly 35 years, and they are not about to abandon a winning formula, Paul announced "Man, it seems like tradition every 10 years we come to Donington. We couldn't have made it this far without you - we salute you Kiss army!" this was followed by the 'Guitar hero' classic 'Strutter'.

A KISS show is such an elaborate and fine tuned production, with so many cues on which things explode and erupt into flame, it has to follow a formula, and this is equal parts theatre, rock and Hollywood block buster. This is rock n' roll ecstasy, the absolute pinnacle of rock shows.

KISS smashed into 'Got to Choose' and 'Hotter than Hell', burst into 'Nothin' To Lose' (with Eric on vocals), then 'C'mon And Love Me', 'Parasite' and 'She'. You could feel the heat of the flames as the walls of amplifiers assaulted the ears. You haven't experienced a real rock concert until you've spent 2 hours listening to music the way it was meant to be heard...LOUD!! to the ears, and visually stunning to the eyes.

In this ocean of light, sound, steam, fire and flame, waves of ecstasy cut through as Tommy Thayer (replacing Ace Frehly as the Spaceman) played in the most sweet, resonant and downright impressive way

KISS pulled out every trick in their bag of rock tactics, Throwing themselves into '100,000 Years', 'Cold Gin' and 'Let Me Go Rock 'N' Roll'. At times blowing away the senses with their sheer energy and passion.

Eric Singer never missed a beat and provided excellent vocals on 'Black Diamond', as literally more pyros went off as most copycat bands would use in their entire career.

'Rock and Roll All Night' is up next and at this point Eric Singer and the drum kit became a giant space ship and literally blasts into the air above the stage in a great burst of steam and smoke from jets beneath it.

The call to, and response from the crowd is staple KISS, so much so that many other acts have copied it word for word. Getting the crowd to compete against each other in chanting competitions and sing-a-longs, and also "If you wanna be lectured to by someone at a rock and roll show, you’re in the wrong fucking place tonight!, "If you wanna hear bad news, turn on the TV. THIS IS A KISS SHOW" How fucking right!!! anyway...

ALL the EXPLOSIONS, fireworks, lights, frights and flights, are dialled in on cue, and the crowd kept going crazy, they were so spectacular and grandiose, they thrilled the crowd again and again. If you do not 'get' KISS, you will probably never understand. But I would challenge anyone in attendance with a beating heart not to be swept up by it all.

The encores took us through 'Shout It Out Loud', 'Lick It Up', with perfectly synchronised flames shooting from the stage with every beat, then 'I Love It Loud' where gene has a spectacular flight straight up into the air on a wire, to plant his talons on the lighting rig above the stage, roaring out "I love it loud" like his life depended on it, this is a masterpiece of theatrics. You are reminded again and again, that this is Rock with a capital RRRRRRagghh !!

'I Was Made For Lovin' You', a 'disco' riff so ferocious and orgasmic that it defies belief. Then 'Love Gun', Paul wrote the book of 'guitar moves' that every other guitarist follows, and not one to be upstaged by Gene, Paul flew on a wire over the crowd and landed on a small stage next to the sound desk where I was standing, and rips into ‘Love Gun’. I decide right there and then that this could possibly be the most wonderful thing I have ever seen.

Love Gun was greeted by cannons firing. The difficult high vocals were still achieved by Paul without the reliance on vocal-FX so commonly used by other singers. The band were as energetic today as they were 30 years ago (Buy a KISSology DVD to see) they showed very little sign of their age at all,

Then 'Detroit Rock City', . By this point, pretty much everything on the stage was on fire. There are confetti canons showering the crowd with ribbon strips, and no one does a falling confetti curtain quite like KISS. It is like being inside a giant, hard rock snow globe.. There are flames shooting up from the stage. There are Catherine Wheel fireworks ripping up the stage, there are fireworks all over the sky. There’s fit inducing strobes going off, there is a falling curtain of golden sparks showering the stage. Somehow KISS avoid spontaneous combustion and scream out "We’ll never forget you!"

A KISS show is truly one of the greatest shows on earth. It is the very definition of value for money, and having been blown away by a show far greater than could possibly have been expected, I can safely say that any rock show that is not a KISS show can only be a cheap imitation.

SET LIST IN ORDER: (Or at least how I remember it)

Got To Choose
Hotter Than Hell
Nothin' To Lose (Eric lead vocals)
C'Mon And Love Me
100,000 Years
Cold Gin
Let Me Go Rock 'N' Roll
Black Diamond (Eric lead vocals)
Rock And Roll All Nite


Shout It Out Loud
Lick It Up
I Love It Loud
I Was Made For Lovin' You
Love Gun
Detroit Rock City

(Thanks to my friends for being with me, looking after me and taking care of me for 5 days, I love you all soooooooo much, Ohh, and helping with my sometimes limited English vocabulary)

KissAliveDeuceStrutterGot To ChooseHotter Than HellNothin' To LoseC'mon And Love MeParasiteShe100,000 YearsCold GinLet Me Go Rock n' RollBlack DiamondRock and Roll All NightShout It Out LoudLick It UpI Love It LoudI Was Made for Lovin' YouLove GunDetroit Rock City


  • Ed-Nigma

    Who helped you with that lot then? So many big words for such a tiny person =) But I have to say you're not wrong, it was a freaking ace show!

    Giu 17 2008, 13:12
  • Tristaniel

    Glad to hear it was great! Your review is so much longer than mine :P We thoroughly enjoyed it in Denmark as well, and we're just waiting for the CD's to arrive in the mail.

    Giu 18 2008, 20:55
  • MrSpeed

    I was there AMAZING show...but don't they ALWAYS give us that :)

    Lug 25 2008, 18:27
  • ikuo1

    Hi FL0RECITA great review, I thought Eric Singer nailed the vox, well nrly ;) and KISS were production tight on the night, the closest to the record I've heard them, live. I had a magical night at Ace in London as well. I would prefer to hear Tommy Thayer's take on Shock Me or New York Groove than not have any vocal duties at all. Your English vocabulary is anything but limited?! How talented you are to be so fluent. You would never no English is your second language. Anyway Take care!!! If you add me to Facebook say its Florecita from LastFM! so I know it's you!!!

    Ago 14 2008, 23:11
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