by Johnny Papan
January 31, 2019
An electricity emitted off the skin of the fans that filled a nearly sold out Rogers Arena. Nothing could sour the mood of the kids in KISS makeup rolling around the hallway floor, nor the parents who watched over them while holding nine dollar cups of Budweiser.
Before the show had even begun, I had seen or bumped into forms of “The Demon” and “The Starchild” a hundred times over. Some fans simply donned the classic KISS facepaint, while others embodied the characters in full costume. One Gene Simmons look-alike slithered his tongue out salaciously at me while crossing paths down a hall. Compared to the real Gene, he was a bit inadequate.
KISS exploded onto the stage with “Detroit Rock City,” igniting flames complemented by fireworks and sparklers, engulfing the arena with the smell of sulfur. This was a common thread throughout the show.
Other standout moments were Gene Simmons being elevated high above the stage, shrouded by mist and thunder, spewing blood as the band prepared for “God of Thunder.” Paul Stanley ziplined from one stage to another platform at the other end of the arena for “Love Gun,” and the disco-classic “I Was Made for Lovin’ You.”
Perhaps most impressive was, beneath all the glitz and glamour of the production, were four talented musicians who could still play their instruments raw and well after all these years. I was in awe witnessing some of the greatest minds in music business perform. The band ended their set with the megahit, “Rock And Roll All Nite.”KISS, Rogers Arena