November 11, 2014 KISS explosive opening night Las Vegas, NV 11-5-14
The KISS Army was out in force with one goal in mind – “To Rock n’ Roll All Nite” and party everyday! Yes indeed KISS’ faithful were out in force Wednesday November 5th for the opening night of KISS’ residency at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. With the current members of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer, KISS recently came off their 40-date summer tour, as well as the annual KISS Kruise in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of self-titled debut, showing no signs of slowing down. Marked for another special accomplishment in 2014 after years of waiting, the band was finally inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with all original members on hand for the acceptance into the Hall, but fans did not get a performance. Paul Stanley explained, “That lineup has not been together for fourteen years, and physically, perhaps, would not have looked that great, and musically, undoubtedly, probably, would have sounded a bit suspect.” Stanley continued, “So, to have people watch it on television and identify that as KISS because there are four guys in makeup would not send a great signal to the people who are not following the band in its current permutation, or what it is today.” Some die-hard fans may say why not invite past and current members and give one kick ass KISS performance that would go down in history as one incredible memorable Inductee show.
However, this night was about KISS Rocking Vegas and giving it all they got to satisfy the fans. The Joint at the Hard Rock answered the call and once again outdoes themselves for the fans, pulling out the KISS memorabilia, giving it a great vibe which was felt all day. With the KISS store ready to go, the restaurants, with KISS menus, helped fans get in the festive mood with eats and drinks. The day’s events included many fans in makeup covering almost every KISS character genre. As the opening night hour drew near, fans started to gather in the front of The Hard Rock and with the crowd growing larger, anticipation mounting to the hopes to catch that first glimpse of artist before the show. KISS came in as only they knew how, creating the most hoopla possible. Landing in front of the Hard Rock in a helicopter that erupted the crowd and sent all over the edge, the band emerged all dressed to kill and ready to pose for pictures. The celebration was not all about them though as KISS insisted to include the great service men and women of our country into the KISS Army for the night. Huge support was given to the military as KISS made sure to pose with those that make it safe for us all.
As flashes were going off, fans yelling, Simmons flashing his pitchforks, and of course his trademark “Demon” tongue, this crowd was ready to rock. The party was quickly disbursed as KISS got onto a bus to go meet fans on the inside and start things off. The fans filed into the venue as the creatures of the night prepared to give a performance of lights, fire, blood, and sound. As Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” began playing, fans were ready. Without missing a beat, the intro song finished and the curtains quickly rose with KISS emerging from the smoke to “Creatures of the Night” off the same titled album from 1982. No hesitation was made; fire and thunderous lightning appeared immediately. Without stopping, KISS went right into “Psycho Circus” with more fire to commence before going into “Parasite.” Having everyone on the edge of their seat, The Demon emerged with his massive sword all ablaze ready to breath fire just as the demon has done so many times before, which was the start of “War Machine.” With passion and showmanship, the band tore through “Tears are Fallin’,” “Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll,” and “Lick It Up,” with parts of the stage rising up, Stanley and Thayer emerged to break into parts of The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
Marching on with energy, the set included a bass solo from Simmons, which featured another trademark, “the blood bath.” Then The Demon took flight to the rafters and performed “God of Thunder” above the crowd on a circular stage as if he was Thor himself with fans erupting in cheers. With some crowd interaction by Stanley to talk about how great Las Vegas is, he also had another great city to talk about. That city was in fact “Detroit Rock City.” With everyone on their feet, Simmons wanted to get the blood of the crowd boiling more, and out came the Paul-O-Meter. Wanting to come out to the crowd, Simmons insisted that the fans show that they wanted him out there. With a comic book version of a decibel meter on the jumbotrons ready to explode, Simmons flew into the crowd to deliver his “Love Gun.” Provoking an epic event, cameras were rolling to capture every moment of his flight.
KISS did leave the stage, but their dedicated followers all knew on opening night that it was not the end. Showing they wanted more and not stopping until KISS gave it all, the tone was ruckus yet exhilarating. KISS returned to the stage gracious not only to the fans, but also to the service men and women once again. Featuring a special dedication to a soldier (wounded in action) and his wife, a house standing ovation was given to them with much appreciation for his services. Stanley, moved by the moment, insisted everyone all do in unison “The pledge of allegiance” and seemed even some of the foreigners had their hands on their heart as well. Striking and inspiring, a roar from the crowd came right before favorite “Shout It Out Loud.” They continued on with “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” before an epic closing of “Rock and Roll All Nite” that saw an explosion of confetti, so much in fact the stage was a complete blur. The only member left on stage, Stanley, gave his final love to the crowd with his guitar raised in the air and a final “Thank You.” As the crowd took its stroll into the Vegas evening, it was clear that this was a special opening night no one wanted to see end. Thankfully, KISS will be performing this residency until November 23rd, so there are many more “Crazy Crazy Nights” of KISS to come.