KISS – Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 (Live Album Review)

Here comes KISS with a brand new release entitled Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001, the first in a series of live releases. Recorded at the Tokyo Dome in March 2001, KISS delivered the record to allow fans to take a trip down memory lane as they dive into this amazing show. Performed in Japan, of course, Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 was released on June 11, 2021 via UMe.

Founded in 1973, and having sold well over 100 million records worldwide, KISS definitely does not need an introduction. The band has become a living legend, pleasing the young and the old with their catchy Rock music. Not to mention their stunning live performances, which one can only imagine while listening to this live recording. And at 22 songs and well beyond two hours, Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 is a lot to digest.

Speaking often with the audience, Gene Simmons helps to shrink the massive arena down into a little club show, giving more of an intimate feel. And the audience surely loves it, since they are cheering big time. He announces the songs, practicing some of the few Japanese phrases he knows and heats up the crowd. The listener will wish to have been there back then, but all we can do is to just close our eyes and let the music take us right into the middle of it all. As the loud music is filling the venue, the air is getting hotter as the audience is getting wilder. They sing and shout along to the songs, cheer and applaud after each – or even in-between. All while the band is rocking out on stage, playing their hits like the opener “Detroit Rock City,” or songs like “Shout It Out Loud,” “Psycho Circus,” and “Love Gun.”

Each musician also gets their time to shine. After “Shock Me,” there is a quite long guitar solo, while after “Psycho City” and “Lick It Up” there is a bass solo. This is followed by a drum solo after “God of Thunder.” In each of these instances, the solo number in the spotlight is guaranteed to deliver goosebumps. 

Closer to the end of the show, KISS dips into some of their deep songs, tracks like “I Still Love You,” and, of course, their two most famous songs—“I Was Made For Lovin’ You” and “Rock and Roll All Nite,” the latter being the last song of the night and on the record. Throughout these last two performances, the audience is going crazy and it feels pretty amazing to be able to witness the mayhem.

Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 is definitely a collection that will get the listener going. You will sing, dance, nod and tap, because it is impossible to sit still during this amazing KISS release. Over two hours full of excitement, energy and great Rock music… and it is only the beginning! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and take the time to enjoy the first one of many to come. For this, Cryptic Rock gives KISS’ Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 5 out of 5 stars.

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