You would think that a band of rock veterans with nothing to prove would give themselves a break and coast through their live show in 100+ degree weather. Any other band might, but not KISS. Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, and Tommy Thayer descended on a platform from the rafters of the Gexa Energy Pavilion blazing on their guitars and never let up for almost two hours. Drummer Eric Singer feverishly pounded away behind them as they opened the show with audience favorite “Detroit Rock City.”
The members of KISS are still determined to prove themselves and give the fans their money’s worth over three decades after they formed. The group continually shows younger bands up year after year. Their live performance is what the new rockers should use as a bar to gauge excellence.
Insanely hot weather didn’t stop fans from dressing up or painting their faces to celebrate the triumphant return to the Dallas, TX area. The estimated crowd of some 15,000 people stayed on their feet the entire show. All of them were smiling and singing along. Many shook their fists in the air to the beat of the drums or returned the hand-gestures of bassist Gene Simmons.
All of KISS’s signature moments were featured in their set. Paul “Starchild” Stanley flew out over the audience to a rotating round platform in the middle of the venue to perform “Love Gun.” Gene “The Demon” Simmons belched flames for “Firehouse” and spit blood before ascending into the rafters like a flying dragon for “God of Thunder.” Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer fired off rockets from his guitar after “Shock Me.” Eric “Catman” Singer shot a bazooka that sent a piece of light scaffolding crashing to the floor.
Even the band’s costumes were modified. Gene’s armor and dragon boots were accompanied by protruding horns. Thayer’s Spaceman outfit had additional silver shoulder “padding” and glittering designs. Stanley wore a black boa and sleeveless vest with altered boots.
They also switched things up and played one new track and a classic they haven’t played on tour in a while. The band played their new single “Hell or Hallelujah” off of their upcoming album “Monster.” The energetic song is reminiscent of their early 1980s tunes off of “Lick It Up” and “Animalize.”
KISS continued to reflect a particular fondness for that era by performing “War Machine” off of their last album before they took off the make-up, “Creatures of the Night.” Simmons belted out the song like a wild animal let loose on a bloody battlefield. They’ve only played it one other time in Dallas or Fort Worth that I can remember of since 2000.
The band could only play one song for an encore thanks to the strict curfew the city of Dallas has. Concerts at the Gexa Energy Pavilion can only go on until 11:00PM. KISS did their best to push the envelope playing right up to the last second. They came out and apologized for having to stop before bursting into “Rock ‘N Roll All Nite” and blowing confetti all over the crowd.
KISS fans definitely left the show energized and excited. Smiling faces made their way out of the venue drenched in sweat. Both the band and the audience worked hard at having a good time that night and it was apparent. It just goes to show that it takes a lot more than a little heat to defeat KISS and their Dallas Army.
For more articles by Eric Shirey, check out:
KISS Drummer Eric Singer Tells Dallas to Get Ready for ‘Monster’ Show
KISS Issues #1 and #2 Comic Book Review
KISS is Back with Energetic New Single “Hell or Hallelujah”