Nothing says true love like dragging your fiancé to the KISS concert. Did she have any desire to go? Irrelevant. It's like asking an Eskimo if they like winter—dude, all I have is winter. It's like asking an Eskimo if they like being called an Eskimo—probably not, but we are going to go to the KISS concert anyway.
I personally love KISS and they have been a staple in my life since my friend and fellow metalhead Greg introduced me to KISS back in the mid 80s. They didn't have any makeup on at the time—so basically it was a bunch of middle-aged men in ripped T-shirts and tights playing some hair-band songs. (It was better than it sounds.)
Anyway, back to the concert. Stacey is my fiancée (I like writing fiancée instead of girlfriend because it makes me sound older than 12 and also the computer automatically adds the thingy on top of the "e". Very cool.) She was a good sport and said that she would go to the concert, and could I make a mix CD of the bands hits?
I was like...um... yeah. About that. They don't really have any... hits... exactly. I can show you a picture of fireworks and maybe a cannon exploding? Would that help?
I was listening to KISS the other day in the car and it sounds very different when there is a fully-grown adult female in the car. Suddenly "Room Service", "Rocket Ride" and "Uh All Night" don't seem as cool as when I was fourteen years old.
I have some buddies of mine who come over about once a month and we jam downstairs. We played a KISS classic "Deuce", which is a dirty song by Gene Simmons. I tried to explain that the song that we played downstairs was by KISS! I'm not sure that helped either.
So despite all of these efforts, we still wound up going to the concert. Now let me say first of all that the band had just toured Japan and Calgary's show was originally scheduled back in July, before Godzilla destroyed the town and Iron Man & The Avengers showed up and beat the bad guys and destroyed downtown and all of High River in the process. So the Saddledome was destroyed but KISS said it would take more than that to keep rock and roll from coming to Calgary! More specifically, a paid gig is a paid gig, and these guys are showing up and taking our money.
The first KISS album came out in 1974, so these guys are old with a capital "Oh My God these guys are old". Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are the original members, and they are both in their sixties. They were joined by Tommy Thayer on guitar, who is now dressed up like the Spaceman, but originally was an assistant for the band. He literally used to clean Gene's gutters on his house and now he's the lead guitarist. Talk about a promotion. The drummer is this guy Eric Singer, who I was most excited to see. He's actually been around since the early 90s with the band, and I love the drumming. So to see Eric Singer in person was awesome.
They played a bunch of hits, and there was so much pyro that at one point I thought we were getting invaded by Obama. I won't spend any time talking about the songs or the music, because there isn't much point—a KISS show isn't about the music. There was a full house, and literally every person was smiling, singing along, or clapping. So I don't care what the critics say—the fans were there and it was a great evening out.
And at the end of the day, that is what it is all about—big dumb fun and having a great time with the fellow KISS army. A big thumb up from this KISS fan—and I hope that when I'm in my sixties, I have enough health and energy to parade around in my spandex while yelling at people and sticking my tongue out. You know—growing old gracefully.