Kiss was in the news recently about cancelling their next Vegas Residency run of shows because of a mutiny within their own camp over COVID-19 protocols.
As I was reading the story, I was on Amazon Prime, so I searched for Kiss and “Kiss Rocks Vegas” came up.
Perfect as I do remember it going to Number 1 on the DVD charts in Australia when it came out in 2016.
And before I started to watch the show, I did some reading.
Thayer cops crap from hardcore Kiss elitists, but if it wasn’t for Thayer, this release wouldn’t have happened. He was involved in getting it filmed, the sound recorded and produced. Apart from that, he also does a lot more behind the scenes for the band around Kiss conventions, YouTube docos and social media.
He’s not an original member but goddamn he’s an important one.
The show was recorded from November 5-23, 2014 during the band’s residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, during their 40th anniversary tour.
It was then released in cinemas worldwide on May 25, 2016, and later released on pay-per-view on June 14, 2016.
Detroit Rock City
It’s their best opener. I don’t think any other Kiss song can replace it.
That middle guitar harmony section is some of the best music committed to tape from Kiss, so take a bow Paul Stanley, your guitar prowess goes unnoticed to many.
The song is listed as being written by Paul Stanley and Bob Ezrin.
As a fan of the songwriting process, it’s never been clear to me what Ezrin contributed.
Was it musically or did he contribute ideas on the arrangement?
“Creatures of the Night”
Written by Stanley and Adam Mitchell.
The power of the riff is lost with all the exploding pyro.
Written by Stanley and Curtis Cuomo.
The pyro again detracts from the musical performance.
An Ace Frehley written song, performed vocally by Gene Simmons.
The main riff is always a standout (Dimebag from Pantera mentioned it as one of his favorites) even though Gene is a little loose vocally.
Depending on my mood, I like this one more than “God Of Thunder” as a signature song for Gene Simmons.
And Simmons got some help in the song writing department from Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance. There’s also a certain Stone Temple Pilots song that sounds eerily similar.
If you don’t believe me, press play on “Sex Type Thing”.
Live, Simmons nails this one.
“Tears Are Falling”
A Paul Stanley track and a favourite for me.
It was actually a surprise to see it in the set list. Bruce Kulick also doesn’t get the cred he should for keeping the band in “with the shred crowd” during the 80s.
Does anyone know what a “deuce” is when Gene Simmons sings, your man is worth a “deuce”?
Tennis 40/40 is what comes to mind.
“Lick It Up”
Did Stanley and Vinnie Vincent know that they were creating a classic here?
I like how they go into a bit of “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.
“I Love It Loud”
It’s so repetitive but great for a live sing along. Simmons and Vincent delivered the goods here.
“Hell or Hallelujah”
Paul Stanley rises to the occasion again with this “Monster” of a track. Actually the two best songs from Kiss in the 2000’s are from Stanley in “Modern Day Delilah” and “Hell Or Hallelujah”.
If you’re not banging your head to the riff, check for a pulse.
“God of Thunder”
Lyrics like “wasteland”, “Aphrodite”, “Olympus”, “raised by demons” and a “modern day man of steel” are all forgotten when the Chorus kicks in and we are all screaming, “God Of Thunder and Rock And Roll”.
“Do You Love Me?”
It’s very “Sweet” like.
Do Ya like it?
Another stone cold classic from Stanley.
Eric Singer shows his vocal chops after a small intro from Stanley.
“Shout It Out Loud”
The encore starts.
“Rock and Roll All Nite”
And the show ends.
Kiss’s bread and butter is the live show. It always was and always will be, and they have it all.
Fire, pyro, blood, flying through the arena, walkways above the crowd and everything else they could think off.
Check it out.