Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009

08/24/2016

KISS don’t clown around on "KISS Rocks Vegas" Blu Ray

By RUBEN MOSQUEDA // ‘Kiss Rocks Vegas.’ The performance captures KISS during their 2014 Las Vegas residency at The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Our friends at Eagle Entertainment have just rolled out their latest Blu Ray this one is KiSS’ ‘Kiss Rocks Vegas.’ The performance captures KISS during their 2014 Las Vegas residency at The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in front of a few thousand rabid fans.  ‘Kiss Rocks Vegas’ features founders Gene Simmons [bassist/vocalist] and Paul Stanley [rhythm guitarist/vocalist] along with replacement players drummer Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer.

In recent years there's been some backlash from segments of the KISS Army who are opposed to the aforementioned players donning the Peter Criss [Catman] and the Ace Frehley [Spaceman] paint. The whole concept of grown men wearing that getup and the makeup pushing 60 and 70 is rather silly. KiSS however put on a fantastic show as the 4,000 people in the audience can attest to. Having caught a number of KISS shows with and without paint over the years; the bells and whistles would mean nothing if it weren't for ‘the songs.’  ‘Kiss Rocks Vegas’ is loaded with hits; “Detroit Rock City,” “Creatures Of The Night,” “Psycho Circus,” “Parasite” which is a welcome addition to the set, “War Machine,” “Tears Are Falling” from the Bruce Kulick era, “Deuce,” “Lick It Up” from the Vinnie Vincent non-makeup era, and “I Love It Loud.” “Hell Or Hallelujah” is included from the last KISS record ‘Monster;' where [Tommy] Thayer shines. The song features a killer riff [AC/DC influenced] reminiscent of something he would have done in Black n’ Blue.

What would a KISS show be without the cliche Gene Simmons ‘bass solo?’ of it’s followed by “God Of Thunder,” “Do You Love Me,” “Love Gun,” “Black Diamond,” “Shout It Out Loud,” as per usual they close their show with “Rock And Roll All Night.”

In my humble opinion the gem on ‘KiSS Rocks Vegas’ is the stripped down acoustic set. It’s loose, fun and not the typical KISS guys in their ‘characters’ it’s fantastic to see [Tommy] Thayer and [Eric] Singer just ‘being themselves.’ The set includes some of the usual suspects heard before on the ‘MTV Unplugged’ special from a couple decades ago; “Comin’ Home,” “Plaster Caster,” “Hard Luck Woman,”  “Christine Sixteen,” and “Goin' Blind.”

The deep cut of this acoustic affair is “Love Her All I Can” which proves if the song is there you can do acoustically and it’ll work.  “Beth” which I've heard numerous times ad nauseum sounds surprisingly fresh here. [Eric] Singer playing a ‘cocktail kit’ adds a little something to the song which rejuvenates the otherwise tired and boring ballad.  

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