Kiss

Forum, Copenhagen - 2013

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Note: Due to restrictions from Kiss’s management, Metalmoments was not allowed to photograph this show. Hence, the photos you see here are photos taken from Lunah Lauridsen’s archives from 2008, some never shown before.

With the tour supporting the bands 20th full-length album, Monster, Kiss was kind enough to make a stop in our fair city.
Having been brought up in the ways of this quartet since before I started school, this was of course a must see for me, but the question still remained; could they top the amazing Alive 35 show which was the last time we saw them here?

What met us first when we gazed upon the stage in Forum was a brand new stage decor designed by Paul Stanley himself, a giant light rig shaped like a spider with lamps and explosives attached everywhere!
Shortly after this it was time for the nights sole support band, Five Finger Death Punch, who did well considering most of tonight’s crowd probably didn’t really know about them, and that they only played for about 25 minutes...
As the time of the main act was drawing nigh, a large black curtain prettied up with a silver band logo covered the entire stage and on the sides two large screens were set up and displayed a zoom in starting from space with the main focus on the Earth and ending on a hover image just above Forum. After this it changed to a follow video of the band as they headed out of the backstage area towards the stage while we heard the familiar lines;”Ladies and gentlemen, you wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world – KISS!”
As soon as this was over, the curtain dropped to reveal a band which went straight into action with a lot of pyro, fireworks and Psycho Circus. Feel free to call me old-fashioned, but for me a Kiss opener sees the band being lowered down from the ceiling whilst playing Deuce; still, this did the trick with the audience as well, and when the second song turned out to be Shout It Out Loud, it was exactly what everyone was doing!

The two hours long concert showed a band that had a lot of tricks up its sleeve.
The set was mainly made up of their classics (which have not been done to death damn you, they’re timeless!) with a few newer songs put in to change up the tempo, but surprisingly only two from the new album. First up of these was the song Hell Or Hallelujah, a straight-forward hard rock song in classic Kiss style, and then later came a medley of Ace Frehley’s old song Shock Me and Tommy Thayer’s Outta This World, both of which were sung by Tommy Thayer. My favourite cut was Heaven’s On Fire however, a song I sorely missed on the Alive 34 tour five years ago.
Apart from the setlist, Kiss had a lot of other things to entertain us with as well – the spider rig looked great and was almost constantly, together with the pillars on the ground, shooting fireworks or smoke. Something more should have happened with it though, as Stanley excused towards the end of the show;”Usually it moves, comes down to the stage, eats everyone and pees all over the place.” I don’t know how much I should read into that, but it looked good where it was as well...
Other than that there were a lot of tricks which, even though they weren’t exactly new, still looked good and helped keep the action packed pace of the performance up. Here I’m talking about the part where Gene Simmons bass solo leads to him being lifted off the ground and placed on top of a platform on the spiders back, Stanley’s air ride out to the sound-mixer and the b-stage where he could get a closer look at the people in the back, and Thayer also got a lift, twice no less – first time in his jam with Eric Singer where he was lifted straight up by a platform, and then later again towards the end of Rock And Roll All Nite where both he and Simmons got lifted on platforms that then turned and placed them above the crowd while Stanley stayed on the stage and smashed his guitar.
Singer also got a short prop time, where he wanted to outdo Thayer’s guitar-rockets (one of which accidentally burned out several of the fireworks hanging down from the spider rig) by pulling out a bazooka(!) from behind his drums and fired a large dose of sparklers from it. More entertaining though was the part in the jam where he stood up and simultaneously as he played the drums with his sticks, also took a foot in use on the toms!
Oh yes, and Simmons also breathed fire in War Machine, but that flame was so unimpressive its best forgotten...

If the band was loud, I can’t deny the fact that the large crowd was louder still!
This was proven as early as after the second song, where Stanley saw fit to do a side against side shouting competition, and then again to an even larger effect in I Love It Loud where the audience sing along managed to drown out the vocals from the stage!
There was some headbanging of course, but considering the audience was made up of people from all ages and paths in life, sing along’s, (more or less) rhythmic clapping and air guitar extravaganzas took precedence over all other activity. Still, just seeing the high company director’s side by side with the guy scrubbing out the toilets, all letting their hair down and unite under black and white grease paint made my heart warm – there are still some universal things that bind us all together, and rock ‘n’ roll is clearly a standard bearer of this!
When we all were nearly drowned by the confetti shot out during Rock And Roll All Nite, the joy and festive atmosphere reached an unprecedented peak, and dancing mixed with more air solo’s and raised fists, making this another high-point of the show and being every bit as powerful (if not more) as the thunderous ending of the evening with all the fire and explosions at the end of Black Diamond.

It’s hard to believe that these gentlemen are around 60 years of age, some below and some above, when watching the sometimes very acrobatic performance they delivered, in high plateau boots no less, but the fact that they aren’t exactly young guns anymore either showed towards the end of the concert where the band members were very clearly exhausted and mostly stood by their microphones even when not singing.
I can’t really complain about that though, its nature’s way, and I only pray that I am as energetic when I reach that age.
Still, as comparisons must be made, this how didn’t reach the same heights as the Alive 35 show from five years ago. That doesn’t mean the show wasn’t good though – it was a professionally delivered rock and roll rollercoaster that had me smiling all the way through, and on the way home as well.

Setlist:

Psycho Circus
Shout It Out Loud
Let Me Go Rock ‘n’ Roll
I Love It Loud
Hell Or Hallelujah
War Machine
Heaven’s On Fire
Deuce
Say Yeah
Shock Me / Outta This World
Jam (Thayer/Singer)
Solo (Simmons)
God Of Thunder
Lick It Up
Love Gun
Rock And Roll All Nite
Detroit Rock City
I Was Made For Lovin’ You
Black Diamond

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