Live music in 2017 has seen extraordinary highs. It's been an exceptional year already and shows no sign of letting up. With the good however comes the bad. A mere week since the devastating attack at the renowned Manchester Arena saw many young fans injured and killed with everyone else traumatised by what they had seen. It was an attack on the people, it was an attack on our live music but if one thing was made very clear this evening, its that we shall not hide away in our homes, scared. Nothing says “fuck you” more than thousands of people packing the O2 Arena in London to see non other than legendary act KISS. More so, they all did it with huge smiles on their faces.
Naturally, security was at an all time high this evening with the venue prompting the fans to arrive early in anticipation for long queues and bag searches. They were right. The queues were long, things took that little bit longer and bags were searched through x ray machines and metal detectors. Given the recent events though, everyone's smile remained and the extra checks were welcomed with arms wide open. Bravo to the security and arena staff for being so thorough.
Inside the arena, there's something in the air. Oceans of KISS shirts fill the bars and restaurants. There's a buzz as people prepare to see their all time favourite. It's electric. We heard stories of veterans seeing the band well into double digits. Fathers taking their sons to their first ever concert. Mums and daughters donning their KISS makeup. The show has brought a variety of people together all with one thing in common. Their love for this band. A band which for some, started it all.
The excitement grows as the fans enter the arena space after consuming their obligatory pre gig pints and burgers. One girl in particular shrieks in excitement as she sees the giant KISS branded curtain and just like many beside her, the curiosity grows as to what lurks behind. It doesn't take long for her and everyone else however to find out. Roaring from the speakers “you wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world, KISS”. The curtain drops, the crowd cheers and what happens next is nothing short of one electric journey that everyone is a part of.
Like the rock gods many see the band as, they're lowered down onto the stage from above as “Deuce” is the track chosen to kick start this party. And it does just that. It doesn't take long for the the crowd to be singing along. In fact, it takes probably the same amount of time as it did for Gene Simmonds himself to stick his tongue out and point to many of the lucky fans at the front. And whilst ‘Deuce’ does a great job at getting this party started, it really is ‘Shout It Out Loud’ that gets the arena pumping. Ladies and gentlemen, the Kissworld 2017 tour has officially arrived and it's bigger and badder than ever. That being said, whilst everyone was busy shouting loud the band take a moment to thank the fans shortly after all the while initiating a moment silence for the victims of the Manchester Arena terror attack. It's probably one of the very very few times you'll ever be able to hear a pin drop at a KISS concert.
This is a show that had it all. Crazy fans showing their love for their band who were clearly feeding off each and every one of them as 'I Love It Loud' is appropriately played as the O2 is potentially at its loudest. Coincidence? Maybe. But if the fans weren't already invested in the theatrics of tonight's KISS show, then they would be as the man himself Gene Simmonds breaths fire, another apt moment for for 1974's 'Firehouse' from the bands self titled debut.
Of course what would a KISS show be without a mean Gene bass guitar solo? Shrouded in fog and mysterious blue lights, the sounds that come from the axe shaped bass are low and dirty and shakes the O2 to its foundations. Things end with a mighty rumble as blood spits from Genes mouth right before ‘God Of Thunder’ kicks in!
Axe man Paul Stanley asks the crowd if they are ready as he claims the next song is about getting “crazy”. And with the three count the O2 arena erupts into party mode and this night does indeed get crazy. ‘Crazy Crazy Nights’, a favourite amongst both casual and die hard fans has everyone up on their feet for some big sing a long moments. Of course Paul later has another big moment for himself as he takes flight from the stage to a platform in the crowd for ‘Psycho Circus’ a moment for the fans to get that little more closer to the legend himself.
The night was filled with multiple special moments for any KISS fan. From a whopping 18 song set list, fire breathing, blood spitting to Paul Stanley flying over the heads of many fans. Every single person in the room singing ‘Rock and Roll All Night’ as if they were all ready to do just that. And you know what? We haven't a doubt in our mind that's exactly what happened.