KISS played for a packed house at Wright State University’s Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio on Monday night. During the show, Paul polled the crowd by asking how many fans were seeing KISS for the first time. To my surprise, many hands were up in the air including mine. Paul went on to tell the crowd that they are out there to make sure the fans will never forget their first KISS performance. He was correct! The entire production is filled with one theatrical event after another and non stop pyrotechnics.
The excitement of the evening began in the parking lot as many fans were dressed as their favorite KISS member by sporting everything from makeup to entire costumes. The look alikes were celebrities themselves. Many were asked by patrons to pose as they would take photos. Many fans gathered inside the Nutter Center early to catch the opening band. Kicking off the night was a superstar cast of musicians who call themselves The Dead Daisies. The band consists of John Corabi on vocals (Motley Crue/The Scream), Doug Aldrich on guitar (Whitesnake/Dio), Marco Mendoza on bass (Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake), Brian Tichy on drums (Ozzy Osbourne/Billy Idol), and David Lowy on guitar(Red Phoenix/Mink). The Dead Daisies put on stellar show and I was sure that they gained many new fans that evening. After the band’s performance, the crowd was invited to to meet the band as they set up a table to chat with fans and sign autographs.
As 9:00 quickly approached, the stage was set behind a large black curtain. The crowd cheered loudly upon first sight of the KISS emblem on the curtain. The crowd became deafening as the house lights went dark, red beams of light circled the crowd and the curtain dropped. Loud explosions of pyro canons filled the air as lights and laser beams illuminated the arena. “Detroit Rock City” was the band’s first number followed up by “Deuce” and “Shout It Out Loud”. The band played to the crowd and followed through with every attempt to make each individual feel as if they were a part of the show. Whether it was Gene making eye contact and erotic tongue gestures or Paul sitting at the edge of the stage tossing guitar pics to the crowd, fan interaction is important to KISS. During a guitar solo, Paul brought a young girl on stage and placed her between him and his guitar. The smile on her face was enough to know that this was an unforgettable moment of her life to be on stage with KISS.
As mentioned previously, the show was filled with one theatrical moment after another. During “Flaming Youth” Gene Simmons spit blood during a bass solo and flew to the rafters of the arena. Later on Gene would breathe fire at the close of “War Machine”. The stage was equipped with multiple risers coming up from the stage raising multiple band members above the stage including Eric Singer and his drum kit. Band members cleared the stage as Tommy Thayer shot fire from the end of his guitar. Paul asked the crowd to get loud and invite him out to them by screaming his name. The Dayton, Ohio fans responded to Paul all 3 times getting louder every time. Paul obliged to come out to the crowd as he flew above them to a secondary stage where he performed “Love Gun” and “Black Diamond”.
This current KISS tour is titled “Freedom to Rock” 2016. Kiss has partnered with Hiring Our Heroes for this tour and has given many free tickets to our United States Armed Forces veterans. The band donated a check for $150,000 dollars during their encore performance to our real life heroes while veterans and representatives of Wright Patterson Air Force base were present on stage. The stage was illuminated in red, white and blue while the United States flag was featured on the video screen. Paul invited the crowd to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Following the hair raising pledge to our United States flag, the band was once again lifted by risers as they performed an exhilarating instrumental performance of the “Star Spangled Banner”.
Closing out the show, KISS went straight into “Rock and Roll All Night”. When you thought you saw it all, confetti canons threw endless amounts of confetti into the crowd. So much confetti, that the stage was barely visible. At the conclusion of the heart pounding performance, Paul smashed his guitar against the stage. The roaring crowd went crazy as Paul thanked Dayton, Ohio for coming out to the show. If you are like me and have never experienced a KISS concert, I suggest that you get to your closest city remaining on this tour. The live performance of these seasoned entertainers will have you begging for more and leave you with an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.
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Live from The Nutter Center
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Kiss / Setlist / Nutter Center / 8-22-16