KISS Live! – Kennewick, WA

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DSC_8634Kennewick, WA July 10th, 2016 – “You wanted the best…you got the best” is a phrase that is fond of saying. The band performed to a sold out Toyota Center Arena audience boasting an almost two hour set that left the Army more than likely wanting the night to never end.  This particular Sunday evening was definitely a special one for the Tri-Cities community.  The recorded lead-in song to the concert was Rock And Roll by Led Zeppelin, which ignited the audience, singing along leading up to the lights going out. When they hit the stage, blew the doors off the venue with the first hit of the night, Detroit Rock City.  Pyrotechnics were shot into the air along with amazing lighting effects spreading across the arena as the band was lowered from a high riser to the stage.

DSC_8673Bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons looked like a demon soldier from hell, stomping around the stage with attitude and smiles as his infamous tongue crept out past his chin while playing Creatures of the Night.  After Flaming Youth, Simmons performed his traditional bass solo exceptionally while spitting blood and rising above the crowd kicking off I Love it Loud while spewing flames from his mouth and planting his flaming sword with obvious aggression.  Vocalist/guitarist Paul Stanley did a sensational job keeping the audience on their feet while rocking out the entire evening to their nineteen song-set, flying to the middle of the arena platform where he danced and dabbled in some guitar riffs, then kicking into Love Gun.  The band’s classics such as Calling Dr. Love, Psycho Circus, Shock Me, Strutter, Lick It Up and Black Diamond sounded completely tight in all aspects of their instrumental playing.

Drummer/vocalist Eric Singer seemed to be having a phenomenal time on his third run of the “Freedom to Rock” tour in Kennewick while blasting beats on his double bass kit drum riser to the band’s 1977 hit Love Gun, smiling into the camera leading to an elaborate LED screen which was used as their backdrop behind their gigantic stage set-up.  Lead guitarist/vocalist Tommy Thayer ripped into his well-known  guitar solo with explosives shooting from the headstock of his Gibson axe at the end of Shock Me while going to opposite sides of the DSC_8658stage.  Their 1982 single War Machine was a huge hit of the night with an ending that had Simmons spewing fire from his mouth and sword as if pulling the trigger on a highly charged flame thrower.  As the night was coming to an end but the Army still wanting more, the band came back out for an encore performance with drummer Eric Singer on the microphone performing an all- time classic, Beth while the remaining members played their instruments in a somewhat acoustic manner with no piano.  Next, inviting service members of our country’s U.S. military on stage as well as the mayor of the city of Kennewick, Steve Young, KISS performed the Star Spangled Banner in such a heartfelt way that it brought tears to audience members around the entire arena while pyrotechnics exploded from left to right in honor of our U.S. servicemen and military veterans.  The big finale of the night was their 1975 hit Rock and Roll All Night while confetti was shot throughout the entire arena. Singer was beating the skins, Simmons and Thayer were being brought out on extending lifts to the middle of the venue while Stanley stayed planted on the stage smashing his Ibanez guitar, breaking it to pieces. The self-described “Hottest Band in the World” exited the stage and arena in all their glory, moving on to their next date of “The Freedom to Rock” tour as did all the satisfied KISS Army soldiers in attendance that Sunday evening.

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