Refrain On The Road – KISS!! – 07/31/2013

Posted: 30th July 2013 by refrainmusic in Concerts

The last time KISS was in New Brunswick, I still hadn’t broken double digits in age yet…it was 1977. Fast forward to the early 90’s and a sold out show cancelled in Moncton, so long ago now I don’t even remember why, I just remember the disappointment of once again not being able to see one of the biggest rock acts of all time. Here we are in 2013 and KISS is coming to New Brunswick again…what, really?! Over the years I’d ‘just missed’ opportunities to see them, passing ships as it were, or maybe even the bank account wouldn’t allow a trip to far off Montreal, Toronto, Boston. But here they were, on their “Monster Tour”, supporting their “20th” studio album…and I finally am going to see a band I’ve followed since the late 70’s.

KISS Army - Monster Tour 2013

KISS Army – Monster Tour 2013

The doors to Harbour Station opened about fifteen minutes late, which caused a crazy bottleneck to get into the building, but went fairly quickly.  A lot of people were commenting that they now expected the show to start late because of it, but at two minutes to eight the opening act “Shinedown” took the stage. Shinedown rocked for a solid 45 minutes playing a mix of heavy up-tempo songs and some slower rock power ballad type tunes. They even included a cover of Lynrd Skynrd’s “Simple Man” from their debut album from back in 2003, ‘Leave A Whisper’ and their own hits like Diamond Eyes, and I’ll Follow You. Well received by the crowd, they rocked the room and were a great warm up for what was to come.

Shinedown - Zach Myers - KISS Monster Tour 2013

Shinedown – Zach Myers – KISS Monster Tour 2013

Kiss traces their roots to Wicked Lester, a New York rock and roll band led by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Wicked Lester, never really achieved any success, they recorded one album, which was never released, and played a handful of live shows. Simmons and Stanley, ditched Wicked Lester and began thinking of a new direction, a new group. In late 1972, Simmons and Stanley answered an add placed by drummer Peter Criss looking to join a band, and after playing for Simmons and Stanley, then their were three. Inspired by acts Alice Cooper and the New York Dolls, they also began experimenting with their image by wearing makeup and various outfits. In early 1973, the group added lead guitarist Ace Frehley who impressed the group with his first audition, now that they were the four, they dropped Wicked Lester and became KISS. Sometimes a band name can come from something so simple, a snippet of a conversation, a name that becomes so recognizable it’s unfathomable at the time. At one point Criss mentioned that he was in a band called Lips, so Stanley said something to the effect of “What about Kiss?”…Gene revealed many years ago, and the rest is history.

Back to 2013, Harbour Station…as the lights dimmed around 9pm the crowd that ranged from the very young there with their parents, to many in the age bracket and beyond of the band itself…went crazy. Strobes danced behind the large black drape that cascaded down from the rafters hiding the stage lighting up the huge KISS logo as the video screens to each side showed the members of the band walking in the bowels of the arena to the stage, the screens went blank, a loud boom from the pyrotechnics, the drape dropped, and ‘the spider’ lowered the band on it’s back to the stage below…and thirty years of waiting had ended.

Starting the night with the title track from their album “Psycho Circus” they rolled into many a familiar song like “Shout It Out Loud” and one of my all time favourites, “Heaven’s On Fire” off their 1984 album ‘Animalize’.

"Heaven's On Fire" - KISS Monster Tour 2013

“Heaven’s On Fire” – KISS Monster Tour 2013

I was a bit stunned that i was finally seeing a band I’d listened too for so long, and that I had resolved myself that they would never come back here to this area again. I snapped pictures like a mad man, unfortunately it was only my point and shoot this time, but at least the band/promoter allowed that. The crowd was in their glory through songs like “War Machine” where Gene, aka The Demon, starts the song off by breathing fire.

The Starchild - Paul Stanely - KISS Monster Tour 2013

The Starchild – Paul Stanely – KISS Monster Tour 2013

About half way through the night it’s time for Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer to be put front and center when Tommy takes the mic and sings a tune that leads into guitar and drum solos from the two band members. The drum kit rising into the air as strobes and pyro flashes around Singer’s heavy beats, Thayer flies out over the crowd on a raised platform blasting out a solo to the excitement of the crowd shooting flames from the end of his guitar.


The Spaceman – Tommy Thayer & The Cat – Eric Singer – KISS Monster Tour 2013

Following that up it’s time for the “demon’s” solo on bass guitar and a performance that involved spitting blood, classic Simmons tongue wagging, a ‘flight’ in the air to the back of the ‘spider’ and the crowd losing its minds chanting Gene, Gene, Gene.

"The Demon" - Gene Simmons - KISS Monster Tour 2013

“The Demon” – Gene Simmons – KISS Monster Tour 2013

There was a lot of ‘flying’ going on in this show as Paul Stanley soon stepped on to some sort of circus contraption and was jetted across the crowd on the floor and onto a ‘B stage’ at the back of the room, a giant mirror ball was lit and the main stage blackened as hundreds of pin points of light danced through the arena.

KISS Monster Tour 2013 - 07/31/2013

KISS Monster Tour 2013 – 07/31/2013

Back to the main stage, what appeared to be their final song, complete with ‘bows’ and all…then Stanley says “that was supposed to be the end, but do you mind if we stay a bit longer”? The crowd, not surprisingly went crazy. Launching into ‘Detroit Rock City’ the band blasted us with several more songs, and not only blasted us with music but with several tons of confetti from cannons mounted around the room (looked like an American Idol finale), pyro went nuts, and Simmons and Thayer were elevated above the crowd as the music swelled and the confetti fell. Finally, they ended it all with the song that everyone fully expected to be the last song, “Rock & Roll All Night” from 1975.

Singing along, clapping, and cheering…30 years…well worth the wait.

Thanks to Evenko/Live Nation, PPRL, Harbour Station, and Gene, Paul, Eric, and Tommy for an amazing night!


Psycho Circus
Shout It Out Loud
Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
I Love It Loud
Hell or Hallelujah
War Machine (Gene breathes fire)
Heaven’s on Fire
Calling Dr. Love
Say Yeah
Shock Me / Outta This World
Guitar and Drum Solos (Tommy Thayer / Eric Singer)
Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies)
God of Thunder
Lick It Up (Included the instrumental)
Love Gun (Paul flies over crowd to the B-stage)
Black Diamond
Detroit Rock City
I Was Made for Lovin’ You
Rock and Roll All Nite

  1. Amber says:

    Sounds like I’m sorry I missed this one. 🙁