Article by: Temple Ohl
Photography by: Scott Owens of Mapiya Photography
What can I say besides, “It was epic!?” We all remember that first time our lips met those of the one we desired. The anticipation for the thing that you want most in that moment, your palms are sweaty, there are butterflies fluttering in your stomach, your pupils are dilated while your heart races. Well tonight, musically, my brain experienced something even better than that. It was kind’a other-worldly. As a musician, I have experienced hundreds of “magical” moments. But tonight I got to witness a band whom I was aware of, but not necessarily a fan of. I never understood the makeup or the cult following of KISS. I had heard their songs on the radio often, but I didn’t see what the hype was about. I mean, the music was good, but I couldn’t figure out what made their fans so rabidly loyal.
Then tonight happened. I was granted the opportunity to experience the KISS Meet and Greet package where we were treated like royalty, and immediately embraced like we were a part of this crazy group from the beginning! I almost felt guilty about the experience (while it was happening), but the sheer volume of positive energy continued to draw me in. I became sucked to the mystique of this other-worldly experience without realizing what was happening. I was becoming part of the KISS Army, and it was awesome.
From the first interaction with the Venue Staff, KISS Staff, and all else involved, we were made to feel special. Everyone was not only friendly, but excited for what was to come. We were standing in a long line to Meet and Greet the band, and Frank Fritz (from American Pickers) strolled by and he took time to talk to his fans. Next thing we know, we were whisked away to a conference room, and when we turned the corner.
There was KISS in all their glory. Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. The line seemed to move lightning fast, and the next thing you know, Gene Simmons was resting his hands on my shoulders while we were being photographed with the band. It was the only time throughout the night that I feared for my life, because I didn’t know if that demonic tongue was going to strangle the life out of me. Turns out, the demon controls that thing better than an electric fence controls a rottweiler.
After that awesome experience, I returned to our seats to see this iconic mega band open the show. They launched our other-worldly experience with “Detroit Rock City”, and the excitement literally blew the roof off the place. If you look up I-Wireless Center, the mayor is about the change the name to the I-Roofless Center next week.
The Demon & Crew were off and running, and there was no stopping this entertainment spaceship. The best light show I have ever seen, combined with the amazing pyrotechnics had the energy of the crowd roaring decimals I hadn’t previously experienced. The Demon’s took us for a tour of the galaxy and back, all within the first song. From there, they launched into “Deuce,” to making us “Shout It Out Loud,” asking us, “Do You Love Me?” “I Love It Loud” was catapulted into “Flaming Youth,” which caused me to see the “God of Thunder,” right after Gene’s high-flying bass solo. I would’ve thought that was weird, if it didn’t lead to a “Psycho Circus,” which would ultimately “Shock Me.”
They launched into a Guitar Solo that must have made them thirsty for some “Cold Gin,” because they all decided to “Lick It Up.” This band is truly a “War Machine,” and they had the “Love Gun” to prove it. Then they went searching for a “Black Diamond” to give to “Beth” when they returned to the stage for their encores. I’m pretty sure they felt patriotic because they launched into the “Star Spangled Banner” after “Beth.” The final song of the evening was one of my personal favorites, “Rock and Roll All Night.” Judging from the crowd’s response, it was one of their favorites too. I’m almost certain that the KISS Army would have stayed and rocked all night if the greatest band in the world would have kept playing. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend checking out this iconic mega band. It will CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
My music collection has changed since I got my first KISS.