Kiss, with guests The Cult, rolled through the Calgary Stampede on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Our master photog Jef Thorell was there to capture the moment for Metal Nation Radio.
Kiss has been a polarizing band since the early 1970’s when they struggled to be taken seriously by the rock press and music business and until 1975’s Kiss Alive, it seemed unlikely that they would be more than just an interesting blip on the burgeoning hard rock scene of the time. The band’s first three studio albums were, quite frankly, not very good and largely ignored by rock fans of the time but when the live version of “Rock N Roll All Nite” hit the airwaves everything changed rapidly. In the ensuing decades Kiss has survived numerous line-up changes, the removal of the makeup in the early 1980’s, indifferent albums (Think Hot In The Shade), the mid ’90’s reunion with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss and 2002’s “Farewell” tour which, evidently, was not the band’s swan song.
In the present day Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley take the stage with Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer posing as the characters originated by Frehley and Criss, effectively presenting themselves as one half of a Kiss cover band. Simmons asserts that as they approach retirement (both he and Stanley are in their mid-sixties), a new starchild and demon will carry the mantle forward in the ultimate Kiss tribute, one intended to carry the franchise forward in perpetuity.
Some long-time fans abandoned Kiss (myself included) after they brought in Thayer and Singer, perceiving their continuation as nothing more than greed, milking their legend for every nickel and dime they can. Check their outrageously priced VIP tickets as being one just one example of their avarice. Whatever our opinion there is no denying that they still put on a spectacular rock n roll spectacle that the faithful are only too happy to pony up for year after year after year in spite of the fact that there has been very little worthwhile new material from the group since Creatures of the Night in 1982. Wednesday’s show was opened by popular ’80’s hard rockers The Cult and Canadian alt-rockers Moist.
All photos by Jef Thorell, exclusively for Metal Nation Radio.
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