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KISS In Youngstown, OH With Photos!

By Geoff Ketler, Cleveland Contributor
Wednesday, August 31, 2016 @ 11:24 AM


The Hottest Band In The World Plays Youngstown For The First Time In 42 Years

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All Photos By Geoff Ketler/Aces High Photography

I dare you to think of any other bands in the rock genre, or any genre, that are as instantly recognizable as KISS. The makeup, the tongue, the outfits, the fire; you know who they are – the pioneers of theatrics and everything excessive with stage shows. Our beloved concerts that we attend today would not be the same if it weren’t for KISS forging the path of swords, blood, explosions and truckloads of confetti.

Support for the entire tour came in the form of THE DEAD DAISIES featuring frontman John Corabi, drummer Brian Tichy, guitarist Doug Aldrige and bassist Marco Mendoza. Unfortunately because of the KISS photo restrictions, I was caught up with security waiting to be escorted into the pit and missed the entire DEAD DAISIES set. I would have loved to have at least see them, but no dice. Their setlist is below.

  • “Midnight Moses” (THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND Cover)
  • “Mexico”
  • “Make Some Noise”
  • “Fortunate Son” (CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL Cover)
  • “Lock ‘N’ Load”
  • “Long Way To Go”
  • “Join Together” (THE WHO Cover)
  • “The Last Time I Saw The Sun”
  • “Devil Out Of Time”
  • “Helter Skelter” (THE BEATLES Cover)
The clock struck 8:30pm and all of us photographers were escorted to the barricade to await the hottest band in the world. The opening riff to “Detroit Rock City” rang out and with an explosion, KISS took the stage. Gene Simmons high-stepped his way over to his mic stand; tongue hanging out. Paul Stanley stood center stage at his mic stand, but as soon as his vocal parts were over, he was pointing, tossing guitar picks and hamming it up. During “Deuce” – our second and last song in the photo pit – Paul came right over to me and hung his feet over the 7-foot-high stage and with a flick of the wrist; struck me in the forehead with a guitar pick. KISS will likely be the most photogenic band I will ever get to shoot.

“Hey Youngstown”, Paul Stanley explained; “Do you know when the last time KISS played Youngstown was? – 1974”. Let that sink in. Now Youngstown, Ohio is not traditionally a boon market for rock concerts, but the city is strategically placed with reasonable access to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Erie, Akron and Canton. But seriously…42 years later KISS is back in town and still at the top of their game. How many bands can claim something like that?

The group, rounded out by Tommy Thayer on lead guitar and long-time drummer Eric Singer continued through their set with such hits as “Shock Me”, “Cold Gin” and “Lick It Up”. Gene Simmons’s bass solo included him taking flight up to a perch, high above the stage. He also did his signature blood spitting and fire breathing. Tommy Thayer’s guitar solo included rockets flying from his guitar neck accompanied by fireworks. One of many highlights was Paul Stanley taking flight on rope across the small arena, landing on a circular stage in the center/back of the floor during “Love Gun”. For an encore, the band returned to the stage swiftly and Eric Singer sang the ballad "Beth". This was quickly followed by Paul Stanley leading us in the Pledge of Allegiance. The colors were brought up by the local VFW Post and a check for $150,000 was donated to a veterans charity before the band went into their rendition of John Stafford Smith’s “The Star Spangled Banner” which included jets flying overhead on the screens. The night wrapped up with what else, but “Rock And Roll All Nite”. I have never seen so much confetti in my life. Between the fog, CO2, explosions and fireworks, the entire place was filled with a dense fog and smoke. After all of these years, they can still do it and do it well. We wanted the best…we got the best.

Setlist

  • “Detroit Rock City”
  • “Deuce”
  • “Shout It Out Loud”
  • “Do You Love Me”
  • “I Love It Loud”
  • “Flaming Youth”
  • *Bass Solo*
  • “God Of Thunder”
  • “Psycho Circus”
  • “Shock Me”
  • *Guitar Solo*
  • “Cold Gin”
  • “Lick It Up”
  • “War Machine”
  • “Love Gun”
  • “Black Diamond”
Encore
  • “Beth”
  • “The Star-Spangled Banner” (John Stafford Smith Cover)
  • “Rock And Roll All Nite”
Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Geoff Ketler/Aces High Photography


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