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KISS/Buckcherry in Greenville, SC

By A Headbanger, Do You Bang Head?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 @ 9:51 AM


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Reviewed by Frontburner (KNAC.COM Contest Winner):

First things first: Hats off to KNAC.COM for the free tix to this show; thank you very much!!

Like many of you out there, I too am a doubter these days; a Kiss doubter due to the many absurd blemishes on the name commited by mostly one band member in the last seven years. Not doubters in their live abilities, just in any shred of credibility. My favorite band for most of my life was deluted by a) merchandising (coffins, condoms, coffeehouses, etc.), a farewell tour that seemed more like a ploy to sell tickets, kidneystone Ebay auctions, the makeup controversy of putting new members in familiar faces, & the ultimate shame of being told that "Kiss could still exist even if we (Gene & Paul) weren't still in the band."

I couldn't bring myself to attend the "Rock The Nation" tour of 2004 because of such skullduggery. Is there nothing this whore won't stoop to? Perhaps to amend some fences, they actually got off their duffs & made a much-needed return-to-form disc called "Sonic Boom." It's head & shoulders above "Psycho Circus", their last attempt which again descended into chaos with the original band. No tour stops were in my neck of the woods so I then commenced to stop at KNAC's site daily since the announcement of tickets to be won. Lo & behold, I got the e-mail & we commenced on the 2 1/2 hour trek to Greenville, SC.

The Bi-Lo Center was besieged early on by diehard fans, many of whom were there for the meet & greet. There were still many in make-up & costume bringing their beloved souvenirs to be signed (everything from guitars, vintage albums, the infamous lunchbox, etc.). It was apparent that if Kiss' popularity was waning, someone forgot to tell the good people of Greenville, who seemed to care less. This is one of their bands & the naysayers can kiss our proverbial...

Buckcherry shot out of the gate with an tight, energetic set which lasted only about 30 minutes, but was chock full of their hits and a cover of Deep Purple's "Highway Star." Their repitoir alsio included Tired of You, Next To You, Lit Up, Rescue Me, Sorry, Everything, Talk To Me, & Crazy Bitch. Frontman Josh Todd was obviously enjoying himself & the sound was good as well. It would seem that they were allowed a sound check which is consistent with Kiss' reported good treatment of most of their openers.

The moment was here: "YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST! THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD... KISS!!!"

Explosions rock the arena as the band hit the stage as energetic & bombastic as ever with "Deuce." They look great & are ready to give the packed house their all. The sound is great, the stage is backed with staggered blocks of video cubes topped by Eric Singer's drum riser. Tommy Thayer does his best Ace impersonation on guitar & Eric must've been asked to dumb-down his drumming a bit as he's not as flamboyant. The pyro is the most I've ever seen them have (this was my 8th Kiss show) & during "Rock & Roll All Night", they dumped what seemed about 100 lbs. of confetti from four barrels around the perimeter of the floor section. That song is by far the most overplayed in Kiss' catalog, but I've not enjoyed it that much in years. Tommy does Ace's flying guitar & shooting at the roof tricks at the end of "Shock Me", but they stop short of allowing him to do the smoking guitar. This is the only part of the show I didn't care for. Tommy's a really good guitarist & it's a shame he has to make his living being someone else, but I'm sure he's not complaining about his lot in life nor specifically his paycheck. Eric's drum solo features a spinning riser not seen since the day of Tommy Lee's spectacles. Funny enough, a drunk girl sitting near me was heard to say "He's still got it, WHOOO!" I hope she realizes that this isn't Peter Criss. SHEESH! So much for diehards.

They stuck primarily to selections from "Alive" as they are still billing this as the Alive 35 tour, but didn't play it in its entirety. Only one non-makeup era song made the cut (Lick It Up) and only one from Sonic Boom (guess which one?). The band sounded really good & it felt good to hear the really old classics come alive again.

My bud & I agreed that the show was much better than we expected. Dare I say it was spectacular! The free tickets only enhanced this belief. We left as happy as Bill Clinton at the Chicken Ranch on an expense account.

SET LIST (not in order):

  • DEUCE
  • CALLING DR. LOVE
  • STRUTTER
  • HOTTER THAN HELL (FIRE-BREATHING)
  • PARASITE
  • SHE
  • 100,000 YEARS (DRUM SOLO)
  • BLACK DIAMOND
  • ROCK & ROLL ALL NIGHT
  • LET ME GO ROCK & ROLL
  • DETROIT ROCK CITY
  • SHOUT IT OUT LOUD
  • LOVE GUN (PAUL FLIES)
  • SHOCK ME (TOMMY DOES ACE'S FLYING GUITAR & SHOOTING)
  • GUITAR TRICKS, BUT NO SMOKER)
  • I LOVE IT LOUD (BLOODY INTRO & FLYING)
  • LICK IT UP (WITH "WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN" INTRO & CLIMAX IN THE MIDDLE)
  • MODERN DAY DELILAH
  • -BITS OF ZEP LICKS THROWN IN HERE & THERE FROM PAUL



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