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KISS
June 27, 2000
At Meadowlands Arena
East Rutherford, NJ

by Catherine Galioto
August 15, 2000

Kiss! People are always looking for the next 'big thing.' Well I think I have stumbled upon it. The next big thing is a band called KISS. Their concerts are of such an original quality and contain so much spontaneity, that KISS's live show will surely help propel this unknown act to superstardom.

I had the opportunity to witness the well-kept secret known as the band KISS in a packed-to-capacity stadium show. Ted Nugent and Skid Row were also on the bill, however I cannot provide you my opinion of their sets because I was not there to witness them. All I can say is that Ted Nugent sounds great from the parking lot when you're eating burgers and drinking beer.

So when I entered the stadium to see KISS, I did not know what to expect. After all, I had never even heard of this band before. The stadium's scents of old popcorn, hot dogs cooked in dirty water, and sweat, made the place seem just like home to me. Stadium seats are also easy to locate after walking in a gigantic circle for over a mile. Needless to say, there was energy in the air.

Asking surrounding ticket holders what they thought of our section's seats, I discovered I was sitting in some type of stadium legend called 'the nosebleed section.' I began to feel a part of something special.

Now let me tell you something. I have discovered that KISS is not like other bands. Well, they kinda are. But anyway, while other bands just go out in plain clothes, KISS has costumes! Now, it's not like they look like Slipknot, its more like the Insane Clown Posse. Believe it or not, KISS also comes out on stage in bondage outfits like the kind I once saw in a San Francisco porn shop. They are looking like some warped Liberace in leather, spikes, platform shoes, and glitter. One even has face paint like a kitten, another like a kabuki mistress. I was happy to see these men embrace such sexual diversity in a time when rampant discrimination is committed on the basis of sexual preference. Way to go, KISS!

Also, the KISS band members have giant inflatable statues recreated in their own image to give the audience an idea of what the band would look like if inflatable dolls played in the band. Something called the KISS Army hung their flag as part of the stage, and let me tell you, after seeing this show, I was ready to go into battle as part of the KISS Army.

I am so glad to bring you news of this underground act. They put a lot of time and effort into their shows. You can hardly tell they give the same exact show to every city they play. The lead singer, the one with the diamond-thingy on his face, made this clear by addressing the audience directly as "New Jersey." Though he easily could be saying "New York" in its place next week, it still made me feel special hearing him call to my home state.

Some bands as they grow in popularity forget their fans and get accused of 'selling out.' Well, not KISS. The band remembered their fans throughout the show, telling us "East Rutherford....WE LOVE YOU!!" and also "We love you....EAST RUTHERFORD!!" The bass player, the one who looks like a kabuki, even pointed to the audience several times. Clearly this band will not forget their fans when they reach the top.

Reaching the top does seem like a long way for this unheard-of act to travel. But KISS is working hard to get there. Perhaps trying to sell their demo tape at shows would spark some more curiosity in them. This band definitely sparked my curiosity, and it wasn't just from all the sparks they let off as part of the pyrotechnics involved in the show.

And with all the pyrotechnics involved, June 27 should have been renamed the Fourth of July. That's how much fireworks there were. And flames too. Lights also. KISS is clearly paying homage to their predecessors, such heavy metal acts as Poison, Bon Jovi and Def Lepard, who also relied heavily on pyrotechnics to entertain. And KISS is definitely highly aware of the other concert trends and has incorporated them into the show. KISS proves they're just as cool as the big stars, when the lead singer, the one with the diamond-thingy, flies over the crowd ala Backstreet Boys with their hoverboards or ala Tommy Lee of Motley Crue with his flying drumset, or even ala Van Halen in their "Panama" video. KISS is clearly abreast of the latest concert technology that the fans want to see.

KISS shows this again as they delve into multimedia at their concert. Utilizing a humongous, gigantic, really big movie screen, you not only get to see the performance, but the band has also taken the time to produce an independent film showing an animated KISS with some zany antics and averting terrifying danger, a production worthy of Cannes Film Festival consideration. KISS also dared the audience to respond as loudly as they could, so that a sound meter could capture the incredible volume. It was confusing how after the sound died down, the meter still was increasing its volume reading, but it didnt matter since the band played a special song on the account of we had screamed so loud. I'm sure it was accurate.

But back to the performance. And what a performance it was. Did I mention I am very excited to tell you about it? That's because I feel this band has some 'buzz' attached to it and I want to be the first to tell you all about them. KISS plays some great songs that show their party style. Like their lyrics say, they definitely want to "rock and roll all day and party every night." These guys are so wild, they even light their instruments on fire and spit blood; following in the footsteps of such wild performers like Ozzy, Alice Cooper, and Marilyn Manson.

KISS has such energy, such exuberance, I'm sure they will be touring for many years to come, and putting out new, critically acclaimed albums as well. You should catch this band now, and get that small intimate performance that only new up-and-coming bands like this one can deliver.

Catherine Galioto is Staff Columnist. Contact her at ms.matilda@rockzone.com.

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