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KISS Wembley Arena, London 13 May 2010

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Kiss, photo by Moonshayde Photography

Last March Kiss burned out everyone's retina at the tiny Islington Academy in a one off show to promote the 'Sonic Boom' tour.  Tonight Kiss are back where they belong, on stage in the big arena bringing with them 17 trucks of equipment, 5 tour buses, a road crew of 50 and sackfulls of confetti.

Having the daunting task of supporting them is young Las Vegas rockers Taking Dawn who are fresh from recently supporting Airbourne.  Coming on stage to an intro tape of Survivor's 'Eye Of The Tiger' from the Rocky III soundtrack, Taking Dawn soon get in the ring and make the most of the stage.  The melodic 'Save Me' with it's Bon Jovish woahs and the Y&T feel of 'Endlessly' are knock out tunes.

Frontman Chris Babbitt proudly displays his Kiss Army shirt before storming into the Skid Row brattish attack of their title track 'Time To Burn'.  There are more early day Bon Jovi similarities in the 'Runaway' chorus of 'Take Me Away', but at the final bell they win on points with a suckerpunch cover of Fleetwood Mac's 'The Chain'.  I would like to see them again, where they would be more suited to a club gig this early in their career.

Kiss, photo by Moonshayde Photography

Kiss are a band who could buy Las Vegas and show us what entertainment is really all about.  Arriving in their platform boots high above our heads on a platform from rock 'n roll heaven, Kiss descend onto the stage in an explosion of pyros from hell, storming into the opening track from 'Sonic Boom' the fist punching 'Modern Day Delilah', the crowd goes crazy.

This is the Simmons/Stanley show where we are captivated by their every move. Gene Simmons sways his armadillo metal crotch to the unsuspecting females down the front, Paul Stanley struts his backside to the audience in his starry black spandex trousers.

Simmons at times looks like the Predator after a blood thirsty bout with Arnold Schwarzenegger whilst Stanley is still camper than a row of tents, who when trying to split the audience in half reminded me of the French mime artist Marcel Marceau.

Kiss, photo by Moonshayde Photography

What about Space Ace and the Cat? This is the strongest live Kiss line up I've ever seen. New boy Tommy Thayer who has amazingly now been in the band for eight years, handles all the Frehley riffs with aplomb delivering great vocals on 'Shock Me'. Literally on the drum riser Eric Singer looks cool behind the drum kit ,surprises me with his voice on 'Black Diamond' .At one time Singer holds up a bazooka and blasts out the lighting rig.  Pantomime at it's best.

Kiss, photo by Moonshayde Photography

Simmons flies to the top of the lighting rig for 'I Love It Loud' looking like the devil holding Sunday service.  'Detroit Rock City' ending the main set had us all begging for more.

With a five song encore Kiss show off their influences as 'Lick It Up' segues into the Who's 'Won't Get Fooled Again' with Stanley swinging the microphone lead around his neck.  Paul Stanley then flies above the crowd into the centre of the arena for the sing-a-long of the disco floor filler 'I Was Made For Loving You'.

Kiss, photo by Moonshayde Photography

At the end of the Kiss anthem 'Rock And Roll All Nite' an avalanche of confetti blinds Wembley to an ecstatic reaction.  I still kept finding tons of the stuff in my pockets hours after the show, there was so much of it.

We wanted the best, we got the best, the best is still yet to come from Kiss but it can't get much better than this.  Our comic book heroes were simply Marvellous.

Set list : Mordern Day Delilah / Cold Gin / Let Me Go Rock 'N Roll / Firehouse / Say Yeah! / Deuce / Crazy Crazy Nights / Calling Dr Love / Shock Me / I'm An Animal / 100,000 Years / I Love It Loud / Love Gun / Black Diamond /Detroit Rock City ..encores.. Lick It Up / Shout It Out Loud / I Was Made For Loving You / God Gave Rock 'N Roll To You II / Rock and Roll All Nite

Review by Mark Taylor

Photos by Moonshayde Photography

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