August 3, 2016
We wanted the best and we got the best! The hottest band in the world, KISS, brought their Freedom to Rock tour to the Amsol Arena in Duluth, MN. It was the first time the band has toured to the Duluth area since 2009 and the seventh time overall. The band opened with the hit Detroit Rock City and didn’t look back from there.
Everything that this band does is as epic now as it was when they started over 40 years ago. From the lighting and pyrotechnics to the confident show boating and brilliant stage presence of Paul Stanley to the tongue wagging, blood spitting and fire breathing of Gene Simmons. As well as the other long time members of the band lead guitarist Tommy Thayer with the sparks flying out of the end of his guitar during Ace Frehley’s original Shock Me and drummer Eric Singer who stood at the front of the stage and performed Peter Criss’ top chart single “Beth” during the encore. KISS concerts have always been a family friendly show and the crowd displayed that with all ages in attendance.
Paul Stanley or the “Star Child” mentioned to the near sold out crowd that something had changed about the band since the last time they were in town. They’re now inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (since 2014). He said “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame hates KISS, but we were inducted in because of you Duluth. They had to listen to the fans, so we thank you and love you”.
Gene Simmons, “The Demon”, did his famous blood spit in low green and red lighting. He was then cable lifted up onto a platform above the center of the stage where he performed God of Thunder. The band also played Flaming Youth off of their 1975 Destroyer album much to the delight of the many die-hard fans in attendance. Paul Stanley flew through the crowd on a supporter to a small platform in the middle of the arena and performed Love Gun.
KISS came out after a brief break and Paul Stanley explained why Freedom of Rock is the name of this tour and how the men and women of our service are the real heroes. Then he had everyone at Amsoil Arena put their right hand over their hearts and recited the pledge of allegiance.
They saved the best for last as Gene Simmons stood on a raised platform stage right and Tommy Thayer stood on a raised platform stage left, drummer Eric Singer was on a raised platform in the middle of the stage as Paul Stanley stood at the front center of the stage smashing his guitar with paper confetti completely saturating the entire arena during the end of their biggest smash hit and international party anthem Rock and Roll All Night. Pyro blasts and fireworks set off the main fire alarm system literally ending the night with a bang.
Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin song played from tape)
Detroit Rock City
Shout It Out Loud
Do You Love Me
I Love It Loud
Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies to… more)
God of Thunder
Lick It Up
War Machine (Gene breathes fire)
Love Gun (Paul flies to second stage)
The Star-Spangled Banner (John Stafford Smith cover)
Rock and Roll All Nite
God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You II (played from tape)
All photos by Tommy Allen Williams
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