For the next 70-plus days (or so) I will be counting down (to number one) my favorite Rock/Pop bands. Yesterday was the newbie Golden Void. Today is the long-in-the-tooth KISS!
I didn't really care for KISS all that much when they came out, though I did WANT to see them
with you RELIOPS when we thought they were coming to Fort Wayne. Their Japanese sytle Kabuki
face paint which was their gimmick even at the beginning, their comic book personas, and the fact that they did have a "buzz" attracted my interest. I am also comfortable enough with my "hard-rock cred" :) to admit I always did like Peter Criss' ballad "Beth."
As a student at Wichita State University I did take the opportunity to go and see them "LIVE" when they came to the campus and played Henry Levitt Arena (now re-named Koch Arena; home of the WSU Shockers [rated #2 in the nation as I type this] ) This would have been in the autumn of 1977 I'm thinking, but I could be way off on the date. I went by myself to the show...never as much fun as when going to a concert with a date or a pal!
The opening band was some generic rock band by the name of DETECTIVE. After their mediocre 35 minute or so "set" KISS came out.
I don't remember much, which is strange as I was straight, sober, and alert. If my memory serves correctly, they were at the end of long tour and were not all that "stoked" to be playing Wichita, Kansas, though the auditorium was packed. I think they gave only a C+ effort and may not have even used all their pyrotechnics. Still I got to the legendary KISS.
I have grown to like them more and more over the years. They were/are FUN. Gene and Paul for all their faults were master P.T. Barnum showmen/raconteurs and decent enough on their instruments. The two of them were also pretty good as rock n' roll song-writers. Their original axe-man Ace Frehley was/is an under-rated lead guitarist.
So all of you space-emperors craving to take over DETROIT: ROCK CITY.... time to rock and roll all night...and par-tay every day!!!