KISS – KISSology Vol. 3 1992-2000 (2007, VH-1 Classic)
The bonus DVD inside is the one available at the majority of retailers: The KROQ Weenie Roast – 6/15/96 at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in Irvine, CA. (There are two other versions of the bonus DVD, one from Best Buy and the other from Wal-Mart.) The KROQ setlist is 58 minutes and includes:
- Love Gun
- Cold Gin
- Calling Dr. Love
- Shock Me
- 100,000 Years
- Detroit Rock City
- Black Diamond
- Rock And Roll All Nite
Paul Stanley – Vocals & Guitars
Gene Simmons – Vocals & Bass
Ace Frehley – Vocals & Guitars
Peter Criss – Vocals & Drums
Bruce Kulick – Guitars
Eric Singer – Drums & Vocals
(Region 1, NTSC, Total Running Time = 10 hours & 24 mins for 5 DVDs)
I have a hard time reviewing KISS related products, that’s because I’m a diehard, card carrying member of the KISS Army. I own KISSology Vol.1 & Vol.2 but I decided not to review them because of my bias but, after watching all 10+ hours of Vol.3, I knew it was time for a review.
To many KISS collectors, most of the footage on KISSology 3 may be nothing new. Most of the shows have been readily available in trading circles for years. The notable exception being the 1973 show at The Coventry in New York City during the band’s formative years. Collector’s got a taste of that show as an “easter egg” on the previous KISSology Vol.1 but the whole show has never been released until now.
As with all things KISS, the package is top quality: full-color digi-book with slipcase, full color booklet with band member notes and pictures, bonus DVD, and top quality picture and sound. There is sound extras: 5.1 Surround, etc. but my favorite is the commentary as the programs run.
11/27/92 – The Palace Of Auburn Hills (Detroit, Michigan): This show was in support of REVENGE (1992) and features the band doing older songs that hadn’t been played in years (‘Watchin’ You, ‘Parasite’) alongside four new tracks. The band is really tight and is full of energy: Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley have a youthful exuberence on stage and Bruce Kulick & Eric Singer prove why they are considered some of the best in the business. The band is in your face, raw, and live…..putting the music first and then the show. There still is a show, check out the Statue Of Liberty behind the drum riser. This concert was recorded for part of the ALIVE III record in 1993 and parts of the video footage was released on a previous KISS VHS release, KISS Konfidential. Konfidential was released on DVD with another VHS tape, KISS Xtreme Close Up, but no additional footage of this concert was added in. I caught the Revenge Tour in Boston, MA (when the band did a round of club dates to break in Eric Singer) and in Worceter, MA at The Centrum months later.
MTV Unplugged (Behind The Scenes) & MTV Unplugged 8/9/95: Unplugged was released on Cassette, CD, VHS, & DVD in March of 1996 and the DVD quickly became out of print commanding large sums at online auctions. A lot of the footage from Behind The Scenes was included on a later KISS DVD release, THE SECOND COMING (1998), that celebrated the Reunion Tour. The only difference is that the commentary is by MTV/VH1 producer Alex Coletti instead of Matt Pinfield on The Second Coming. The actual concert includes some songs that were left off previous releases and only found on the raw bootleg that makes the rounds with collectors: ‘Hard Luck Woman’ with Paul on vocals, ‘Heaven’s On Fire’, ‘Spit’, ‘C’mon And Love Me’, and a Country version of ‘God Of Thunder’. This was the show KISS fans had waited years for: the reunion with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
MTV dropped the ball on this show. It was filmed in August ’95, aired on Halloween that year, and was released March 12, 1996. I had already seen the 3 hour uncut video that I paid top dollar for through a KISS collectible dealer but I still waited in line outside Strawberries Records & Tapes to buy the official copies.
6/28/96 – Tiger Stadium (Detroit, Michigan): Opening night of the Reunion Tour. This is the show that the live ‘Shout It Out Loud’ video was recorded to promote GREATEST KISS (1997). Another widely traded show but never officially released, although clips were shown on THE SECOND COMING DVD. It’s nice to have a show on DVD from the Reunion Tour, I saw the tour in Boston, Worcester, Springfield (all in MA), and Providence, RI. Watching this, I still feel the excitement I felt in Boston for my first reunion show. Probably KISS at their best aside from their ’70s heyday.
9/4/96 – MTV VMA Performance at The Brooklyn Bridge (New York, NY): Only one song was televised on the MTV Video Music Awards but the band did give a short performance for the crowd that was lucky enough to attend. Highlist here is ‘New York Groove’.
10/31/98 – Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles, CA) – Parts 1 & 2: Opening show of the Psycho Circus Tour and it was a special show that was broadcast over Westwood One Radio. I took the night off and listened to the show, I also taped it but it got lost somewhere along the way. I saw this tour in Boston, MA on the first two nights after the Halloween L.A. show and in Hartford, CT a couple weeks later, I had great seats each time and I thought the shows were really good. Notable performances from the L.A. show: ‘She’ & ‘Nothin’ To Lose’…..these two songs were pulled from the set after this concert.
8/9/99 – Detroit Rock City movie premiere party (Los Angeles, CA): I went to the movie opening night and left it feeling taken advantage of. The movie was not much better than KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM and the new KISS song, ‘Nothing Can Keep Me From You’, was pure sap. I would have rather seen this performance in the theater.
6/27/2000 – The Last KISS (Pay-Per-View), Continental Airlines Arena (East Rutherford, NJ): Filmed for a 90 minute pay-per-view special that aired 10/7/00. This is not the full show from that night but it is a good representation of the band on their Farewell Tour. Saw this tour multiple times as well and the highlight was the original band doing some of the ’80s tunes: ‘I Love It Loud’, ‘Lick It Up’, and ‘Heaven’s On Fire’. Only ‘Heaven’s On Fire’ appears on KISSology Vol. 3 and that’s too bad because I thought the band was better on the Farewell Tour than the Psycho Circus Tour and Peter & Ace did a solid job on the songs they didn’t record. A small complaint but I’m still glad to have it.
12/22/73 – The Coventry, (Queens, NY): The holy grail for KISS fans! There was a teaser as an “easter egg” on KISSology Vol.1 but having what seems to be the full show on DVD is worth the money. If memory serves, former manager Bill Aucoin had this footage in his personal archives and released it to Gene & Paul. Probably the earliest video recording to date of KISS live in concert. This is my favorite part of the video so far.
Bonus Disc :
6/15/96 – KROQ Weenie Roast, Irvine Meadows Amphitheater (Irvine, CA): This is the bonus DVD on the regular edition found at all retailers except Wal-Mart & Best Buy (they have their own bonus DVDs). This was the pre-tour tune-up show for the reunited KISS to see how the live show would translate to an audience. I’ve never seen the video of this show until now, I did buy an audio bootleg a month after the show but the sound quality was fair. Again, nice to finally get this professionally done.
If you like KISS, this is essential. If you’re a casual KISS fan, this is essential. If you aren’t a KISS fan…..well, that’s your problem! In one year, KISS has released KISSology Vol. 1 and Vol.2 DVD sets and they are top notch products, professionally done, and full of extras…..Vol.3 is no exception. The whole thing is a highlight, I can’t find one thing I don’t like. My favorite shows: Unplugged, Tiger Stadium, and The Coventry ’73 show. Price of admission is worth it just for the Coventry footage but that’s coming from a guy who worships at the platforms of KISS.
KISS has struck gold (and multi-platinum) with the KISSology series and I hope they continue releasing archival footage. Gene & Paul are smart business men and they know that releasing concerts on audio/video will be what sustains them when their touring days are over. I hope they put the same care and quality into possible future releases as they have with KISSology 1, 2, and now Vol.3.
****** KISSology Vol.3 (1992-2000) is to be released on Tuesday 12/18/2007. There are 3 different bonus DVDs available, Best Buy and Wal-Mart have different bonus discs than this general release.