I went to Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut for the second time in a week Thursday night to see my favorite band in concert…..KISS. This was my second show on “The Hottest Show On Earth” Tour, I saw the show in Mansfield, MA two weeks before, and the third in the last year promoting the band’s latest album SONIC BOOM (2009). Overall, this was the 18th time seeing KISS in concert dating back all the way to 1987! This time around I went to the show with a few friends, got a great meal again at Mohegan Sun and saw another awesome show.
Just like the Mansfield concert, KISS had two regular opening bands, The Academy Is and The Envy, and a band that won the Guitar Center contest for that show (that is actually from the Boston are and not Connecticut like I thought!), Tester. Just like the Mansfield concert, we opted not to go in for the opening bands and take our time at dinner. Showtime was 6:30pm and KISS doesn’t hit the stage until at least 8:45pm so there were 2+ hours to kill. After dinner and a walk around the casino, we headed in the arena and straight to the merchandise stand. With no kids this time around, I figured I could get myself another tour shirt but it turned out there were no XXL t-shirts at any of the booths…..I found out that the order for the show didn’t arrive. I wasn’t going to go empty-handed so instead of $45 for a shirt (XXL is $5 more!), I went with the $70 zip hoodie! Why not give Paul & Gene more of my money? I’ve been doing it since I was a kid! We actually got to our seats in time to see the last two songs of The Academy Is, we heard an original and a cover of The Sweet’s ‘Fox On The Run’. Good thing they covered The Sweet because the original I heard wasn’t impressive! We were in the arena a good hour before KISS took the stage and I was a little worried that the arena wasn’t filling up, there were a lot of empty seats. What I didn’t know was that KISS was being inducted into the Mohegan Sun Walk of Fame OUTSIDE the arena and the band made an appearance in the mall area! It figures I would miss something cool like that! By the time KISS took the stage it looked to me like most of the seats were filled…..Mohegan holds about 10,000 people for events but, with the big stage and the back not being sold, I estimate there were around 8000 people in attendance. On to the show…..
Modern Day Delilah
Let Me Go Rock ‘n’ Roll
Firehouse (with Gene Simmons breathing fire)
Crazy Crazy Nights
Calling Dr. Love
Shock Me (Tommy Thayer lead vocal)
(Guitar & Drum solo from Tommy Thayer & Eric Singer)
I’m An Animal
(Bass solo, blood-spitting and flying from Gene Simmons)
I Love It Loud
(Guitar intro/solo from Paul Stanley featuring ‘Whole Lotta Love’)
Black Diamond (Eric Singer lead vocal)
Detroit Rock City
Beth (Eric Singer lead vocal)
(Donation check presentation for supporting our troops followed by the Pledge of Allegiance)
Lick It Up
Shout It Out Loud
I Was Made For Loving You (with Paul flying stunt)
God Gave Rock ‘N Roll To You II
Rock And Roll All Nite
The show at Mohegan was the exact same show as the one in Mansfield and primarily the same show they are doing across North America. There were a couple of things of note: Paul Stanley’s voice was a little raspier compared to the Mansfield show and I thought the solo section by Eric & Tommy was a little less exciting than at Mansfield. I’ve noticed that the rest of the band have handled most, if not all, the backing vocals at the last couple of concerts I’ve seen, maybe that’s a way to conserve some of Paul’s voice? I think Paul is trying too hard with some of the higher shrieks he attempts during his between song raps with the crowd and that could be doing more damage than good. The again, Paul is getting closer to 60 yrs old! Also, I always like an arena show better than an amphitheater show but the crowd at Mohegan Sun wasn’t as loud or wild compared to the outdoor crowd at the Comcast Center. There was also another check presentation on stage to the Wounded Warriors Foundation showing the updated total of $184,743 donated. Outside of those few differences, the show was exactly the same. It was another good performance by the band, and even though I’m in favor of the original four members, I think this lineup with Eric Singer & Tommy Thayer is a solid performing band. Both guys did a great job playing and their vocals were really good for ‘Shock Me’, ‘Black Diamond’ and ‘Beth’. The band performed ‘Beth’ again acoustically with Eric on vocals and I was really impressed again. Gene Simmons also really put on a solid performance, I thought his vocals were really great and he had a ton of energy. With Paul’s voice faltering a bit, it’s good to hear Gene sound so good…..back in 2003 and 2004 it was Paul who was stronger and gene who was weaker.
Like I said before, the concert was great, I don’t ever get sick of seeing KISS perform! I thought the three songs from SONIC BOOM came off well live again and hearing ‘Crazy Crazy Nights’ a second time this tour was awesome. I’m a KISS diehard so the entire setlist was great but there were some KISS klassics that were highlights again: ‘Lick It Up’, ‘Shout It Out Loud’, ‘Detroit Rock City’, ‘Black Diamond’, ‘Cold Gin, ‘Firehouse’ and ‘Rock And Roll All Nite’. It was nice to see another solid performance from the band because this is was the last New England area show on this tour and it could be another couple of years before they come around again, maybe with a new record?