Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan
FINALLY! Nine years after trying to see KISS on their “farewell tour” (I couldn’t find anyone who would go with me!) and five years after purchasing tickets to see them on their Rock the Nation tour (my show got canceled), I can now say that I have experienced KISS alive and in person! They’ve been the Holy Grail of concerts for me and it was everything I expected.
Supposedly, tickets were selling so well on the first day for this show that they added a show for 9/26 as well. I’m pretty sure the second date was already set in stone, but I’m also confident the show last night as a sellout, I didn’t see an empty seat in the 12,000+ capacity arena by the time KISS stormed the stage.
The show was scheduled to start at 7:30PM and my fiancee and I (the only rock show partner I have) left Lansing about 5:15 or so. I’ve never been into Detroit before, so I was a little bit anxious, hoping we could be sticking the highway and that’s exactly what we did as the highway feeds right into Cobo. After waiting for about 30-40 minutes in very slow moving line to park in Cobo’s parking complex (which they ripped me off another $10 for), we got to our seats a few minutes past 7:30.
Tired Of You
Next to You
Out of Line
Talk To Me
Unfortunately, Buckcherry had already started their set as we were still outside the doors trying to get our seats, but I could hear “Lit Up” playing, so thankfully, we didn’t miss to you. I would’ve love to have heard “Tired of You”, it’s a great live song and one of my favorites from the band. I was able to find out they played “Tired of You” and “Next to You” thanks to a fan from Buckcherry’s message board.
One thing I thought was funny was that sing Josh Todd mentioned he was told not to cuss while talking onstage (that didn’t really stop him, but he did hold back a bit compared to the previous shows I’ve seen them on)… Yet, almost every song Buckcherry played features cussing!
It was cool to hear them play Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”, the band covered it recently as a theme song for NASCAR and it has been placed on the re-issue of 2008’s Black Butterfly.
The band did another great expanded edition of “Crazy Bitch”, taking a brief trip into Billy Squier’s “The Stroke” (as they usually do) and also “Fire”, which I’m guessing is the title. It was a popular funk song, but I can’t remember who sang it originally.
All told, Buckcherry in the studio or live is one of the great rock bands from the last ten years. This was my third time seeing them play and it’s always a great show. As good as they were though, my mind was on KISS and by the time Buckcherry ended their set, I was ready for Gene & Paul!
Got to Choose
Hotter Than Hell
Nothin’ to Lose
C’mon and Love Me
Let Me Go, Rock ‘n’ Roll
Rock and Roll All Nite
Shout It Out Loud
Lick It Up
I Love It Loud
Modern Day Delilah
Detroit Rock City
Paul was especially fun to watch (he’s always been my favorite), he was prancing and dancing and running around all night long. I was also looking forward to his stage raps and I know he’s got a reputation for using the same lines at every show, but this time he mostly spoke about the band’s history with Cobo and Detroit. He mentioned they originally weren’t planning on starting the ALIVE 35 tour in Detroit, but once they heard Cobo was coming down (it’s being demolished and then will be rebuilt to a larger size), they wanted to play there. He also talked about the hard times Detroit has fallen on and said it was a sin for one of America’s greatest cities that’s given the world such great music to have such a high unemployment rate and said he knew Detroit would rise again.
There was a funny part where he was asking us where KISS should play next time they come to Detroit. He asked if they should come back The Palace of Auburn Hills, the crowd booed, so he said “where do you want us to come?”
“No, not in your mouth,” was Paul’s reply to one fan up front. It was pretty funny.
Another humorous moment was when Paul came out to join the crowd during “Love Gun” on his rotating platform. Nearing the end, after his vocal part was done, his microphone stand went down. I’m not sure he knocked it over on purpose or what, I didn’t catch that, but he pointed at it a few times for a crew member to take care of, but no one did. In anger, he kicked it towards the edge of the platform and one of the guys finally got off their butts and took it away so he could keep prancing around.
The band ran through most of Alive!, strangely leaving off “Rock Bottom” and “Firehouse”. I would’ve loved to have heard “Rock Bottom”. It was great to hear “Modern Day Delilah” and “Love Gun” and of course, they couldn’t come to Detroit without closing with “Detroit Rock City”.
I’ve seen enough KISS concert footage to know what to expect from these guys: pyro, flames, smoke, levitating drum kits, rising platforms, firebreathing, Gene doing his bat pose and flying up into the air, Paul ziplining out to the middle of the arena, rocket shooting guitars, smashing guitars… They did it all and myself and the rest of the crowd ate it up!
These guys are professionals, Tommy and Eric included. They sounded great and they looked great, so as always, KISS delivered. I will make sure to see them again when the next come around, hopefully they’ll do a tour dedicated to the new album next year.