“You know who we are, let’s kick some ass!”
That’s how Paul Stanley introduced the legendary Kiss on their stripped-down 1992 club tour, April 23 1992 in San Francisco. The Revenge album was a “reboot” of sorts, out of necessity. New drummer, new attitude, and a return to the producer (Bob Ezrin) who helped make them huge. A return to the clubs without the lights, stage show, and costumes helped Kiss transition into the 90’s. If this one bootleg CD is any indication, then the club tour was a huge success.
Eschewing their normal opening routine, the band entered to the sound of “Love Gun”, but heavier than ever. Many fans consider the Simmons/Stanley/Kulick/Singer lineup to be among their best, and this live bootleg proves why. In fantastic voice, Paul leads this devastating lineup to demolish the clubs in their wake. Full of adrenaline, “Love Gun” is faster than its studio counterpart, and Bruce Kulick creates his own individual guitar solo that fits the track.
Gene’s next on “Deuce”, the new lineup infusing it with menace. The CD, though obviously a bootleg, sounds great. Even though the drums are a bit distant you can hear that Eric Singer has come into the band paying homage to the drum parts he inherited. Then Paul takes a moment to tell the audience that they’ve been so fired up about the way Kiss have been sounding, that they just got to come down to San Fransisco and play. A rough opening to “Heaven’s On Fire” is a mere hiccup after they get going on the hit single. For the first time you can clearly hear new guy Eric Singer singing background vocals.
“You ready to hear something old? One of those Kiss klassics? Bruce – let ’em have a taste.” Then the shocked audience picked up their jaws as Kiss slammed through “Parasite” for the first time since 1976. Returning to songs like this was critical for a band who spent the 80’s largely ignoring the deep cuts.
One thing I love about bootleg CDs is the chance to overhear some audience chatter. “Shout it Out Loud” however is marred by one nearby fan who keeps singing “You got to have a party,” even when that’s not the current part of the song! Minor beef, as “Shout it Out Loud” rocks and is another song that was tragically ignored during most of the 80’s.
“How many of you people have Kiss Alive? Gene must know this one. Gene’s got Kiss Alive. Goes like this!” There begins “Strutter” (also from the first Kiss album) and the crowd goes nuts. “Dr. Love” follows, with Eric Singer showing off some fancy footwork on the double bass drums.
Fans who were shocked by these old tunes must really have lost their minds when “I Was Made For Loving You”, heavy as hell, tore through the club. “I Was Made For Loving You” was re-imagined as a chugging metal track and in the club environment, it’s only more raw and aggressive. Then Paul lets another bomb drop when he introduces “100,000 years” from the first album. “Oh my God! I don’t fucking believe it! I do not fucking believe it!” says one nearby fan, obviously excited by this rarity. It’s incredible how well Bruce and Eric adapted to the sound of old raunchy Kiss.
But what of new Kiss? The band weren’t ready to start unveiling all the new songs, as Revenge hadn’t even come out yet. They did roll out two: the first single “Unholy”, and album cut “Take it Off”.
“We got a new album about to come out,” begins Paul. “And I’ll tell you something, this album is the shit. I’ll tell you, this album is our fuckin’ Revenge and when you hear the album you’ll know what I’m talking about.” Indeed, as promised the new songs kick ass, though “Unholy” is kind of awkward in the live setting. “Take it Off” is more like Kiss.
It’s all oldies from here. Aside from the new Revenge songs, the most recent track that Kiss played here was “Heaven’s On Fire” from 1984! (Note: this CD is not the full concert and 1985’s “Tears are Falling” was also played that night.) I think it’s safe to say that Paul and Gene understand some of the errors in direction they made over the last 10 years, and successfully steered the ship back on track. “Firehouse” and “Cold Gin” from the first album are present. “I Stole Your Love”, “Detroit Rock City”, and “I Want You” close the CD. “I Stole Your Love” with the backing vocals of Eric Singer is top-notch!
The songs played that night that aren’t on this CD are “God of Thunder”, “Lick It Up”, “Got Gave Rock and Roll to You II” (its live debut), “Rock and Roll all Nite” and the aforementioned “Tears Are Falling”. Too bad this is only a single CD bootleg, but bootlegs were so expensive that a double would have cost at least $60-80. If it was a double, I never would have bought it and heard what I have of this awesome show!
- 5 from Kiss (1974)
- 2 from Destroyer (1976)
- 2 from Rock and Roll Over (1976)
- 2 from Love Gun (1977)
- 2 from Revenge (1992)
- 1 from Hotter Than Hell (1974)
- 1 from Dynasty (1979)
- 1 from Animalize (1984)