KISS and Motley Crue, Ashley Furniture Homestore Pavilion, 8/10/12

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KISS could very well have had the most epic stage entrance I've ever seen. All of the spectacle seen in Detroit Rock City came across during the opening song, as Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, and Tommy Thayer (the other Spaceman) confidently stood atop a platform that was lowered down with a bunch of fireworks. They played "Detroit Rock City" and the crowd sang along and did everything the song instructed them to do.

KISS has quite the reputation for its spectacle, so I was expecting the band to put Mötley Crüe's show to shame. The opposite ended up being true. KISS did everything they were supposed to do, and looked and sounded good for a band that's been around for over 40 years and has half of its original line up, though there's that make up and sitting at a distance certainly doesn't hurt.

It was disappointing to see animations of fire and sirens used for "Firehouse" when the band had such an impressive entrance. Parts of the audience seemed to be losing interest, with some fans sitting down and others leaving. Yeah, it was super hot, but it was strange to see more and more empty seats midway through KISS' set.

Don't get me wrong KISS had its moments of pure rock abandon, the first being during "Detroit Rock City." The second was Gene Simmons being his demon self for the intro to "God of Thunder." He played a bass solo as blood came out of his mouth and he was carried up to a platform, where he played above the band for the song.

During "Love Gun," Paul Stanley ziplined out to the middle of the crowd to rock out. The last super cool moment was the closing song, but aside from that, KISS' set was underwhelming compared to Motley Crue. The band still knows how to rock out and party hard, and the performance was good, but it wasn't nearly as over the top as I had expected.

The encore helped wake up the semi-uninterested/overheated crowd as guysperformed "Black Diamond" and everyone who stuck around was rewarded with "I Wanna Rock 'n Roll All Night" as a closing song. The band had their "grand finale" with pinwheel fireworks attached to the new Cat Man (Eric Singer)'s drumkit and the confetti canons that showered the audience throughout most of the song.

Stanley wrapped things up by swinging his guitar in circles. An explosion went off every time he faked smashing the guitar. He walked away, and just as I thought he wasn't going to do it, he turned around and abruptly smashed it in one fell swoop.

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Melissa Fossum
Contact: Melissa Fossum