Rock legends Kiss brought their “The Tour” (yes, that is what it’s called) tour to the Bay Area, landing at the Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord for a night of doing what they do best.

Keeping the crowd in the dark during setup, the massive Kiss curtain finally dropped to reveal the band descending to the stage on a platform amidst smoke and fire. Gone was the clutter of the previous set by Motley Crue which was replaced with a seemingly simple, yet expansive, stage which held some surprises to be revealed later in the night.

If the spectacle of the lowering platform wasn’t enough get the crowd riled, hearing Kiss launch into Detroit Rock City did the trick. Gene and Paul only stopped moving long enough to get the vocals through their mics, and spent the rest of their time prowling the edge of the stage, showering the fans wtih guitar pics and generally putting more energy into their performance than some bands a quarter of their age.

With an expansive career and only 75 minutes to play, there was little time for anything more than the classics. The band still took the opportunity to mix things up with a bit of the Who’s Baba O’Reilly at the beginning of Lick It Up. And while the Kiss purists might take offense to Tommy Thayer singing an Ace Frehley song (Shock Me), in no way did it detract from the spectacle at-hand.

With Kiss you get what you expect … fire, blood, makeup, codpieces, platform shoes and chest hair. That’s all part of the Kiss shtick. Marry that with a tighter-than-hell band performance of the classics to a dedicated, near sell-out audience (no small portion of which came donning Kiss makeup) and that’s what the Kiss experience is all about. And the fact that members of the Kiss Army may know a few of the tricks that the band has up their sleeves in no way detracts from the fact that these guys are penultimate showmen who still know how to deliver after nearly 40 years … and look like they’re enjoying every minute of it.

Supporting acts: Motley Crue, The Treatment


  • Detroit Rock City
  • Shout It Out Loud
  • I Love It Loud
  • Firehouse
  • Hell or Halleljuh
  • War Machine
  • Shock Me
  • Bass Solo
  • God of Thunder
  • Love Gun
  • Lick It Up
  • Black Diamond


  • Deuce
  • Rock And Roll All Nite

© 2012 Alan Snodgrass | Please do not use without express permission (contact). If you like what you see, leave a comment below and subscribe so you can be notified of new posts. You can also become a fan on Facebook.