Recorded as part of their Rock The Nation World Tour in 2004, this latest official bootleg release from the hard rock legends sees KISS sporting the first outing of a line-up that we see going today. Ace Frehley had been replaced by Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer once again had taken up the drumstool vacated by Peter Criss.
KISS – Off The Soundboard: Live In Virginia Beach
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Paul Monkhouse
With this newly invigorated quartet hungry to prove themselves as still “the hottest band in the world”, this release shows them in feral form, the energy very present and the performances more passionate than polished.
Love Gun opens, proving to be a suitably priapic start to the set, the band firing on all cylinders and full of a cocksure swagger as Paul Stanley’s distinctive vocals set the tone for the evening. It’s Gene Simmons’ lascivious growl that adds the fire to Deuce, and glam hard rocker Makin’ Love sounds as boisterous as ever.
With the anthemic Lick It Up, a menacing War Machine and a rough-edged but punchy Tears Are Falling, their ’80s (relatively) unmasked era is well represented, sidestepping some of the more expected choices. But the always pounding I Love It Loud is there, its call and response the perfect crowd participation.
The set is peppered with a good mix of old classics like King Of The Night Time World and Shout It Out Loud with newer numbers like the heavy-duty Psycho Circus and the rock ‘n’ rollin’ Unholy all played with the same fire. After the irresistible one/two punch of disco Metal standard I Was Made For Lovin’ You and the adrenaline rush riff of Detroit Rock City close the set, it’s just down to the call to arms of God Gave Rock’ N’ Roll To You and Rock And Roll All Nite to seal the deal, as you picture the curtain of sparks and the dazzle and boom of the flash bombs lighting up the stage.
Whilst it may not hit the heady heights of KISS Alive and Alive II, this is another worthwhile addition to the KISS kanon of live albums and a truer reflection of their stage show, warts and all than most bands put out.
Sure, KISS are known for their marketing skills, but they wouldn’t have got this far without a decent set of tunes to back up the bravado, and certainly, the selection here has a few gems.
As they head to the home straight of what is said to definitely be their farewell tour, souvenirs like this will be added to the kollections of many a KISS fanatic, and for those who still doubt the validity of the quartet’s credentials, here is a very visceral riposte to the sneers.
Just add your own make-up, fake blood, konfetti kanons, stack heels and fire for a great night out in your own lounge.