Unbelievably, this is Kiss’ first ever performance in Liverpool – rumour has it that during their 70‘s heyday, The Liverpool Empire couldn’t fathom the risk of letting a band with such a love for pyrotechnics loose on their stage.
Which is fair enough, especially when ten rows from the front, the blasts of fire which the band enter between are enough to break you out into a small, immediate sweat from the heat – The Empire would probably be a charred hole in the ground by now had Kiss have had their wicked way with the venue back in ’76.
The entirety of the gig continues in this wonderfully ridiculous, fantastical style – a heavy-rock pantomime, it’s a demonic, growling but cheekily camp piece of male, space age burlesque.
Gene Simmons drips swathes of blood from his mouth and down his chin, guitars fire at the ceiling in loud explosions of spark and fire like sonic bazookas and Paul Stanley flies across the audience on a circus foot swing after wiggling and spanking his own arse at the audience during breaks between solos.
The pantomime element of their performance is perfect considering that between the hoards of teenagers and leather uniformed rocker couples, the majority of the audience is actually endearingly made up of young families – kids throughout the arena are visibly losing their cool for Kiss, saluting along to every guitar solo with sweaty palmed devil salutes with their proud, beaming fathers.
It’s almost too beautiful for words.
Despite the opportunity to promote most recent album Sonic Boom, the band instead pay dutiful respect to their loaded back catalogue, playing what are doubtlessly some of the greatest heavy rock tunes ever written – Cold Gin, Detroit Rock City, Shout It Out Loud, Crazy Crazy Nights and nearly blow the bloody lid off the joint with a fervent encore set which includes I Was Made For Lovin’ You and Rock And Roll All Night.
The sing-a-long party atmosphere comes to a heart warming, pal grabbing end in which Stanley quips ‘There’s a lot wrong with this World – economy, elections, war – I don’t know how we can fix this, but I do know this – God gave us something, something for everyone to use…’ and in kicks the chant heavy God Gave Rock And Roll To You, which is frankly one of the most life affirming tunes anyone can hear live – especially when a holy tonne of confetti explodes out of the stage and bombards the audience with it’s playfulness.
So, sod Labour, sod Lib Dems and most definitely sod Tories – who needs all that crap? After tonight’s performance we’ve got one election plan, and one election plan only – we’re off to join the Kiss Army.