Love ’em or hate ’em, KISS are one of the most influential acts to have come out of the glutted 1970s rock scene. Everybody from Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo (see: “In The Garage“) to Slipknot‘s Corey Taylor (all tiffs aside) and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (yes, Condi Rice) have professed their undying love for the face-painted rockers, who are a tad bit overcommercialized, at this point, and well, just plain obnoxious at other times. And while some might not think they belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they’re there, so get used to it. (I, for one, think they belong in the Hall and enjoy the band’s snaking catalog; several years ago, in another lifetime, I wrote marketing copy for cable channel AMC for its short-lived docu-series, 4th And Loud, about the creation and first season of an arena league football team founded by the band’s Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.)
But back to the main event. KISS’ performance at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), on the we’ll-believe-it-when-it-actually-happens End of the Road world tour—supposedly, the band’s last—did not disappoint. Playing a 20-song set, the band rolled through a set list that included classic rock gems such as set-opener “Detroit Rock City,” “Lick It Up” (from the band’s face-paint-less era) and of course, “Rock and Roll All Nite.” The band also celebrated The Demon’s a.k.a. Gene Simmons’ 70th birthday onstage, a night early, by singing the fire-spewing rocker “Happy Birthday.”
saratoga living‘s Francesco D’Amico, sans face paint (as far as we know), was in the pit as always, providing you with exclusive access to your favorite rockers like no other. For more of D’Amico’s work from this summer’s SPAC/Live Nation busy season, click here.