KISS Rocks Vegas


Are you kidding me — KISS and Las Vegas go together like peas and carrots. So it only made sense in 2014 when they staged a nine-show residency at the Joint, a concert venue inside the famed Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. If Santana, Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue and Def Leppard could do it, KISS was a shoe-in. It offered the band a chance to bring their big, over-the-top production of pyrotechnics and loud, straightforward brand of rock to an intimate audience of just over 3,000 a night. For KISS fanatics, this has to be the best live scenario possible, in a place where rocking and rolling all night and partying every day is a way of life. Now, the KISS Rocks Vegas DVD and Blu-ray give you a crisp, high-definition glimpse into the Vegas stand.

The cherry on top of their 40th Anniversary World Tour, the Vegas shows feature KISS playing their most classics songs — “Rock And Roll All Nite,” “Detroit Rock City,” “Shout It Out Loud,” Lick It Up," and “Love Gun” — before an appreciative KISS Army. Over the years, KISS (Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer) have refined their stage show to the point that a more permanent residency may lie in the future. The fireworks, the smoke and the lighting amidst the still-eye-catching, now legendary makeup and costumes the members wear create a spectacle up to Vegas standards. Cirque du Soleil better watch out for KISS.

As a bonus feature, there’s a seven-song acoustic set with a band sans make-up, likely part of the press announcement for the Vegas run. Frankly, watching the band in a more casual setting before 50 or so members of the press reveals their true colors as musicians and singers — which, much to the dismay of the naysayers, is tight and well-structured. Seeing them dig a little deeper with tracks like “Goin’ Blind,” from 1974’s Hotter Than Hell, the band’s second album, and “Love Her All I Can,” from 1975’s Dress To Kill, the third KISS album, is the real bonus of this set. If you really want to go all out with the extras, you can get the Deluxe Edition of KISS Rocks Vegas with a book full of photos from the show and an exclusive CD.

Face it: Vegas and KISS are a natural. After the concert, some fans likely headed up the street to the KISS Monster Mini Golf course (and wished there was a Rock & Brews restaurant, another KISS venture, to chow down at) to complete the experience. Who’d have thought that Elvis and the Rat Pack would be edged out by KISS as the new kings of Las Vegas. in a town bursting at the seems with rock and roll, you can bet KISS will be back bigger and better than ever.

~ Shawn Perry

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