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Paul Stanley

Date: 10/27/06
Venue: House of Blues, Atlantic City New Jersey
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Live To Win
Hide Your Heart
A Million To One
Got To Choose
Move On
Lick It Up
Wouldn't You Like To Know Me?
Magic Touch
I Still Love You
Every Time I See You Around
Do You Love Me
I Want You
Love Gun
Detroit Rock City

So in 1996 the classic lineup of Kiss (Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley , Peter Criss ) returned for the highly successful reunion tour, followed by a studio album and tour for “Psycho Circus” in 98. Then in 2000 everyone was tricked into thinking it was “The Farewell Tour” (no chance). Following was more touring but by 2002 without Ace and Peter replaced by Tommy Thayer on guitar and Eric Singer on drums to this day. No more new music has been recorded or released but at least with Tommy and Eric they revamped the setlist for the “Rock the Nation” 2005 tour and DVD.

Since “The Farewell Tour” I have not been interested in the continuing KissSoapopera much since it changes every day and the massive merchandising behind the band interests me not in the least as it has come to a point where it is no longer about the music and more so a product. And you gotta blame the Kiss fans for that since they continue to spend their money on anything Kiss related and to boot have the nerve to complain about all the products on the market with the Kiss name on it. Are people that much of a sucker?

Needless to say this Paul Stanley solo album “Live to Win” and tour are a breath of fresh air at this point in Kisstory . Paul in 06 sounds, performs and looks in fine shape full of energy bringing new life to several classic Kiss songs, as well as unearthing gems from his first solo album (under the Kiss banner) from 1978 and including material from his recent solo release “Live to Win”. His stage presence and relationship with his audience is just as natural as when he is with Kiss. He talks regularly in between songs, telling short stories, doing the usual primping at the mic as he puts his hands in his hair, standard Paul on stage.

His backing band consists of Paul Mirkovich on keybaords , Jim McGorman – rhythm guitars, lead guitar - Rafael Moreira , drummer Nate Morton and on bass Sasha Krivstov all from the Rock Star Supernova TV show. Now these guys can play! Tight, tight, tight is all I have to say. Everything was played to a T and the live mix was perfectly balanced and clear letting Paul's voice carry throughout the venue. While listening to Rafael play Ace's licks…… if you closed your eyes you would swear it was Ace himself, no lie. This guy even plays Les Paul guitars on top of it. Nate of the drums…….man he really needs to be in a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band full time as his playing is thunderous and reminded me of the late great Eric Carr, while his showmanship behind the kit is electrifying. I watched his performance as much as I did Paul's.

The setlist included, among a couple obvious classics, rarely played Kiss songs like “A Million to One” off “Lick it Up”, “Magic Touch” off “Dynasty”, “I Still Love You” off “Creatures of the Night”, and “Hide your Heart” from “Hot in the Shade”. Paul Stanley's 1978 solo album is really an underrated collection of hard rock and included in the live set were “Tonight You Belong To Me”, “Goodbye”, “Wouldn't You Like to Know Me”, and “Move On”.

This solo tour shows no sign of aging for the Starchild and I really look forward to him coming back sooner than later as a solo artist. There is no question as to why he is the frontman for Kiss.

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