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Kiss – Rocks Vegas

Label: Eagle Rock
Format: DVD
Released: 2017
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 8/10

Kiss Rocks Vegas was recorded from November 5–23, 2014 during the band's residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino (Las Vegas) for their 40th anniversary tour. How is it?...its KISS - big sounds, pyro, lights, explosions, Gene spitting blood, Paul flying into the crowd for ‘Love Gun’, etc. A Kiss show is still a spectacle. Now…to the band and music, the important part. I am a looonnggg time fan, and of all eras, but Tommy playing Ace (the Spaceman), and Eric (Singer) as the Catman I find unacceptable, and both imposters. At least this is before Kiss started playing ‘Shock Me’ and ‘Beth’ again live. I won’t pay to see this incarnation of the band. Regardless, doesn’t affect my opinion of them as players, this show and DVD.


Gene has virtually not changed a bit in 40 years, while unfortunately on the other hand age, wear and tear have not served Paul (one of my all- time favorite singers and frontmen) well. Sure, he does still sound the same, more grit in his tone (which is fine), but half the time cant project or maintain a note like he use to. Understandable, he’s in his 60s. Tommy plays Ace as good as Ace, but only apes his parts. I wish Bruce (Kulick) was still in the band because he played Ace’s parts while allowed to be himself. Eric is a welcomed addition, clearly a better player than Peter and enables Kiss to include all those great songs from the 80s that make it into the setlist from time to time. For “Rocks Vegas”, we get three from ‘Creatures” - ‘War Machine’, ‘I Love It Loud’, and the title track, ‘Lick It Up’, and ‘Tears Are Falling’. Excellent! And you know what, even though I have my issues with Tommy and Eric, with them ’Hotter Than Hell’/‘Firehouse’ live (not in this show) now hasn’t sounded better.
“Rocks Vegas” is 16 songs of mostly standard hits, a couple deeper cuts (‘Parasite’, ‘Do You Love Me?’), and ‘Hell or Hallelujah’ off the latest album “Monster”. You also get seven rarely played (suited great for) acoustic songs that are ok, the guys are just not at full strength as once was at the MTV Unplugged show. But what I’d really like to see is a few of the shows from the Kiss Kruise released for DVD, where they mostly play rare tunes never, or rarely, heard live. That’s worth it, especially the goodies from “Dynasty”, “Unmasked”, and “Elder”.


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