Gene Simmons is the last of the original KISS band members to do a solo tour. 2017 marks the year that this is taking place as Simmons and his band have scattered dates throughout with a few linked through Wizard World Comic Con. After a few dates already, Simmons and his band’s fifth show took place at the Trocadero in Philadelphia this past Friday night. Simmons’ Band features John Shouse, Ryan Cook and Jeremy Asbrock all on guitar and Jarred Pope on drums.
The music intro began with the intro for his solo hit back in 1978 “Radioactive” before the band kicked into KISS’ infamous opener “Deuce.” Simmons did a lot of talking in between songs, including some story telling and some crowd interaction. Fans from all over enjoyed a solid performance that included songs from KISS, his solo career and even a Jeff Beck cover.
Simmons’ voice was strong throughout. His gritty and growly vocals still remain powerful in songs like “I Love it Loud,” “Parasite” and performed for the first time ever, “Sweet & Dirty Love (off of his last solo release back in 2004 titled “Asshole”).
Simmons had stairs that were connected to the center of the stage and, at times, he invited women up to sing “Do You Love Me” and “I Love it Loud” where just the guys joined in. For the last song, “Rock and Roll All Nite,” only kids were welcomed on stage to sing along with the band.
One of the highlights of the evening was when Simmons asked the crowd if there were any kids who knew how to play guitar. A young teenager named Andy C. was up to the challenge as he absolutely nailed “Parasite” from the opening chords to the last. Everyone took notice of the kid’s talents, especially Simmons.
Simmons wetted the appetite of long time KISS fans with some more obscure songs from the KISS catalog like “Got Love for Sale” and “Charisma.”
The Trocadero is one of the more infamous clubs in the US that have been around for years. Simmons and his band were poorly lit throughout. Simmons even asked for lights upon taking the stage but only got a few back lights that really didn’t make a difference. The front spotlights were not in use. The show was near capacity and there was no excuse to have fans who paid good money to not be able to clearly see what was going on up on the stage. Besides this, it was a fun show and Simmons was having the time of his life interacting with the fans and his band. This is what longtime KISS fans have been waiting for and the time is here. Go see him on his limited run of dates.
Deuce (KISS song)
Shout it Out Loud (KISS song)
Nothin’ to Lose (KISS song)
Calling Dr. Love (KISS song)
Do You Love Me (KISS song)
I Love it Loud (KISS song)
Parasite (KISS song)
Christine Sixteen (KISS song)
Sweet & Dirty Love
Got Love for Sale (KISS song)
Cold Gin (KISS song)
Charisma (KISS song)
Domino (KISS song)
Jam (Band Introductions)
Rice Pudding (Jeff Beck cover)
Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll (KISS song)
Rock and Roll All Nite (KISS song)
We would like to thank Jerry Milani from Wizard World for the credentials to review the show.