It’s been 41 years but KISS finally made their way back to Niagara Falls, NY. April 14th 1976 KISS played what was the Niagara Falls Convention Center at that time and now its the Seneca Niagara Casino.  The casino put up an outdoor stage for the weekend (Styx and REO Speedwagon played the night before) and for the second straight the casino attendees were treated to back to back sell outs.

KISS took the stage  a little late due to the pre show meet and greets starting late. Once the intro music of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock an Roll” was over, KISS appeared about 8:25 pm without a grand entrance. In fact due to logistics, there was no flying across the audience for Paul, no flying up to the rafters for Gene and no bombastic fireworks. This show was KISS “lite” you can say. These factors didn’t matter as KISS continues to show why they do what they do and can still provide a kick ass rock show without the extra props.

Dressed in their retro Creatures of the Night outfits (circa 1982 and early 1983), the band looked great and musically sounded as good as they looked. Bassist Gene Simmons tongue lashed his way through their hard rock opening track “Deuce.”  Simmons voice held up strong throughout and especially for his signature tracks of “War Machine” and of course “God of Thunder.”

KISS did have a video screen and images throughout its storied career accompanied the band as “Flaming Youth” was played. This is a lesser known track off of possibly KISS’ most critically accompanied album in “Destroyer.” Not many rock stars look as good as rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley who still looks to be in great shape for 65. The voice may not be what it was but not many can hold a handle on how to work a crowd like Stanley.  He still was able to work up the crowd and have them participate throughout. Both drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer’s steady musicianship allow both Stanley and Simmons to be the focal parts of the show. Thayer enjoyed a solo mimicking his predecessor Ace Frehley’s rocket launching from the guitar to a tee during his guitar solo. The audience ate it up! Singer plays hard but with proficiency and sang lead vocals on “Black Diamond.”

Again, this wasn’t the over the top bombastic show that most KISS fans are used to but nevertheless KISS showed that it didn’t need it. They still were able to make a connection to its audience and leave along lasting impression and that’s what matters most!

Setlist:

Deuce

Shout it Out Loud

Lick it Up (Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who snippet)

I Love it Loud

Love Gun

Firehouse

Shock Me

Guitar solo

Flaming Youth

Bass solo

God of Thunder

Say Yeah

War Machine

Psycho Circus

Black Diamond

Rock and Roll All Nite

Encore:

Cold Gin

Detroit Rock City

 

Photo Gallery

We would like to thank Nadine DiStefano from the Seneca Niagara Casino for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Gus

My first opportunity to write about music was with Kissunderground, featuring just one band (KISS). In 2006, I started working for another outlet that showcased more musicians. It was a great experience for me at the time. I personally nailed down some great interviews during my time at glam-metal.com (Paul Stanley, Jonathan Davis, Slash and Sully Erna to name a few). In early 2009, I decided to venture out on my own with the idea of creating a website that has all the offerings that a reader would want in a music review website. That’s when Backstageaxxess.com began.
I’m so proud of what was created here and of our staff that brings it to you. Each one offers a diverse opinion and a creative ability to share it in a unique way. We are so lucky to have them here.
When discussing making a list of favorite shows with the staff, I also found it hard to narrow that list down to a select handful of shows. Everyone experiences a concert in their own terms, whether it’s the show itself, maybe it’s the people you met there and the new friendships created, or maybe it was meeting the artist at the show. For my criteria, I tried to stick to just the show itself, but again, it was sometimes hard to do.
My first concert was Sammy Hagar’s first tour with Van Halen at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY, on August 30, 1986. My favorites are as follows:
1. Kiss – Tiger Stadium – Detroit, Michigan 6/28/96
2. SARS (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and handful of other bands) – Downsview Park – Toronto, Ontario 7/30/03
3. Paul McCartney (every McCartney show I saw was awesome, but Iwent with my first show) Air Canada Centre -Toronto, Ontario 10/10/05
4. Motley Crue – Memorial Auditorium – Buffalo, NY 12/19/89
5. Kid Rock – Tweeter Center – Camden, New Jersey 3/25/06
The honorable mentions would be any McCartney show (The Joint at the Hard Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2009 or Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario 8/10/10), Prince (Club 2112) at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas 12/30/07, Heart (Pulse Lounge * only 200 people) Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California, January 21,2008, Monsters of Rock (Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come) Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 6/19/88 and the Rocklahoma Festival (Queensryche, Lita Ford, Triumph, etc.). Also, Cher (with my mom) at the Blue Cross Arena Rochester, NY, November 22, 2004.