The 9th installment of the KISS Kruise was held last week. The 5 day voyage included stops at the ships private Island Great Stirrup Cay and Falmouth, Jamaica. The band provided 3 shows (2 indoor the Stardust Theater) and one show that was in the round on the pool deck this year. We will focus on the 1st indoor show when the ship left Great Stirrup Cay and was over the Atlantic Ocean.
The band took the stage at about 9:15pm, a little later than the 9pm starting time. KISS opened up with a song that was never used as an opener before. “Say Yeah” off of 2009’s “Sonic Boom” was a peculiar choice. The tune can be described as an upbeat and crowd interactive song which ended up being the right choice here. After the opener, the setlist got a lot interesting. “Larger Than Life” was performed for the first time since KISS did their unplugged tour in 1995. This was the first time it was ever performed electric though. After hearing what the fans said after last years show (no rarities or deep cuts were played), the band came back with a vengeance this year. They really dug deep and delivered on so many bases. Songs like “Strutter” and “Got to Choose” were dusted off and brought back into the set.
There was little said by vocalist and frontman Paul Stanley as he and the rest of the band let the music do the talking. Looking at the faces of each member, you can see the fun they were having playing these songs. Bassist Gene Simmons didn’t move around too much on stage, possibly due to a few kidney stone procedures he had over the last several months. Nonetheless, his bass playing and vocals were spot on. Simmons singing “Christine Sixteen” was also a treat. This was another song that hasn’t been played too much over the years. Guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer were solid in their playing and you can see, are firmly entrenched within the band. Their playing and band interactions allowed each member to play fluidly.
All eras were covered during their set as KISS played “Crazy Crazy Nights” and “Heaven’s on Fire” for the non makeup years. The shocker of the show was when KISS played “It’s My Life.” The song was never formally released on a studio album, but made it onto the 2001 KISS box set. The crowd went nuts and it was a terrific way to end the set. When the band made a quick exit for their encore, another surprise was when the band came back and started with with the first chords of “God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You II.” Stanley and Simmons back and forth vocals along with Thayer’s spot on guitar licks made for another highlight of the show.
When you see the band expand the setlist and play for the die hards, there is really nothing better. This is why the majority of the die hard fans go on the KISS Kruises. You can’t see and hear a bunch of the songs that were played on a regular tour. If there was any compliant, is that I wish the show was longer. It was so good you didn’t want it to end. How can the band top this setlist? Wait until KISS Kruise 10 to find out!
Larger Than Life
Got to Choose
Do You Love Me?
Heaven’s on Fire
I was Made for Lovin’ You
Crazy Crazy Nights
It’s My Life
God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll to You II
Detroit Rock City
Rock and Roll All Nite