KISS as a whole, and Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, in particular, have influenced us with their unique songwriting brilliance. Their ability to achieve goals and unwavering work ethic have inspired us to overcome any obstacles. Starting from humble beginnings, they have risen to become one of the biggest, most fascinating acts in history, living the dream. What an incredible and unique life that must be.
As our tour took us across the UK, every online order became an adventure. Managing the complexities of postal addresses and locker systems while constantly being on the road was challenging. However, our determination to secure KISS tickets led us on a journey of persistence. After an hour-long chat with the ticketing company, they agreed to mail the tickets to the bar where we were scheduled to perform in Shipston-on-Stour. Months later, as we returned to the same venue, the excitement grew as we discovered the tickets had indeed arrived. The show was now just two days away.
On the day of the show, arriving at the venue’s parking lot in the early morning, we were so damn excited to see KISS and happy to find out there still were plenty of spaces close to the arena. The entrance was literally a 1-minute walk away. We noticed a small group of fans forming a line as we approached the door. After getting to know each other, we learned that they had been there since 2 am, shivering, wearing multiple layers of clothing, and being forced to stand for hours or sit on the ground. Inspired by their dedication, we decided to share some warmth and camaraderie. Setting up our camping gear and cooking a hearty batch of chili, we bonded over stories, laughter, and a shared love for KISS. Our impromptu gathering became a highlight, solidifying our connection and adding an extra layer of excitement to the upcoming rock show. Leaving behind two drum seats for them to rest upon, we returned to our van to prepare for the evening, painting our faces just as the band does before every single show to this very day. Before long, one of the fans called to inform us that wristbands were being distributed. Eagerly collecting ours, we took a moment to soak in the atmosphere and walked around the arena, trying to catch glimpses of the band and the backstage preparations as the anticipation continued to build.
Even with the prices at a merch booth of a show, it’s always great to take something home. Buying a book and a bandana, we didn’t realize we had to carry the stuff around during the show. We hid it in a staff room and hoped for the best. Of course, when we opened the door, we got a hard look from an employee watching us.
As we ventured further into the venue, we discovered that the stage area could be accessed from two different sides. Surprisingly, the majority of fans had gathered on the right-hand side. While waiting, we started talking to the security guys, exchanging stories about the bands they had witnessed in the arena. We took the opportunity to share some barn54 business cards, connecting with fellow music enthusiasts. Being the first in line, we secured our place in the front row. We are getting choked up writing these words, realizing there will never be another chance to experience a KISS show. Ever.
Birmingham, UK, 9 pm, June 5, 2023—the moment had finally arrived. „You wanted the best; you got the best, the hottest band in the world – KISS.“ The air crackled with anticipation as the curtain dropped and the pyrotechnics ignited the stage. The first notes of „Detroit Rock City“ reverberated through our souls, and in an instant, we were transported to a realm where hearts pounded, smiles lit up faces, and the collective energy reached a fever pitch. Gene Simmons once called it an „electric church,“ but even those words fail to capture the two hours of pure KISS magic. It was an electrifying rock ’n‘ roll extravaganza that defied description. The show culminated with „Rock ’n‘ Roll All Nite,“ confetti raining down, balloons soaring through the air, picks flying, and Paul Stanley smashing his guitar, leaving 15,000 ecstatic fans screaming for more. It was a night that embodied the essence of playing music as if there were no tomorrow, delivering unforgettable performances and bringing joy to people’s lives. Damn, we want that! Playing music like there’s no tomorrow, putting on kick-ass shows, and making people happy.
As we made our way towards the exit, relieved to find our belongings intact, we unexpectedly encountered some fellow chili enthusiasts from the morning gathering. Beaming with joy, one of them proudly displayed drumsticks and a towel soaked from Paul Stanley’s sweat. We exchanged stories, laughs, and cherished memories, knowing that these moments would be forever etched in our hearts. Eager to catch a glimpse of the band or the crew, we made our way to the stage entrance, driven not by a sense of fandom but by a genuine curiosity about the inner workings of such a grand production.
9 am on the morning after. A slight hangover from the previous night’s celebration reminded us of the beers we had enjoyed during the show. Despite the haze, our spirits remained high as we rehearsed and allowed the full weight of the experience to sink in. Those 24 hours with KISS will forever hold a special place in our hearts. Thank you, KISS, thank you, KISS Army, for an unforgettable journey that will be deeply missed.
In the world of KISS, dreams come alive, rock ’n‘ roll echoes through the air, and the power of music transcends time and space. Our 24-hour odyssey with this legendary band reminded us of the enduring magic that music can create. It is a testament to the unique legacy of KISS and their ability to ignite the fire within us all. As we bid farewell to the concert experience, we hold onto the memories, the shared camaraderie, and the profound impact that KISS has had on our lives. It will forever continue to inspire us in all our musical endeavors.
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