When I was like 7 years old, my crazy cousin HC called me up and told me about this wild band he "discovered". He even played me some of one of their songs right there over the phone. I have no idea what song it was, but it came from the Rock and Roll Over album, and the band was KISS.
Right then and there an instant obsession began. And obsession that lasted until I was about 10 or 11. I knew nothing about music per se, but damn it, if KISS' faces were anywhere around it, I wanted it!
But being so young, not only did I not understand that bands performed in concerts, but I would have never been able to go anyway.
Suffice it to say, I never got to see the phenomenon that was KISS in concert.
I did see them twice in the Eighties, but then they were with out the trademark make up, and were really nothing more than a "Cheap Metal" band. But that hardly counts…
Then came the big reunion of all the original members with the make up, the glitz, the fire, the hoopla. It became such a commercial machine, I just didn't wanna deal with it.
So when I heard that this club, METAL FACTORY, was featuring a KISS tribute band called KISS ARMY, I figured what the hell.
I had heard of KISS tribute bands before, with Strutter and Black Diamond being the best known and respected. KISS Army turns out to be pretty well known as well, and I have to say they did a pretty good job…
The best of the four was whoever was playing bassist / vocalist Gene Simmons. Gene's the biggest, most over the top character in KISS, and this guy had him down! He had the look, the voice, all the mannerisms, and he even did the gimmicks: the blood spitting and the fire breathing. Hell, the guy even had this long, rather disgusting tongue. Weird.
Unfortunately, I feel the rest of the band was not as good. The drummer was an excellent musician, but I dunno, I didn't really get a Peter Criss vibe from him. The Ace Frehley guitarist I'll basically reserve comment on…he did a pretty good job, but he was having technical difficulties to the point of being distracting.
My biggest problem was the Paul Stanley guy. Yeah, at times he sounded a little like him, but I dunno, Paul Stanley is this charismatic stage man, and I just didn't see it. Stanley's a harder guy to imitate than Simmons, because Simmons is way over the top, while Stanley is a little more subtle. And I may be taking to many points away from this guy because he seemed to be wearing a wig. Hey, what can I say, I'm a bit of a perfectionist.
All in all, it was kinda cool seeing and hearing all those old songs performed live. It was a pretty cool night in general, even though as a dull old man, I can do without waiting til almost 1 AM for the band to go on.
But I definitely wanna go back to the Metal Factory, and I'm listening to some old KISS in my car right now, so I must have had a pretty good time.