KISS – THE FAREWELL TOUR
DATE: April 5th 2000 – VENUE: Alltel Arena – PROXIMITY: North Little Rock, Arkansas – ME: Row 12, Seat 13 Floor
I’ve got NOTHING TO LOSE? After seeing my favorite band KISS in 79, 85 and on the Reunion Tour in 96, which I would value the 96 show as a sloppy joe, what could be the DANGER? I woke up hung over and drove from Fayetteville to Morrilton. I had to have more sleep and my grandparents’ ponderosa was the refuge. I needed the day to prepare for the night. Crash! Up again, late, and I’m in a poor mood. Ill Hornet as my Granny would say. I drive to beautiful Levy, Arkansas. Time to rise for the occasion, Onassis! I dock at my best’s, Reid Raley’s, and we’re whiskey while listening to BANG on the porch. The whole RWAKE crew is in tow tonight.
GOING OFF THE RAILS ON THE GRAVY TRAIN: Gravy from RWAKE has big decisions to make and the clock is his biggest foe, to buy a ticket or not to buy a ticket? We’re not having it, this indecisive deluge! We were like a coven of Kiss Demons on Gravy, spitting fire, stars, cat whiskers and Ack! Fuck the bills, it’s Kiss! This move would prove to be fatal for some poor custodian at Alltell after the show, as Gravy is in!
NORTH LITTLE ROCK CITY: FIRST I DRINK THEN I SMOKE! This is my first trip to Alltel Arena (Verizon). I grew up in Barton Coliseum and Arkansas was due for a new venue, but, of course, it’s a new century with new rules. Jeff is the first victim at the door as he has to lose the chain off his wallet. It’s probably a good thing as he is rumored to have thrown his boots at Lars Ulrich at a prior showing of Metallica in the recent past. He hides it along the walkway, hoping for a reprieve of his chain after the show.
LONELY IS THE HUNTER: I’d dropped a Hella-Chank, $46.50 for the floor show. This was supposed to be LOVE GUN era stage production and I was going to live it! Unfortunately, this meant leaving my CRUE in the bleeds and heading for the floor. Searching, I procured my spot and prepared for the launch of the ROCKET RIDE called Kiss. The prior show in 1996 saw them hit the launch pad with STRUTTER and Peter Criss and Ace Frehley completely derail the flight within two minutes, I’m talking a unforgettable flub! The vibe was ruined and they never recovered that night in Memphis.
KABOOM! DETROIT ROCK CITY and we’re off and we are veering into a crash! You know how Jimmy Page flirts with the center median of guitar crash, yet he pulls something incredible out of his ass at the last second? This is Kiss tonight. Ace and Peter are scared and Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are their biggest cheerleaders! You can talk all the trash you like about Paul and Gene, but they are professional and they give a damn about the band, band mates and you! I watched them instill confidence in Ace and Peter on that stage that night!
GET THE FIREHOUSE: From out of nowhere the magic has taken us as NYC’s finest offering to the world has worked some fucking Blackened Voodoo Ritual and they are playing great. Someone hands me a Led Zeppelin, I’m up a notch and I’ve arrived, it’s 1977 in 2000, I’m 24 and mesmerized like I’m 5! I want to cry from the emotion I’m feeling, BELIEVE IT! The set builds, a post MK1 Kiss of I Love It Loud is welcomed by me. Sadly, the momentum is lost as they break out PSYCHO CIRCUS. All of the energy leaves the set and I’m doubting myself. Seems I’m not the only one who found the obtuseness of the Psycho Circus, as later reports found Gravy losing his religion in the bleeds with a projectile vomit in sync with the robo-scans. This is KISSTORY!
NAKED CITY: Meandering, Kiss are on the rebound and a pinnacle is reached with Gene Simmons and GOD OF THUNDER! Bring it and Gene does with a heartfelt BLOODSPIT that I’ll put up against any I’ve ever seen him ever do! To top it all, he flies up into the lighting truss and belittles us from the rafters for the song! There’s my $46.50!
100,000 YEARS: Sorry to have taken so long! This is the Everest of the night, one of my favorites and KISS put all the nails in the coffin! Nailed shut and nasty, straight from the streets of NYC is the delivery and swagger! I’m good and as the encore of the night hits (you guess what song). I’m running for the concourse, happy, very happy. There’s a certain magic that Kiss have always brought myself. I can remember being in the Pine Bluff Convention Center with my father, in 1979 for the Dynasty Tour, and at four years old. I was overwhelmed with the strange thought I was breathing the same air as Kiss were that night. I was breathing very deeply again when Paul Stanley flew over my head during Love Gun! Jeff lost his chain and it’s all a beautiful blackness from there. TWO FISTED TILL THE VERY END!
DETROIT ROCK CITY
SHOUT IT OUT LOUD
I LOVE IT LOUD
DO YOU LOVE ME
CALLING DR. LOVE
HEAVEN’S ON FIRE
LET ME GO, ROCK N’ ROLL
ACE FREHLEY GUITAR SOLO
LICK IT UP
GOD OF THUNDER
ENCORE – ROCK AND ROLL ALL NITE