Kiss, Gig Review. Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham.

Liverpool Sound And Vision Rating * * * * *

Kiss in Birmingham, May 2017. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

The art of the showman may entail many effects, a stage full of experience, the sprinkle of dust wherever possible, the unrelenting passion to pull off the impossible and the big sonic boom in which to thrill the audience with, that moment in which a crowd goes nuts, in which the night was well and truly owned by the fantastic and the sheer delightful.

It is only Rock ‘N’ Roll after all but to the multitude who attend Kiss gigs, who have taken the art of the band and turned into a night of pleasure out of the ordinary, the make-up, the signs of the four personas that are so extraordinary on stage, this is more than just simple rock, for the first timer it may feel as if you have wandered into the heady, beautiful love-child of Edgar Allen Poe and P.T. Barnum, the sincerity of the occasion is overwhelming and the knock-out punch, that instant when the slap on the back connects with a beaming smile, tells you, you have waited your whole life for this.

For those who made their life that of following Kiss, of seeing them whenever they come to Britain, this has always been the case, that sense of showmanship, of watching a band who are not afraid of living life loud and in full colour, then the night in Birmingham’s town centre, the glorious animated night life clashing artistically full steam with the existence that stalks the neon lights of Broadway, this was just the night to reacquaint themselves with arguably one of the most enduring bands of all time.

The sincerity though was perfectly placed, in a week in which people, parents, children, went to a concert in Manchester and did not return home to tell their friends all about it, to not swamp social media with their pictures and regale in the story of their night out, it was only right that Kiss asked for and received silence to pay respects to those fallen in the name of lunacy, that the souls of the departed be remembered; for it may be that music cures all but in the end, a simple gesture, a moment of reflection shows that is possible to live in peace.

A night when the sonic met the full colour, the showmanship of Kiss was in full swing and as songs such as Lick It Up, Firehouse, Flaming Youth, Crazy Crazy Nights, Black Diamond and I Was Made For Lovin’ You rang through the arena like a spectrum of pure existence, there was no doubting that this night, whether it was your initial foray seeing the band live or being a veteran of a hundred nights in the arms of Gene Simmons, you never, ever forget your first Kiss.

Ian D. Hall