Reviews

KISS, KISS Rocks Vegas (Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2016)

Filmed during their 2014 residency at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, KISS Rocks Vegas captures the American rock 'n' roll institution in the midst of their 40th anniversary world tour. A few seconds after loading up the CD/Blu-ray, the party gets started with the familiar intro to "Detroit Rock City," and then kicks into overdrive as the band take the stage to perform the "klassic" Destroyer tune.

The setlist's energy doesn't let up with the next song, the title track to Creatures of the Night, as well as the same album's "War Machine," a cut co-penned by Bryan Adams that features a monstrous guitar riff that inspired Stone Temple Pilots' "Sex Type Thing" a decade later. As a longtime KISS devotee, it's great seeing them not ignoring their '80s output in the last few years.

Fans have reported that Paul Stanley's vocals have been spotty in parts during some of KISS' more recent tours, but the Starchild sounds in command throughout KISS Rocks Vegas. This is evident during "Tears are Falling"—the excellent Asylum single the band busts out around the middle of the concert—which Stanley sings with both power and finesse.

As a bonus feature to the new CD/Blu-ray package, KISS Rocks Vegas also includes a seven-song acoustic set. In addition to the Rod Stewart-indebted "Hard Luck Woman" and other fan favorites such as "Plaster Caster" and "Love Her All I Can," the unplugged section also includes "Goin' Blind"—quite possibly Gene Simmons' finest vocal moment in the band's discography.

KISS Army members will undoubtedly add it to their collections, but even casual fans of the group will enjoy the bombastic concert experience that KISS Rocks Vegas delivers.

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