Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

The lights dim and behind the giant curtain a lone voice tells you what you already know. “…You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world: KISS!”  The curtain comes down, flames light the stage, the thundering opening riffs of “Detroit Rock City” fill the arena, and the fans go wild.

KISS’s Freedom To Rock Tour arrived in Boise, their first visit to the “City of Trees” in more than 10 years, to a feverish and packed Taco Bell Arena. And the near 2 hour, 20 song set did not disappoint the fans, young and old(er) – myself included.

For fans, there is no better song than “Detroit Rock City” (from their double platinum album ‘Destroyer’) to open a KISS concert; nostalgia filling the heads of many remembering laying the needle down on Side 1 of ‘Alive II.’

Immediately following the opening song, KISS classic’s “Deuce” and “Shout it Out Loud” set the tone for the night.  The “newest” song of the evening was “Psycho Circus” from the 1998 album of the same name sandwiched between rarely performed “Flaming Youth” and “Calling Dr Love” from ‘Destroyer’ and ‘Rock and Roll Over,’ respectively.

As a long time KISS fan, I’m ashamed to say that this was my first time seeing them live. And still I must admit, it was worth the wait. For 40+ years the band has honed its craft (outlasting many bands in the process) and in that time have created both an experience and spectacle of live concert mastery.  

Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer are musicians and tireless performers of the highest caliber who love what they do and who show their appreciation for the fans by giving 110% each and every night. And on this night, the first stop on their Freedom to Rock Tour, they did give 110%. They belted out all of the KISS classics; “Cold Gin,” “Strutter,” “Love Gun” and “Black Diamond” before ending the show with KISS anthem “Rock and Roll All Nite.”

Many fans were surprised at the band’s current encore set, pulling out their ‘Dynasty’ disco rock staple “I Was Made For Loving You” in favor of their definitive power ballad “Beth” off of ‘Destroyer.’ This was followed up with a massive rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, which tied in well with KISS’ “Freedom To Rock” message on this tour.

To say KISS puts on a “great show” is an understatement of epic proportions. Collectively, their shows are a masterpiece…a visual and audible feast for the senses.  The rising drum kit, the fire breathing, the blood, the brooding bass solo, the confetti, the flames…it was all there. Pure KISS and the fans loved every minute of it.

KISS 7/07/16 ‘Freedom To Rock’ Setlist Boise, ID 

Detroit Rock City
Deuce
Shout it Out Loud
Creatures of the Night
War Machine
Flaming Youth
Psycho Circus
Calling Dr. Love
Shock Me
Strutter
Cold Gin
Lick it Up
Bass Solo
I Love it Loud
100,000 Years
Love Gun
Black Diamond
Beth
Star Spangled Banner
Rock and Roll All Nite

Gallery

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine

Darren Russinger/ Music Enthusiast Magazine