Kiss show ‘a night to remember’

By Bret Pierce
Times-News correspondent 

   RALEIGH — From the moment Kiss came on stage at the PNC Arena on Saturday night, it was clear that this was no run-of-the-mill concert.
With everything from classic pyrotechnics to the more modern technology-driven special effects, concertgoers were entranced by the performance.
This is being called the End of the Road Tour for Kiss — your final chance to see the band live. And a CD recording just doesn’t compare to the fun Kiss (and its Kiss Army) has live.
This is a rock ‘n’ roll theatrical production and Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer are the stars.
“Hey, Raleigh. This is a night you will never forget. And we plan on playing to everyone in this arena, from the front to the back, to the floor and those of you up there,” Stanley said at the beginning of the show.
    The band, which revitalized and reinvented the concert in America, lived up to its mantra (“you wanted the best — you got  the best — the hottest band in the world”) even at an advanced age.
“It’s always been an honor to be up here and play for y’all,” Stanley said at one point in the show. “Tonight, I don’t want to be up here. I want to come down there and be with you.”
He proceeded to “swing” across the stage from the main stage to one at the back of the arena.
“How does it feel to have front-row seats?” Stanley asked.
The glow of disco balls illuminated the arena as the band played “I Was Made For Lovin’ You.”
At one point in the show, Stanley said, “I think we’ll stick with old-school Kiss.”
Some of the songs included “I Love It Loud,” “Heaven’s On Fire,” “War Machine,” “Lick It Up,” “Doctor Love,” “Love Gun,” “Black Diamond” and “Do You Love Me?”
Black-and-white images of Kiss (when Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were in the band) were shown on the video screens behind the current performers.
The first time Kiss played Raleigh was in the Dorton Arena in 1976.
“If you were in the Dorton Arena that night, you heard this song,” Stanley said, introducing “Rock and Roll All Nite.”
Singer brought a sweet side to the show with his rendition of “Beth.”
As the performers took their final bows, confetti cannons shot out colored slips of paper throughout the arena.
And as the audience made its way out of the venue, the words “Kiss loves you, Raleigh,” could be seen on the jumbotrons.
It was an incredible show and like Stanley said, “a night to remember.”

Bret Pierce is a junior at Page High School in Greensboro and a Teens & 20s writer. Charity Apple, Accent editor and volunteer Teens & 20s adviser, contributed to this story.

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