Gene Simmons is touring Australia as a solo artist for the first time and his opening act is his former Kiss compadre Ace Frehley. Think about it, 50% of Kiss is as much Kiss as you get at a Kiss concert so this was a good deal.
Actually for some Kiss fans, this was somewhat of a better deal considering that the setlist from both Gene and Ace gave a smothering of songs rarely heard at a Kiss show.
From Gene’s set the Kiss songs ‘I’ had only been performed eight times by Kiss, ‘Charisma’ four, ‘Almost Human’ three, ‘Love Theme From Kiss’ nine and ‘She’s So European’ (performed as ‘She’s So Australian’) never.
Ace performed two Kiss songs never performed by Kiss, ‘Rocket Ride’ and ‘Hard Times’ as well as ‘Strange Ways’ which they only ever did five times live. (Ironically, ‘Rocket Ride’ was released as the sole studio track of the second Kiss live album ‘Kiss Alive II’).
Simmons is touring solo to personally deliver his 18-kilo 150 track box set The Vault to fans who forked over $US2000 for the trophy. The price included the experience of being on stage with Gene. Some of those fans got to sing ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’ with their Rock God.
The show seized the opportunity to promote the upcoming stage show School of Rock with one of the kids from the show doing ‘Calling Dr Love’ with Gene while Australian stage star Amy Lehpamer sang ‘I Was Made For Loving You’, the Kiss hit originally sung by Paul Stanley.
For Kiss fans, this show was the good time had by all. While it wasn’t a full crowd, it was a happy crowd. The audience left smiling, knowing that they witnessed a one-off event. A lot of these songs these fans had never heard live before and probably won’t ever hear them live again. That is a big win for a Kiss fan.
Gene also confirmed that Kiss will tour Australia in 2019.
Gene Simmons setlist, Melbourne, Festival Hall, 30 August 2018
Deuce (from Kiss, 1974)
Shout It Out Loud (from Destroyer, 1976)
Are You Ready (from Gene Simmons Vault, 2018)
Calling Dr. Love (from Rock and Roll Over, 1976)
Radioactive (from Gene Simmons Vault, 2018)
I (from Music From The Elder, 1981)
Larger Than Life (from Gene Simmons Vault, 2018)
Almost Human (from Love Gun, 1977)
Charisma (from Dynasty, 1979)
I Was Made for Lovin’ You (with Amy Lehpamer) (from Dynasty, 1979)
Do You Love Me (from Destroyer, 1976)
Long Tall Sally (Little Richard cover)
Plaster Caster (Love Gun, 1977)
Love Theme from Kiss (from Kiss, 1974)
War Machine (from Creatures of the Night, 1982)
I Love It Loud (from Creatures of the Night, 1982)
She’s So Australian (She’s So European) (from Unmasked, 1980)
Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll (from Hotter Than Hell, 1974)
Rock and Roll All Nite (from Dressed To Kill, 1975)
Ace Frehley setlist, Melbourne, Festival Hall, 30 August 2018
Fractured Mirror (From Ace Frehley, 1978)
Parasite (from Hotter Than Hell, 1974)
Hard Times (from Dynasty, 1979)
2000 Man (The Rolling Stones cover) (from Dynasty, 1979)
Rock Soldiers (from Frehley’s Comet, 1987)
Rip It Out (From Ace Frehley, 1978)
Love Gun (from Love Gun, 1977)
Rocket Ride (from Kiss Alive II, 1977)
Strange Ways (from Hotter Than Hell, 1974)
New York Groove (From Ace Frehley, 1978)
Shock Me (from Love Gun, 1977)
Detroit Rock City (from Destroyer, 1976)
Cold Gin (from Kiss, 1974)