Monday, April 2, 2007

KISS on crack!

I don't usually go out of my way to check out tribute bands. When I was in college, I did happen to see a Doors tribute band called Riders On The Storm, and a Pink Floyd tribute band known as the Machine. The latter in particular drew some pretty big crowds when they played clubs and such around New England. So we're talkin' ten years ago, at least, since I've seen a rock n' roll tribute band.

But on Saturday, I broke the fast and actually saw a KISS tribute band called Destroyer. With so much original music happening daily in San Francisco, it didn't seem to make much sense. That's a common theme of mine, "does this decision make sense?" I've seen the real KISS before, in full make-up, when they toured behind Psycho Circus with Ted Nugent. So I knew what the KISS experience was all about. Yet I had to see Destroyer because the guy from my web design class who talked them up has turned me on to some good tunes lately. If he said this show was as close to experiencing the real KISS in a small club as one was likely to see, I had to trust his judgment.

Turns out he was right!

They had the light-up KISS sign and the logo on the drum head, full leather costumes and make-up... "Gene Simmons" even spat blood and breathed fire. He was the most impressive of the bunch, vocalizing and laying down the bass just like the real deal. "Peter" and "Ace" were good too, though "Paul Stanley" could have shed a few pounds and tightened his pants a bit. My camera failed to catch it, but he was showing us his butt-crack for several minutes before relieving us with a quick tug up on his trousers. His vocals could have used a little fine-tuning as well. But no complaints about "Gene," "Ace" or "Peter." It really did feel like seeing KISS in a small club before they hit the big time.

For comparison purposes, here's some undated video of Destroyer at an unknown venue performing "Shock Me":

And here's the real KISS performing the same song at an arena in Houston, Texas, in 1977:

Not bad, eh?


Doug M. said...

That's pretty funny. I remember that KISS show at Great Woods, although Ted Nugent may have been more memorable that night since I've seen KISS so many times. That was fun shit though. I can't imagine you at a KISS tribute concert. Alas, Great White has insured that we'll never get the "Full KISS Effect" around here anytime soon in a small club.

It's funny how the Paul Stanley guy is the worst of the 4 considering he's the "ringleader" and lead singer on most songs.

Isorski said...

This video is a crack up. They in some ways sound better than KISS on the reunion tour (the drummer is better for sure). But I agree, they need a new "Paul Stanley." It's a toughie. In my experience, more people can throw on the Gene makeup, grimace a bit and pull it off. Paul Stanley is pretty impossible to imitate. You have to be in some serious shape and his pipes are so powerful, no one can really do him properly (imitate him singing, I mean).

I added your site to my blog too by the way. Thanks for prompting that!