Section 9. The "Alive II" tour has long been considered Super KISS, the live pinnacle of the classic era. However, even though the new album contained 5 new studio recordings, none were added to the set and the show was more an extension of the "Love Gun" tour (with "Take Me" and "Hooligan" being replaced in the set with other classics).
"Alive II" Tour
1977, November 15
Myriad Convention Center
Oklahoma City, OK Set list: Notes: The first night of the "Alive II" tour. Quality: AUD recording.
1977, November 29
Des Moines, IA Set list:I Stole Your Love /
King Of The Night Time World /
Ladies Room /
Love Gun /
Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll /
Makin' Love /
Christine Sixteen /
Shock Me /
I Want You /
Calling Dr. Love /
Shout It Out Loud /
God Of Thunder /
Rock And Roll All Nite / Detroit Rock City / Beth / Black Diamond Notes: Show cuts during Peter's drum solo. A local review: "Any estimation of the rock group Kiss must be made in two parts, the music and the act. The music part can be dispensed by quoting the advertising slogan that underground cartoonist Robert Crumb dreamed up to sell his joke 78-rpm recording of 'Wisconsin Wiggle: A high standard of standardness.' Kiss drew 13,000 to Veterans Auditorium Tuesday night, after attracting a record crowd of 14,500 to Vets just 10 months ago. One hopes the music is not the attraction that induced the sub-voting age population of central Iowa to empty its pockets of roughly $100,000.
If not the music, then it must be the act, right? Well, that's hard to believe. The act just wasn't that good. A little history is perhaps in order. The first rock & roll acts were staged by Ben Jonson, a poet laureate of England, and Inigo Jones, an architect, for King James I about 375 years ago. These included almost everything that modern rock acts have, except incandescent light bulbs and loudspeakers: Fireworks, loud music, dancing and prancing, smoke, sets that opened up to reveal volcanoes, dancing girls, wildlife, you name it. Thus, a good rock act depends more on style and pace than on originality.
Kiss has a lot of trouble with pace. Although it records both heavy metal songs and ballads, the stage act is almost all heavy metal, none of it varied enough to create a pace. The style is warmed over Alice Cooper, though that probably means little enough to the Kiss crowd, which is hardly old enough to remember Alice Cooper. For example, Kiss has a big, fiberglass snake that breathes smoke; Alice had a real snake he wore around his neck. Kiss uses lots of smoke; Alice used even more smoke, and bubbles too. (Credit Lawrence Welk on that one?) Kiss has lots of flames and moving drummer's thrones and stuff like that. So did Alice. Alice also had a sense of humor, and Kiss will never have that.
Kiss doesn't even have a sense of respect. Late in the show, lead vocalist Paul Stanley asked the crowd to show some respect by rising for 'the rock 'n' roll national anthem,' which a lot of people did. Well, you could have fooled me. I thought the rock 'n' roll anthem was 'Roll Over, Beethoven,' or maybe 'On Broadway.' Kiss turned out to mean a song of its own that went, 'I-I-I-I want to rock and roll all ni-i-i-i-ght,' that wasn't even the second best rock anthem played at Vets Tuesday.
I'll get to the other one in a minute. So, Kiss is musically routine and theatrically uninspired. Still, you can't dislike the band. They play simple, derivative music for an unsophisticated audience of children who have not had the chance of seeing a real rock show, like Rod Stewart or Ike and Tina Turner (alas, they'll never see Ike and Tina together again, probably). Kiss at least is introducing them to the concept of rock 'n' roll, and some of those children will graduate to the Kinks or Frank Zappa someday. (As for the considerable proportion of adults on hand, there is no hope for them.)
Summing up, the show was no fun to anyone who's seen top rock acts live, but the evening did have its moment. It came at the end of the set by Detective, the warmup band. Detective played so loud - like early Uriah Heep, but without the stage presence - that it was hard to tell whether the band was any good or not. But for its last number the group turned the volume down and broke into a nice arrangement of "Good Rockin' Tonight," which really was some kind of rock 'n' roll anthem" (Harry Eagar, Des Moines Register, 11/30/77) Quality: Generally poor AUD recording. Heavily muffled with static in parts.
1977, December 6
Wichita, KS Set list: I Stole Your Love / Ladies Room / Firehouse / Love Gun / Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll / Makin' Love / Christine Sixteen / Shock Me / I Want You / Calling Dr. Love / God of Thunder / Detroit Rock City / Beth Notes: . Quality: Incomplete below average AUD recording.
1977, December 14
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY Set list: Notes: . Quality: .
1977, December 16
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY Set list: Notes: National press review: "Maybe the glitter-rock band Kiss should change its name to "Smack." Kiss, they of the painted faces
and outrageous costumes, smacked a full house at Madison Square Garden recently with something close to 180 decibels and outrageous visual effects which were eaten up by the teen-age "Kiss Army" fans. (Those over the age of 21 seemed to have a "what-am-I-doing- here" look on their faces).
Kiss opened with '"I Stole Your Love," a driving footstomping number that may have sounded better than it was because the band kept the opening night audience waiting more than an hour past the billed starting time. Ensuing numbers included "Doctor Love," "Christine Sixteen," and "Love Gun," but only the names indicated any individuality in the songs. Bassist Gene Simmons, the tongue-thrusting vampire figure, breathed smoke throughout "Firehouse" and drooled blood in a guitar solo. "Space" Ace Frehley's lead guitar smoked and exploded in a shower of sparks at the conclusion of "Shock Me." Paul Stanley, the rhythm guitarist and lead singer, broke his instrument over his knee and tossed it to the crowd after "Rock & Roll All Night." Peter Criss, the feline-faced drummer, played a long solo to the accompaniment of fireworks in "God of Thunder."
The music was pretty good, the guitar playing talented, the drumming fair, and the singing ranged from below average (Frehley) to above average (Stanley and Simmons). Kiss' appeal lies in two areas. First, any member of the audience who ever picked up a guitar or beat a drum gets the feeling watching them that all he needs is a smidgin of talent and a load of gimmicks for him too to be a superstar. Secondly, and most importantly, the group truly appreciates its fans and strives to show them a good" (William Cahill - UPI, 12/77). Quality: .
Last night was another example of the group's drawing power. It sold out the Spectrum - a claimed attendance of 15,500 persons - many weeks in advance of the performance. And the performance itself... the music was passable, but the staging and the theatrics were the equal to any legitimate stage production. Kiss has admitted In the past that its music is not its strongest point. The four have become competent musicians during the long years they have spent touring and playing together but they are far from being super musicians. The draw of Kiss Is its features four average musicians who are above-average actors. Not only actors but technicians In the art of generating a crowd magnetism.
Last night's staging for the group's concert fell somewhere between the futuristic and the fantastic. The group played from a multi-level stage. It opened with guitarists Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley and bassist Gene Simons standing on platforms above the stage level. Drummer Peter Criss was on a platform of his own which remained more or less on one level throughout the show but even the drummer's platform was rigged for some exciting activity. As the band started to play, the upper platforms of the guitarists and bass player began to move toward stage level through their hydraulic systems and the stage simultaneously was layered with fog, blazed by a multitude of lights and was resounding with the after-shocks of planned stage explosions.
The chrome and glass stage never ceased to be a marvel with its Intricate lighting and design. A snake, coiled around a pole, would alternately spew fog and fire over the stage. Sections of the stage would rise 10-feet-or-more above its base to accentuate a band member's solo. Guitars exploded, lights flashed, confetti rained from above, blood flowed... there never was a point during the concert when the audience even could think of being bored. If anything, it was more like a three-ring circus and if you did not watch the show closely, you stood the chance of missing one of its more subtle nuances, although subtlety was a rarity.
If the staging, pyrotechnics and related stage business does not sound flashy enough, you still have to take into consideration the costuming of the group. The members never have been pictured out of makeup. On stage, Criss is a whiskered feline; Simmons is a lizard with a long snaking tongue; Frehley is a surrealistic spaceman, and Stanley, the on-stage group leader, is the star-eyed sex symbol with an exposed hairy chest. They all dress In black, with silver accents, and wear plalfonned shoes of nose-bleed proportions.
During the course of the show, all of the group members, with the exception of Criss, took the band's helm for solo vocals. If it seems that this review is giving the music second-billing to the show, it is because the music was secondary to the show. Kiss will continue to draw astronomlcal numbers to its concerts as long as it, too remembers, music is not its primary message - the show's the thing" (John Fisher, Bucks Co. Courier Times, 12/23/77). Quality: Generally poor AUD recording. Heavily muffled and distorted - For diehards only.
1977, December 27
Baton Rouge, LA Set list: Notes: . Quality: .
1978, January 3
Hollywood, FL Set list: King Of The Night Time World / Ladies Room / Firehouse / Love Gun / Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll / Makin' Love / Christine Sixteen / Shock Me / I Want You / Calling Dr. Love / Shout It Out Loud / God Of Thunder / Rock And Roll All Nite / Detroit Rock City / Beth / Black Diamond Notes: . Quality: Below average AUD recording.
1978, January 6
Columbia, NC Set list: Notes: . Quality: .
1978, January 11
Huntington, WV Set list: Notes: Super8 video footage. Quality: .
1978, January 15
Chicago, IL Set list: Notes: The show that circulates is the same as January 16. Quality: A generally poor AUD recording.
1978, January 16
Chicago, IL Set list: I Stole Your Love / King Of The Night Time World / Ladies Room / Firehouse / Love Gun / Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll / Makin' Love / Christine Sixteen / Shock Me / I Want You / Calling Dr. Love / Shout It Out Loud / God Of Thunder / Rock And Roll All Nite / Detroit Rock City / Beth / Black Diamond Notes: The show that circulates is the same as January 15. Quality: A poor AUD recording.
1978, January 23
Evansville, IN Set list: Notes: . Quality: .
1978, January 27
Springfield, MA Set list: Notes: . Quality: .
1978, February 2
Providence, RI Set list: Notes: . Quality: .
1978, February 3
Providence, RI Set list: Notes: . Quality: .
Ladies Room: "Okay! Okay! Alright Tokyo! Tokyo! I got this feeling it's gonna be a hot night tonight. We're gonna get this place so hot, we're gonna have to call out... We're gonna have to call out... the firehouse!"
Firehouse: "Alright! Does everybody feel good? Alright, here's a song... Love Gun!"
Love Gun: "Alright! I want... I want to hear everbody say Rock and roll! Rock and roll! Rock and roll!"
Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll: "Nice, uh, huh, huh? I tell ya what I wanna do! Uh! Uh! Uh! I wanna make love to you!" Quality: Average AUD recording though more than half the show is affected by static.
Ladies Room: "Domo Arigato. You like that, huh? I'll tell ya. I'll tell ya. This place is gonna get so hot tonight. We're gonna have to call out... We're gonna have to call out the firehouse!"
Firehouse: "Firehouse. Whoa! Alright! Alright! I'm gonna shoot you... with my.. Love Gun!"
Love Gun: "Ah! Alright everybody? Let me hear you say, Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Rock and roll!"
Let Me Go, Rock 'N' Roll: "Nice, uh, huh, huh? I tell ya what I wanna do! Uh! Uh! Uh! I wanna make love to you!"
Makin' Love: "Okay! Alright, I wanna... I wanna tell everybody, we're really happy to be in Tokyo tonight. Here's a song for all the girls! Girls! Girls! Christine Sixteen!"
Christine Sixteen: "Alright now, since everybody's feeling good. Are you feelin' good? Alright then, we've got a surprise for you. Are you ready for a surprise? Alright, we're gonna turn the microphone over to... When I count to three I wanna here everybody say Ace Frehley, one... two... three... Ace Frehley!" Quality: A muffled and below average AUD recording. Additionally tape-flip issues result in the loss of the first half of "I Want You" and "Black Diamond" fades out prior to conclusion.
1978, March 31
Tokyo, Japan Set list: Notes: . Quality: .
King Of The Night Time World: "Whoa! Whoa! Hello Tokyo! Does everybody feel alright? Alright! Well then, here's a song about the beautiful girls of Tokyo. Meet us in the ladies room!"
Ladies Room: "Thank you! Domo! Domo Arigato. Here's a song about getting this place hot tonight. We're gonna get this place so hot, we're gonna have to call out... I think we're gonna have to call out the firehouse!"
Firehouse: "Firehouse. Whoa! Okay! Okay! Here's a song about... I'm gonna shoot you with my.. Love Gun!"
Love Gun: "Alright! Alright! I want to tell ya, tonight is our last show in Tokyo. I want you to know, we love you. Now I want everybody to say Rock and roll! Rock and roll! Rock and roll!" Quality: Average AUD recording, some "dead-space" cuts between songs.
1978, May 19
Magic Mountain Amusement Park
Valencia, CA Set list: Notes: . Quality: .
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