Blog Entry, 11.08.14 •
Sometimes its said that good things come in small packages. As we arrived at the Sly Fox last Saturday night we had no idea what a good thing we had coming. We hadn't played this venue all year so how would the turnout be for our show? With this being the last show of the year for us we were optimistic that the crowd would be good but we had no idea that they would have to turn people away at the door.
It's a small venue and we know exactly how to approach it with regard to our gear set up. We ran through "Tears Are Falling" and "Deuce" for our sound check with Mike back at the board. Everything was in order so we began the make up process. Over the years we could gauge the amount of people that had arrived by the sound of their voices traveling through the thin walls and the duct work between the stage and the uh, dressing room. Lately those sounds have been quieted by some interior work that's been done so we never know what's going on until we head to the stage. To our surprise the place on this night was over capacity! Over 300 people strong were waiting to hear us and very few would leave by the time the show would conclude.
Joe was back from KISS Kruise IV and so fittingly the four of us would end the year together with a powerful performance of KISS tracks. A few of the standouts included "I Was Made For Lovin' You", "Strange Ways" and the aforementioned "Tears Are Falling". The air was thick and hot throughout the entire show. Fans in the front were sweating almost as much as we were. A few fans went a bit too far with their drinking and were either asked to leave or left on their own when their requests fell on deaf ears. Sorry to those that think our stage is somehow yours just because you showed up. On this night we proved that the power of really great rock 'n roll is very much alive with the sounds of MR.SPEED. We want to thank everyone that made it into the Sly Fox on Saturday and stayed until the very end...you rock!
2015 is fast approaching and we're once again looking to take our show to as many places as possible. Make your plans now to check out our Tour page and see when we'll be in your city for a rock and roll party.
Blog Entry, 11.03.14 •
Have you ever heard the saying "if it was easy, everyone would do it"? Those words summarize our trip to Houghton, MI this past weekend in a nutshell. Stay with me as I describe for you how character is built within our band and how patience truly is a virtue.
Thursday evening I was putting the final touches on our morning plans to leave for Houghton, MI. This area of the UP is full of history, pride and kindness as we would soon find out. At 10:30 PM we received an email from United Airlines informing us that our flights the following afternoon were being cancelled. At first I thought it was a put on. Soon after another email arrived confirming the first message. So we were pressed into action to work with the airline and find out if we could still get to our destination to do the show. After 2 hours of negotiating and communicating with each other we were now leaving at 7:30 AM instead of our originally planned departure of 3:00 PM. This was even more unique in that Joe was not traveling with us to this show. Instead, I had arranged for Mike Gavigan to fly in from LA and meet us to fill the lead guitar slot. Unfortunately, it took a small miracle to get Mike to Houghton as we would soon find out.
Our flight departed on time Friday morning from Cleveland Hopkins Airport. We arrived in Chicago and had a short layover before we were taking our connecting flight into Houghton. However, ice on the runway there would delay us over an hour so we arrived shortly after 2:00 PM. We met our contact, Jay Maki at the airport which was basically a runway and one solitary building upon landing. We packed into his minivan and proceeded to our hotel to deal with another setback...Mike getting there from LA. The temperatures in Houghton were 26*...a far cry from the 77* that I had felt just a few days earlier while in Charlotte on business. So we set up a command center in the lobby of the hotel and feverishly worked out a plan to get Mike to the show. After nearly 3 hours of texting, emailing, phone calls and waiting we had to let go of the control and hope that he would find a flight out of LA to Chicago. The interesting thing is that United is the only airline that flies into this airport and there's only two flights a day. We decided that we needed to grab dinner and try to relax for a bit. By 10:00 we were wiped out. We hadn't heard from Mike so all we could do was trust that he was on his way.
The following morning I checked my phone and Mike had indeed taken a flight from LA to Chicago and had arrived safely. This was a huge relief for all of us. Knowing that Mike was now on his way we could turn our attention to our gear arriving. We had contracted a friend and MR.SPEED fan Terry Butcher to drive our gear there and back for us. Terry was extremely kind and accommodating to us through this whole ordeal and the show couldn't have happened without him. Terry had arrived at 5:00 AM after leaving Cleveland at noon the day before. This is what makes our band that much better than all the rest. We surround ourselves with others that will stop at nothing to give their best so that we all win out in the end. With Terry now there and Mike on his way the show was now the main focus.
We arrived at the historic and beautiful Calumet Theater at noon. Inside we found a majestic and hallowed hall that has definitely stood the test of time. Artists such as John Philip Sousa, Richie Havens, Judy Collins, the Little River Band, Gary Puckett, Davey Jones, and many others have performed beneath its shell. We had now brought our tribute to KISS here and were ready to give it our best. Even with the frigid temperatures outside we began to unload the show into the theater. By 1:00 PM Jay and I headed for the airport to pick up Mike. Once back at the Calumet Theater we put the final touches on the set up and took care of the sound check. Unfortunately, we found ourselves once again working with a system that didn't quite stack up to our expectations but as usual we made the best of it. We ran through a few tracks like "Creatures Of The Night" and "Shock Me" with Mike handling the lead vocals to get things to where we hoped they would remain for the show. At 7:30 we hit the stage to a better than expected crowd of over 300 fans. We were competing with two local football games as well as a Michigan/Michigan Tech hockey game so the crowd that we did get was great considering. Without a full rehearsal we tore into our set with a controlled passion that only comes from within. Standout tracks that we performed were "Hard Luck Woman" and "Strange Ways". Mike's guitar tone and licks gave the band a sonic lift that sounded great swirling around inside the theater. It was an emotional show for he and I since we haven't shared the stage together since 1999. For those of you reading this that may not know Mike and I started MR.SPEED way back in 1993.
As the show came to a close we pulled the crowd out of their seats and finished with yet another raucous version of "Rock And Roll All Nite". Afterwards we met with a small crowd of fans in the lobby. Many were demanding that we come back to Houghton as soon as possible. We hope to do just that and it looks as though it could happen in August of 2015. Let's just hope that the late summer breezes are still blowing as we return. Old Man winter has no business putting his ice cold clutches around the red hot sounds of class KISS played MR.SPEED style.
Blog Entry, 08.18.14 •
Nelsonville Parade of the Hills|
I took a few shows off from writing blogs because I'm beginning to feel as if there's nothing new to write about. I don't want to bore you with the same old humdrum content show after show. Then I thought that the blogs are a thread if you will for those that can't be there along with a way for me to continually chart our progress whether it's good or bad.
This past Friday our destination was once again Nelsonville, Ohio. The trip took approximately 3 1/2 hours, a relatively easy drive south of Cleveland into the Hocking Hills area of the state. We arrived near 1 PM. Joe was a bit under the weather with a bout of kidney stones and we were just glad that he was well enough to play the show. Everyone pulled together along with help from a few members of the festival committee. In no time we were up and ready. Sound check commenced with us performing "Modern Day Delilah", "Hard Luck Woman" and "Calling Dr.Love". We then spent an hour or so just taking in the sites and sounds of the event until it was time for dinner.
Our dressing room was set up right next to the stage so prep began between 6:30-7:00 PM. By 9:00 we were on stage facing a larger crowd than we had last year. Some fans began setting up their spots as early as 4:00 PM. We didn't add anything new to the set for this show yet we were still trying to improve upon the tracks that we were performing such as "Plaster Caster" and "King Of The Nighttime World". There are a few other songs on the back burner that we're kicking around just to make it more interesting for us and hopefully for you too. Let's just say their from the early '80's era of the band.
We finished up close to 11:00 PM and then met with an amazing number of fans for a meet 'n greet on the side of the stage. This is one area of what we do that is a thorn in our side. We're trying to improve upon how we organize and set up the meet 'n greets a bit better so that the experience is one that we all enjoy. Your patience is always appreciated. Back at the hotel by 1:30 AM our day was finally coming to an end. Cold pizza and a few ibuprofen isn't exactly what the doctor ordered but we made the best of what we had. Next stop...Medina, Ohio.
Blog Entry, 07.29.14 •
Weekends On Webster|
With a year off in between performances in the Buffalo, NY area we were excited about our return there last Saturday. The site was the "Weekends On Webster" Concert Series in North Tonawanda. A normal Saturday afternoon unfolded as we unpacked the show on to Webster Ave for what we hoped would be another page in our cosmetic story. The weather was great unless of course you ask Andrew and the sound guys. They seemed to be the only ones obsessing about a slight chance of rain in the area. Fortunately, it didn't rain enough to fill a shot glass so it was full steam ahead.
By showtime at 8:30 PM a few hundred people were waiting. As soon as we appeared from our dressing room doorway fans were snapping photos of us as we approached the stage. As the show wore on little things here and there began to occur, almost as if to say "how badly do you want to succeed"? The most daunting of mishaps was when I discovered that my right platform was coming completely separated from the rest of the boot! Already with an abused knee this could have been catastrophic but luckily I noticed it while Andrew was singing "Beth". Observing extreme caution I planted myself at strategic points on the stage to minimize the amount of stress that I could put on the boot and made it through to the end. Musical highlights included "Mr.Speed" and "Plaster Caster" being dusted off for the show. They turned out to be great additions to an already stellar list of classic tracks.
By the time we approached the end of the show the crowd was tremendous. Many wanted an encore as the power buttons were pressed on our amps and we descended towards our merchandise table near stage right. The air was electric as numerous clubs and bars along the street were entertaining their patrons with live music by area bands. We met with fans for 45 minutes and made sure that those that couldn't get enough were satisfied.
Looking ahead towards next summer is absolutely premature at this writing but I'm certain that we'll be heading back to the Buffalo area in 2015. Its blue collar looks pretty good with lipstick on it...OH YEAH!
Blog Entry, 07.22.14 •
Clark County Fair|
A little more than 3 hours from home found us in Springfield, Ohio at the Clark County Fair this past Saturday. 26 acres of what a county fair is all about with a small portion of that being set aside for us to set up shop. A large concrete stage beneath a white circus-like tent would serve as our altar to almighty rock and roll for another night.
Countless announcements throughout the day on the public address speakers and even more on a local radio stations airwaves 92.9 The Fly brought just under 2000 fans to our show. They were loud and proud from start to finish. A trailer out behind the stage was our dressing room and the smells of everything that you love about a county fair were swirling through the air.
We hit the stage at 7:30 and saw the delight and amazement of yet another unsuspecting crowd staring back. But with every other crowd that we encounter we won them over with the opening riff of "Detroit Rock City". The tent area itself was standing room only and the fans spilled out on to the road that laid next to the tent. There were people everywhere. We fed off of the energy that they brought with them and the show proved just that. At one point the fans were shouting song titles out to us and I again made them a deal. We'll play their songs if they buy our tee shirts. It seems to work and it leaves everyone happy. One fan in particular bought 3 shirts so much to Andrew's surprise we once again played "Detroit Rock City" for the well deserving fan. And yet another younger fan, Devan wanted to play my guitar. When I told the crowd that I could not grant that request Devan was dejected. So to his surprise as he stood with his head slumped over we pulled him on to the stage during "Lick It Up" and let him sit on one of the staircases for the entire song.
Afterwards we met with fans for almost an hour at our merchandise table. We sold out of almost everything that we brought with us and subsequently had to put rush orders in for 8 x 10's and tee shirts first thing Monday morning. This was the kind of show that we strive for. The kind where we connect with the fans and they connect with us. It's also a great way for us to head into Buffalo, NY this coming weekend to rock the Weekends on Webster concert series.
Blog Entry, 07.05.14 •
On Saturday night we took the show to Fiore's in Wooster, OH. We've never been to this place so this was a chance for us to once again win over a new crowd of fans with our show. Upon arriving we found a cool stage set upon a solid seating area outside of the venue. As is typically the case some members of the band gaze upon our stages with concern for how much of our show we can actually use with each circumstance. My response is always the same...as much of the show as possible so that we give our very best. It turns out that our entire back line fit just fine and looked great.
The stage and location of this venue was unique in that it is set on a corner at an intersection. So cars were driving by throughout the show, many slowing down to get a good look at us on stage. We joked about whether or not we could get a guitar pick into a moving cars window from the stage but I don't believe we ever really attempted it. A modest crowd sitting at a safe distance was waiting for us but by the time we were half way through our set the crowd has swelled to twice the size, many of which had made their way to the front of the stage with the help of Joe's prompting. The set was the same except for two tracks that we dusted off those being "Do You Love Me" and "Parasite". The power gave us some guitar issues as our normal tone and sound seemed to suffer just a bit but it didn't take away from the overall assault that we created as a band.
Afterwards many fans stuck around for close to an hour to meet with us. We took photos and signed a few things and pretty much just kept the mood loose and energetic for those that wanted a little bit more. I'm certain that we'll be back to Fiore's again since our first visit was one that won soon be forgotten.
Blog Entry, 07.04.14 •
Brunswick Summer Celebration|
Last night saw us take the stage in Brunswick, OH for the sixth straight year at the annual Brunswick Summer Celebration. Pretty much the only difference with this year's performance was the location of the stage. Over the past 5 years it has moved to five different locations within the grounds of the event. The weather couldn't have been any better for yet another outdoor show. Summer winds threatened to jostle our gear on stage but would never manage to bring anything down. Just past 8:30 PM after a small delay to eliminate a guitar problem with took off for "Detroit Rock City". A crowd of close to 1000 was in attendance. Carnival rides and the screams of children's delight on them could be heard between songs as we fought a sluggish start to our show only to kick it into gear and finish with a thunderous finale. "I Was Made For Lovin' You" and Danny's grotesque vomiting of his crimson blood just before "God Of Thunder" were standouts within the classic set of tracks. Time will tell if we will return for an unprecedented 7th performance to Brunswick's event in 2015...if we do we'll look forward to seeing you there. If not, we hope that the band that has to follow us has the goods to deliver what you have come to expect.
Blog Entry, 06.10.14 •
Next stop on our 20th Anniversary Tour took us to St.Charles, IL and the beautiful Arcada Theater. Now we've been to this venue close to a half dozen times over the years but this show had a special vibe to it. Our trip started off with an unforeseen circumstance crippling us on the side of the Indiana freeway for 2 hours on Thursday night. However, we were back in business early Friday morning and on our way once again.
Arriving in St.Charles shortly after 1 PM beneath a beautiful blue sky we unloaded our show into the historic Arcada Theater. Poised across the street from the scenic Fox River the Arcada has a rich history of legendary musical performances that span decades of time. We are only too proud to be considered one of the many acts to have stepped on to its stage more than once to offer our best version of our tribute to KISS.
Show time was set for 9 PM. We entered our dressing rooms, yes I said dressing rooms as we each had the luxury of setting up in our own respective rooms for the evening. These rooms were unlike any other that we get ready in. Each of them were newly decorated with different themes and painted in bright, vibrant colors that make your senses come alive. After sound check and an amazing dinner at a nearby joint called The Office we began preparation for the show. At 9 PM we hit the stage. Full on production with amazing lighting and sound bounced playfully off of the Arcada walls. We split the show into two 45-minute sets with a short break in between. A few stand out tracks included "New York Groove," "Let Me Go, Rock And Roll" and "Beth". There weren't any surprises added to this show musically as we wanted to keep it mostly "hit" oriented.
The crowd was moderate but wildly enthusiastic. Many of the devoted were seeing us for the very first time. By the time the performance was over we had once again risen to the occasion and added another legion of die hard KISS faithful to our fan base. Afterwards we conducted a meet and greet in the hallway outside of the theater itself. We met and spoke with some very passionate fans and hopefully created memories that will bring them back again the next time that we return to the St.Charles area. Rumor has it that could be as soon as the end of summer...we'll keep your posted.
Here are our individual dressing rooms at the Arcada...character second to none!
Blog Entry, 05.29.14 •
Rock The Lock|
After a one year hiatus we returned last Friday to the familiar setting of downtown Akron and specifically Lock 3 Park. Our show was the opening night of their Rock The Lock Series, a summer celebration of tribute bands celebrating some of the biggest names in rock and popular music.
Our previous performances were always met with an arduous task of loading in to the venue via a myriad of hallways, elevators and bridges. This year I was able to work out with the management to pull our vehicles right up to the stage...what a concept. So what normally would have taken close to an hour was now reduced to 15 minutes for load-in and 45-minutes to load-out. A small victory. The sound check took place just after 4:30 PM with us running through "Cold Gin" and "Hell or Hallelujah". A quick dinner across the street at The Lockview (which is excellent by the way) and then on to the dressing room.
Our backstage area at the Akron Civic Theater is one of the best we ever get hands down. Multiple mirrors, climate controlled, bathrooms and plenty of space make it very comfortable for us to prepare properly for the show. I mention this because you'd be surprised by some of the places that we have to adapt to in order to become our stage alter-egos. G-Force opened the show at 7:00 PM and we hit the concrete at precisely 8:30 PM. We were a bit concerned by the weather heading into the show hoping that the cooler temps wouldn't discourage fans from coming out. As usual the fans didn't disappoint us. A crowd of over 3000 covered the grassy lawn and cement pit area for the entire night. WONE 97.5 catered the event with a solid week of on air promotion for the show and KISS fans know when there's a party in town that they want to crash it.
Familiar and smiling faces created a sea of emotion in front of us. This is the perfect inspiration for us to do what we do. One fan in particular reemerged after a long battle with personal illness and we were honored by her presence. The intro to "Black Diamond" was our tribute to her and our hope that her fight is far from over. It's always a great feeling for us to see and hear our crowds singing along and engaging with us in the shows. This crowd was no different. Our hope is that our performance set the bar for the rest of the acts coming in this year to match it or beat it. I asked the crowd to let us know if they are ever let down by a band that they come to see...hoping that they won't be of course.
The show came to an end and we had once again conquered the stage at Lock 3 Park. Due to rules handed down by the management we had to keep our meet and greet to a 15 minute minimum. We did our very best to accommodate as many fans with photos, autographs, banter and overall good heartedness as the midnight air became cooler. Thank you to everyone that came out. It really is a dream come true to play for you and we're going to continue to dream big and in color...enjoy the ride.
Blog Entry, 05.19.14 •
The Shindig Theater|
It had been close to a 10 year hiatus from the last time we performed in Logansport, IN. So after a 5 hour drive we arrived at the historic theater and found our name emblazoned on the marquee out front. As we rounded the corner to pull up behind the theater to unload we passed a framing shop. In the front window was one of the wall size KISS posters greeting our arrival. Excited, we all quickly made our way to the store to investigate only to find out that it had been sold. Nonetheless it was a great sign to see and so we moved next door to the theater and began our usual load in process.
The Shindig Theater was built in 1894 and stood with all of its antiquated beauty on East Market Street in downtown Logansport. We entered the theater and you could feel the history greet you. A cavernous room with a stage that was waiting to add to its rich legacy. We may not have been the exact type of attraction to grace the aged floor of the stage but we were certainly going to do our best to loosen some of the nails holding it together. The typical routine got underway and souncheck was complete shortly after 6:00 PM. With doors at 7:00 and the show at 8:00 we began our make up in an office on the second floor.
Our friend Jim Neff...yes, that Jim Neff. The man who brought KISS to Cadillac in 1975 made the trip with his wife Ann to spend the day with us. Having Jim around us is always a great experience. This guy knew the power of KISS before many of us did and his stories and wisdom help to energize our performances when he's near the stage.
The show took off at 8:00 PM and the modest crowd of just under 200 were like all the rest. Apprehensive at first but completely into it by the end. The sound quality wasn't nearly what we were hoping for but we made the most of it. Fans that were seated up front were on the feet by the time "Lick It Up" arrived and as the show ended a rock and roll party was in full effect. Fans that attended the Indy KISS Expo during the day even made the trip to catch some of our show. Upset that we weren't part of the expo itself they traveled the 90 minutes from Indianapolis to Logansport to continue their KISS fix. Even our good friend Luis from Mexico told me that he wouldn't have missed it.
In the end the show was a continuation of the great run of shows that we've been having. Those fans that did attend were part of another special night of classic KISS done MR.SPEED style. We hope that the Shindig survives and we'd love to go back. Only time will tell. Until then it's on to Akron this Friday night and our return to Rock The Lock.
Blog Entry, 05.12.14 •
LA/KISS Game in Cleveland|
Last night we were guests of the LA/KISS at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland. The arena football team was in town to take on the undefeated Cleveland Gladiators.
Stretching our platform boots out on to the pavement just outside the arena captured the amazement and wonder of the fans that had begun to gather for the game. Once inside we received our tickets and were soon approached by the head of security for the venue. We weren't approached because we had done anything wrong but because he was concerned that the seats we had may not be the best for fans that would approach us for photos. So Brian quickly resolved the situation by giving us seats in a section where fans could approach us for photos or the opportunities would be better suited without obstructing others from watching the game.
The game itself was fast paced and exciting. The energy created by the crowd was viral and we were caught up in it as well. Late in the contest we were approached by a woman that was filming for a reality show about the LA/KISS team. She had been watching us throughout the game and had gathered shots of us from the other side of the arena for use in the finished project set to air in August on AMC. Of course we had to sign release forms and have heads shots taken holding the forms so that the network could use our images. Wait a minute...you want to put our band on a reality show about the arena football team that is owned by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons? We all signed the forms as if there was any question.
One of the coolest things was seeing fans wearing our band tee shirts at the game. There were many KISS tee shirts throughout the seats and we took hundreds of photos with fans throughout the entire game. Even outside of the arena as we were getting into our car to leave we were being approached. The entire experience was worth the time and effort that we put into getting ready. We put our band into a scenario that otherwise we more than likely would have never done so. Fans were tweeting about our appearance throughout the game and we made a few new contacts which is never a bad thing.
A great time, great fun and great fans...thanks to the LA/KISS for the experience and to everyone that approached us for the memories.
Blog Entry, 05.04.14 •
Wild Turkey Festival|
On a cool, windy morning we hit the highway heading south from Cleveland for MacArthur, Ohio. Our destination was our second performance at the Vinton County Wild Turkey Festival in two years. Settled into the rolling hills of southern Ohio we arrived at around 1:30 PM and got acclimated to our surroundings quickly. With the winds swirling all around the stage we set up our gear and felt the temperature dip into the upper 50's by show time.
Our second show with our new Love Gun costumes had us poised in front of 3000 fans ready to heat things up. After an early hiccup at the beginning of Detroit Rock City we took control of the set list and put the pedal to the floor. Initially many of the fans were kept at bay from the front of the stage but after the fourth song we pulled them close and allowed them to press themselves right up to the stage, creating a dynamite experience for all of us. Our set for our 20th Anniversary is chock full of KISS classics as you might expect and the pace is a bit quicker than we're used to playing. Less talk, more rock.
I mentioned that we were wearing our new costumes and we're still getting used to their feel and function with each show. It turned out to be my night of mishaps as my belt broke and I lost a Swarovski crystal button on my vest...within minutes of each other. But that wouldn't deter us from giving everything that we had. The crowd was enthusiastic and into every single song. Stand out tracks were "I Was Made For Lovin' You" and "Shock Me" which made its way back into the show after a brief rest the year before. You can't beat a crowd like the one that we had in front of us, smiling and singing along. The energy was incredible it didn't dissipate even after the show was over. Many fans gathered to meet with us near the stage for photos and conversation about all things KISS and MR.SPEED.
We packed up the last drum and road case at just about 1:00 AM. Our first festival performance of 2014 ended up being a huge success and we'll look forward to the opportunity of returning in 2015. Until then, we've got our sites set on Logansport, IN and the Shindig Theater where in two weeks our show unfolds on to their stage.
Blog Entry, 04.06.14 •
Slim & Chubby's - Strongsville, Ohio|
Last night we kicked off of our Platinum Tour in grand style with a sold out show. The place was Slim & Chubby's in Strongsville, Ohio. With everything that we have imminently upon us we looked at this show as the perfect warm up gig. However, I feel that what took place was unforeseen by us when we took the stage. Fans were pressed up to the stage, some even on the first step up on the stage as the show began. Beer was being spilled at our feet, our monitors were knocked off of their mounts and fans were inadvertently bumping into the mixing console that interrupted our vocal mix throughout the show.
All of this made for a volatile first set, one that had more than its share of miscues, mishaps and mistakes from us. Because you as fans deserve to see and hear our best effort we felt that we weren't delivering. We took advantage of the time during our break to meet up in the dressing room and address our issues. I think most bands would tend to keep this sort of inner working dynamic private from everyone but that's not how I felt about it. We finished the first set, tired and frustrated. In the dressing room we erupted with some pretty heated conversation to get to the bottom of the problems we were having. When the smoke cleared we were a much more focused and pissed off band which served us well for the second set. Now you may or may not agree with the means that were used to clear the air and even some of those that think they're entitled to an opinion of how things were handled want to weigh in. I'm here to tell them that what we did as a band was constructive and effective and it worked. Our second set was so much better and we held the crowd up to the very last note. Even after we were through the fans were wanting us to play one more song. That's a job well done. We ended up adding "Hooligan" and "Heavens On Fire" as an added bonus to a show that was already packed with enough classic KISS to satisfy the hunger of any army member.
So into the frost-covered early morning we stepped. Battered but not beaten. Sore but not willing to quit. All of the preparation leading up to last night's show, our Fox 8 appearance this coming Thursday and our trip to LA has each one of us eager to prove something to the world...that we're in this to win it, for you and for ourselves as fans.
Blog Entry, 02.15.14 •
Hard Rock Cafe - Chicago, IL|
If we thought it was cold last Friday in Cleveland as we rocked the Hard Rock in Tower City we were in for it as we rolled into Chicago. Frigid temperatures, icy sidewalks and swirling winds were the order of the day in downtown Chicago as we unpacked an abbreviated show into the Hard Rock on W.Ontario. The pace of life along with the traffic kept us on our toes. We set up the stage in a very unique way, making the most of the gear that we did take. The stage was set atop a short flight of stairs so the decision was made to place our lighted KISS sign at the base of those stairs which was impressive to say the least. A humble back line of cabinets stood guard as we tightened everything up by 7 PM and began to get ready.
We performed 3 different sets. The crowd was a little more than what we had the previous week and to be honest they made us work for the entire show. There were a few die hards in attendance, some even having their faces painted to show their affinity with their favorite member. The most curious of faces in the crowd was Chip Z'nuff from the '80's American rock band Enuff Z'Nuff and Simon Kirke from the legendary Bad Company. We were told by Christie our contact after the show that both rockers thought we were great and really enjoyed the show. For us...the ultimate compliment.
The show itself was great. Musically we played very well. There was so much to do in a city that size and we were a bit disappointed by the crowd overall but those that were there seemed to really enjoy themselves. Our three sets were a good mix of everything classic that we all love about KISS. We met with a few fans in between each break, taking photos and sharing stories. Just before midnight we finished the show and by 1 AM we slipped away into the night. The city was still very much alive with activity as we checked into our hotel just across the street and by 2 AM it was lights out.
We want to thank everyone that came out to support the City of Hope, our show and the Hard Rock Cafe. Hopefully it won't be so long before we head back to the windy city but until we do we won't soon forget our latest show...another victory for our 20th year.
Blog Entry, 02.09.14 •
Hard Rock Cafe - Cleveland, Ohio|
Icy air and frozen concrete was about to melt beneath the sounds of classic KISS from inside the Hard Rock Cafe in Tower City last night. As part of the City of Hope campaign we brought our show to the heart of downtown Cleveland. As darkness fell we prepared in our dressing room beneath the floor that we were about to shake with the sounds of classic KISS for 2 hours.
A small crowd, maybe 100 at best were there for us. We entered the room shortly after 9 PM and took our places upon a stage that was unlike many we've ever been on before. Yet that wouldn't stop us from doing exactly what we know how to do...rock the room until the show is over. Fans from Cincinnati to England...yes, that's right that England were there to share in the legend that is KISS. Everything from "Deuce" to "2000 Man" to "I Was Made For Lovin' You" brought the room to its feet. As the show drew on more fans arrived. Some on their way home from other events and some specifically to see us. We kept right on rocking, straight through other tracks like "God Of Thunder" and "Black Diamond". I'm not sure how well the charity profited from our appearance but I know that all of us, the band included along with the crowd profited from the experience. It was an electric night and by the time "Rock And Roll All Nite" came around we had everyone on their feet and in our faces.
The show didn't end with the usual bombast of the rock and roll national anthem. We were feeling good, the crowd was feeling good and there was only one way to thaw the arctic temperatures outside and that was to shake the heavens with a heated version of "Heaven's On Fire". Typically not the way we would end a show but we wouldn't want to have ended it any other way. We took an unusual circumstance on an oddly shaped stage and turned it into a rock and roll circus on the one of the coldest nights of the year. That's the power of rock and roll.
We met for almost an hour after the show ended with fans for photos and great conversation. As we packed up the gear and walked out into the night we knew that we had won. We once again took the stage in support of our musical heroes and made believers out of those that watched. Hopefully the City of Hope organization benefited from our appearance as much as we benefited from being associated with them.
Next stop...the Hard Rock in Chicago to do it all over again.
Blog Entry, 01.11.14 •
89th OFMA Convention - Columbus, Ohio|
Over the past two days we spent our time at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus, Ohio. The event was the Ohio Fair Managers Association Convention. We've been associate members of the organization for the past 2 years. It's an opportunity for us to promote our band and network within a community of other artists and agents while securing gigs for our summer season with fairs from all over the state of Ohio.
This year we teamed up with Melody Gallion of Gallion Productions for the two days. We were able to combine our talents and form a strong team that secured a showcase spot, one of only six that are awarded for Friday night. Melody did an amazing job advancing the event and letting anyone and everyone know that we would be there and that we would be closing the showcase. Each act only receives 18 minutes to perform which really isn't much time but if you put together a tight package of songs and believe in your abilities you can do great things. We watched as the other acts, many of which were extremely talented gave their all. By 9:00 PM our turn had arrived so we stepped on to the stage and did what we always do...our very best. We performed "Detroit Rock City", "Shout It Out Loud", "Calling Dr.Love" and "Rock And Roll All Nite". Now it's important for me to note that it's customary for those in attendance to pretty much sit on their hands during the showcase each year. Well...that's not our style and certainly not what we want our crowds to do. By the time we got to "Calling Dr.Love" I could sense that everyone was chomping at the bit to cut loose but were just to reserved to do so. As I introduced the rock and roll national anthem and dedicated the song to the brave men and women of the United States Armed Services a few began to stand. As soon as we hit the very first chord of the song the entire room erupted with applause and we had created a rock and roll miracle right before our eyes. Everyone in attendance was on their feet, many in their 70's and 80's were clapping along with us. Many had approached the stage, some taking photos, many just excited to cut loose for a short time. This had never been done before at this event. Where a single band of any genre was able to get the entire crowd of close to 1500 strong on their feet and rocking.
We were very proud of our performance and met with many of the fans afterwards outside of the ballroom where the performance took place. Melody was doing her very best to secure confirmed dates for us with fairs that felt our tribute was exactly what their event needed. After a quick meet and greet and load out we took a quick escalator ride to a bar on the second floor, still completely dressed up in our outfits where we met with buyers and committees to discuss further possibilities. At close to 1:00 AM we called it a day only to wake up 6 hours later and do it all over again. On Saturday we spent another 6 hours in our costumes and make up shaking hands and taking photos with people in the hopes of securing even more gigs. By 5:00 PM we were spent and packed up our booth. We wiped off the make up, packed up the trailer and hit I-71rolling north.
A tremendously successful past 2 days. Certainly we will be taking our "Platinum Tour" to many new locations throughout the summer of 2014. Keep your eyes on our Tour page for all of the upcoming dates that we confirm and we'll look forward to seeing you at a show very soon.