Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Kiss/ Def Leppard @ Jiffy Lube Live 7/25/2014

Juliya and I went to see the hottest band in the land, KISS, with Def Leppard at Jiffy Lube Live ($36).  We met up with Gori and Omar before rolling in. Inside we saw Marysol (y su madre) y Mark. We had a nice little group!


We unfortunately got there a bit too late to see Kobra and the Lotus,  who were pretty great last time I saw them.  There were thousands of people there, but it definitely wasn't sold out (maybe the pavilion was tho).  I didn't spy too many people in facepaint, unfortunately. There were definitely a few cute kids in KISS makeup, with their parents, and a random Space Ace or Star Child, but mostly pretty tame.  Tame... in terms of most of the crowd, but there were a couple of girls from Scores Nightclub  (one busty, one flat) that were a bit rowdy tho).  There were plenty of lawn seats left, but you know the more dedicated fans had arrived earlier and had secured their seats, even if it had meant sweating in the high sun on that treeless lawn.

So many white people (not that there is anything wrong with that). And I managed to hang con mis amigos


The merch, I only inspected one and a half merch booths, but the $45 KISS shirts were a bit too much. I didn't see anything that really struck my fancy tho.  According to the Rock and Roll Experience, there were different shirts at different merch booths, too!  I didn't see any Kobra and the Lotus merch, but they must have had some, especially with the new album!  We only purchased concessions.

C'Mon, STEVE!

After a bit, when we were inspecting snacks, I heard "Won't get Fooled Again," which I had heard was being used an an intro for this Def Lep set, so I redirected us up the stairs to see/hear Def Leppard's set!  Def Leppard had about the same set when I last saw them in 2012. They didn't have as many songs, but the order of the ones (the hits) they played were about the same.  They sounded pretty solid,but somehow not nearly as good as last time. I recall last time they were pretty much spotless (minus the very processed Joe Elliot's voice).  That's not to say that Mr. Elliot was horrible is not correct. I think he sounded good, though very echoy, because of the effects on his voice.  This time, there was something that I couldn't really place was a bit off in regards to the whole band's sound. Perhaps guitarist Vivian Campbell (ex-DIO) was a bit tired from him recent chemo treatments or the heat had gotten to the Brits.  Whatever the case, they were mostly great as the crowd was mostly receptive. I thought it was a crime that there was a loud pop for "...Rocked" whereas "Let It Go" and "Foolin'" barely registered with the majority of the crowd. I will say majority because I was singing along with nearly all songs, just ask Juliya or Omar, they know!

The extent of Def Leppard's show

There were no surprises, but I definitely wasn't expecting any from them. I think it was a good performance, but not the strongest.  There was also an odd moment during "Two Steps Behind" where former guitarist (dead from basically being an alcoholic) Steve Clark was featured on the screen. I don't know if I thought that was the best choice. I know Joe Elliot, Phil Collen, Rick Savage, and Rick Allen must miss him, but .... this was really awkward an even borderline inappropriate.  I would have liked some deep cuts like "Gods of War" last time, but still it was fun seeing Def Leppard again.  Highlights: anything from"Pyromania" or "Hysteria"

KISS !!!

Then, as things were getting darker, the anticipation raced, would we get anything new/different? This would actually be the first East Coast date of the tour!  We saw everything go dark, and then the announcer declaring that we wanted the best, so we would indeed get the best, the hottest band in the land, man, KISS!  Kiss's set last time was different, with several songs I'd not heard before live and definitely loved ("Psycho Circus", "Dr Love", "Hide...", "Deuce"! etc.)! I apparently am a really big KISS fan, because I really enjoyed their set more than Def Lep (which is very difficult because their set of hits was solid).  I think the "Psycho Circus" sounded great, and the robotic spider they were riding on, despite the issues that they had (locked up, refused to move) looked sweet.  There was pyro, there were explosions, there was blood, fire spitting/breathing, YEAHs!, and more. Kiss's show was way better than Def Leppard's, to say the least.  The robotic spider's lack of operation wasn't very jarring, apart from the "what is Paul talking about having to leave the stage for a safety issue?"  Then them being back on stage after a few minutes.

Gene loves it loud

Gene and Paul, both over 60, showed little signs of slowing down, apart from some... kind of rushed lyrics... on a couple songs. Other than that, the standard Kiss Kanon were pretty well executed with the help of younger guns Tommy Thayer (space man) and Eric Singer (ex- Alice Cooper, among others on drums).  I actually thought that despite Eric Singer's kind of not great vocals on "Black Diamond" that it was one of the best songs of the night.  I really loved "Hide..." tho, and 80s KISS will usually win out for me, because they don't play a lot of it (minus some perhaps overplayed "Creatures of the Night" songs).  "Hotter than Hell" was fun, but it was confusing hearing the siren and seeing the fire breathing normally reserved for "Firehouse" after that song.


Ace... er I mean Tommy the Space Ace/ Man

Overall, I am glad we were able to make it out, hang with some cool people, and hear some great music (despite missing the great Kobra and the Lotus).  Say what you will about Kiss (simple, lack of musicianship, greedy, etc.), but they really still get out there and certainly give the fans what they want- a fun rock and roll show!  Paul Stanley alluded to some rather dismal current events, but redirected the audience to focus on escapism and to think about having fun for a little bit. That really helped me personally enjoy things, it made Paul (and Gene I guess) seem like normal people for a little bit, that hey we are all here to have fun and forgot about the troubles of the day for a bit.  And at the end of the day, isn't music supposed to be cathartic?

Next show: ? Led Zep2? Summer Slaughter?


Setlists
Def Leppard (8- 9:15)

  • Let It Go 
  • Animal 
  • Foolin' 
  • Love Bites 
  • Let's Get Rocked 
  • Two Steps Behind 
  • (Acoustic)
  • Bringin' on the Heartbreak 
  • (Acoustic/Electric)
  • Switch 625 
  • Hysteria 
  • Rocket 
  • Armageddon It 
  • Pour Some Sugar on Me 

  • Rock of Ages 
  • Photograph 

KISS (9:45- 11)

  • Psycho Circus 
  • Deuce 
  • Shout It Out Loud 
  • War Machine 
  • Hotter Than Hell 
  • I Love It Loud 
  • Lick It Up (with "Won't Get Fooled Again" snippet)
  • Bass Solo 
  • God of Thunder 
  • Hide Your Heart 
  • Calling Dr. Love 
  • Love Gun 
  • Black Diamond 
  • Detroit Rock City 
  • Rock and Roll All Nite 
  • God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II (outro)