Monday, March 30, 2015

KIX @ Empire 3/27/2015

I went to see KIX at Empire ($36! perhaps a little more expensive than I would have preferred), for a highly anticipated club show. The last several times they've come around (to Baltimore I think), they've sold out- so I opted for getting a ticket in advance. I met up with Patricia and Tony, Johnny, and Tony Sr.

As predicted, the place was PACKED. I had to park in a remote location, as the lot was full (not to mention that near the Shell station, some donkeys parked sideways instead of normally, robbing us of more precious spaces!). When I eventually entered, the venue was full of people, and there was a short ticket line.

The glitter glam KIX one was new I think

Kind of steep at $30

Merchandise wise, they had a number of shirts (a steep $30), including one with some red bling for the KIX logo. I think I saw the new CD, "Rock Your Face Off" as well. They seemed to be doing brisk business. Both bars were PACKED, they seemed to sell out of Blue Moon, Miller Lite, and Sam Addams rather early! It was rather difficult to get served, which was odd at an Empire show, but not unheard of, as it was pretty much sold out.

OK they had balloons
I last saw them in 2013, up in Baltimore at another packed show! I hadn't seen them since then, which was before their new album- so this would be my first time hearing them play their new songs live! As predicted, they had a handful of new songs (note: many of the new songs were mainly written by bassist Mark "not that" Schenker) interspersed with their classics. No surprises or deep cuts, just the hits and the new songs, so I suppose I was a little disappointed, but it wasn't really unexpected. The song order seemed to make things a bit more fresh (except the end, which was really by the numbers). Another note was that there were no classic Kix props (minus the balloons and some glasses for Steve), which seemed to me a bit odd.

Cold Blood is all we bleeeeeed

For the new songs, I think "Mean Miss Adventure" was the best sounding,  "You're Gone" a close second, with the obligatory first single "Love Me With Your Top Down." I think it's been a while since we've heard songs from "Cool Kids" or "Show Business," maybe we'll get some deeper cuts next time? Probably not, as M3 will probably be used as an opportunity for a greatest hits/new album songs set (can't blame a brother for trying to get paid!).

Yes, this is a drum solo

During my favourite, "Cold Blood," we got a short drum solo (yawn) from Jimmy Chalfant that transformed into a Twisted Sister tribute (to their late drummer AJ Pero who suddenly died recently, the day after after an Adrenaline Mob show in Maryland). So that was pretty cool, after the excellent guitar play of Brian Forsythe and Ronnie Younkins. The (mostly) seasoned crowd was pretty motionless but very loud and appreciative. People were certainly shouting along to "Cold Blood" and "Don't Close Your Eyes" as if it were 1989. Sure, frontman Steve Whiteman's got a bit of echos and effects on his vocals, but we got a solid set of almost 2 hours (although I think a bit of that was chatting with the crowd).

Blur my Fuse

Overall, for the Kix haters, yes it was pretty much the same show, nothing new, just some great sounding hard rock/hair metal.If you've seen Kix before, you'll get more of the same (except with some new songs now!). So if you're OK with that, you'd have had a blast! If not, you're be a bit disappointed or underwhelmed. For me, seeing Kix in a small club show is always a treat. Add in some friends, and we're absolutely golden. From the opening licks to the final strains of perennial closer "Yeah Yeah Yeah" (OK maybe ALMOST always), it was a really enjoyable time, minus the crowding.

Next Show: Coal Chamber/Combichrist? At the Gates? Great White?!

KIX (10:35- 12:22)