Sunday, July 24, 2016

KISS & Boston!!!

It's not often in a span of 48 hours, at least here in flyover country, you get to see 4 rock and roll hall of famers perform, wait, what? Only one of these bands is in and that was because they kicked the door down and demanded admission? And they quite frankly, suck?

Wow. On Wednesday evening three bands came to town, not one in the Hall Of Fame I guess, to rock out a crowd of broken down old people like me.

Boston was in town on its 40th anniversary tour. Yep, it was that long ago we first heard that unique guitar sound of More Than A Feeling blast out of the car radio and went, what the fuck was that? Then you ran to Musicland to buy that album. And you couldnt stop listening to it. Now its 40 effin years later and it still holds a place in your head and it aint going away.

First came Hall of Famers, Foghat, uhhh no? Foghat is a mere shell of it's former self with only one original member, Roger Earl, and he's a drummer for chrissakes. No I kid drummers because I love drummers. I really do. Opening with the best Foghat song, Fool For The City, it was bound to go downhill from there. But it was fine. Foghat, in effect a tribute band, played its blues oriented set for about 40 minutes, ending with Slow Ride, the only song I ever could play on Guitar Hero.

Second billed was Hall of Famers, Blue Oyster Cult, uhhh no? Now I saw BOC quite a few times back in the 70's at the old Pershing Auditorium and they were both the LOUDEST and most diminutive band Ive ever seen. My ears would be ringing for days after seeing them blast my ears with 3 or 4 guitars. Secret Treaties remains a fucking great album that nobody knows. BOC is older, still short, and not as loud as I remember but still relatively intact with both Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma still around. BOC rocked the Baxter Arena for about 40 minutes and had me standing and throwing my fist in the air when they launched into ME 262, a song only me and the guy in front of me knew. How do I know that? Cuz we both rose and said at the same time "yeah ME262" and then fist bumped.It was truly the best kind of senior moment. And Dont Fear The Reaper had no cowbell and it was still freakin great.

Then came the headliner, Hall of Famers, Boston. Uhhh, no again? That Hall of Fame sucks.

Boston has always been the one band in my Top 10 of all time I cant figure out. They are so utterly unique sounding and Tom Scholz is such a genius yet I had never seen them. Ever. I have no idea why. It just didnt happen. Opening with a guitar fueled Star Spangled Banner (damn I have to stand and remove my hat) they then launched into Rock and Roll Band and I was in heaven. I cant stress enough how good they still are even though original lead singer Brad Delp killed himself in a bizarre charcoal grill accident. So many great tunes, played with precision, including a pipe organ with steam pouring out of it as Smokin continues. I loved every second of it.

Then came Friday. KISS, Hall of Famers? Yes. Whew finally. Wait, KISS is in the Hall of Fame? WTF!!!

Anyway Ive never seen KISS before either. Mostly because I hate KISS. But how can I hate something Ive never seen? So we decided to go to Lincoln to see KISS. Hey, I got a Groupon for an $86 dollar seat for $22. Why not?

Caleb Johnson, American Idol winner, opened the show. I expected nothing. What I got was a great singer. Caleb Johnson, who looks like a cross between Jack Black and Sam Kinison, pranced around the stage for a good 45 minutes singing original tunes and a fantastic cover of Gimme Shelter. When you expect nuthin and you get something its already a great night.

Then came KISS. Again, nuthin expected. But I got a great show. Oh yeah the music is insipid, the lyrics juvenile, but the show is eye popping. Pyrotechnics galore. A show so planned, probably down to the exact second at all times, that even what are perceived as sweet moments, like when Paul Stanley played guitar with his arms wrapped around a star struck little kid, seemed choreographed. Nonetheless, the show is what it is. KISS hits, songs we all know due to osmosis, played well and with great fanfare. Hey, it aint my cup of tea, but it was a fantastic show. It was well worth the $50 or so. And it got me away from that fucking Trump for a night.


KISS played I Love It Loud.

Boston played Higher Power.

BOC played ME262.


KISS did not play Strutter.

KISS did play Beth. Ugh.

Thanks (fill in the blank) you're the best crowd yet.

Finally, to sum up, I'd go see Boston, BOC and Foghat again tomorrow. I doubt I'd go see KISS again. But I'm glad I saw both in 48 hours during a week of fascism and fear. Music frees my soul.

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