Review by Michelle O’Rance
Two of the biggest names in rock’n’roll and heavy metal joined forces and descended upon Brisbane in a fiery, laser light filled show complete with upside down drum solos, acrobatics, ladies on stilts, flying musicians and pyrotechnics.
The elaborate stage set-up promised something big as the house lights dimmed and a single spotlight picked up the page bearers carrying the Motley Crue banners and leading a robed Nikki Sixx through the sea of people on the Entertainment Centre’s floor.
Making his way onto the stage, the bassist disappeared for a few moments before returning, leading the way for Tommy Lee, Mark Mars and enigmatic front man, Vince Neil to explode into the first track ‘Saints of Los Angeles’.
Although he was rushed to hospital for kidney stones only 24 hours prior, Neil showed absolutely no signs of the ordeal as he ran, gyrated, and bounced all over the stage leading the glam metal band through their extensive back catalogue.
They worked their way through their classics and saved their biggest such as ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’, ‘Dr. Feelgood’ and ‘Kickstart My Heart’ for the very end to the roar of appreciation from the packed Centre.
Shredding guitar solos from Mark Mars were interrupted slightly due to a few minor technical issues but that didn’t stop him from producing some incredible sounds and revving the crowd up even more.
Tommy Lee was not to be outdone in the solos either and midway through the set he showed off his skills. A backing track consisting of the hottest drum, bass and dubstep beats were his accompaniment but the icing on the cake was when he and the drum kit actually rotated a full 360 circle around the huge roller coaster type loop that was a part of the stage set.
With a performance that was fit for a headlining band it would have been easy to forget that there was still another powerhouse band to go. The KISS Army hadn’t forgotten though and the sense of anticipation was rising in the Entertainment Centre.
With a much simpler stage set up, but definitely a larger than life show, the New York rockers came out to a roaring crowd and a spectacle of laser lights and launched straight into ‘Detroit Rock City’.
Even though this tour is in support of their latest release ‘Monster’ the band have over 30 years of music to choose their set list from and they chose well. Ripping into ‘Calling Dr Love’, ‘Psycho Circus’, ‘Lick It Up’ and of course the ultimate KISS song ‘Rock and Roll All Night’ the band may be getting on, but they are still extremely entertaining and can show off their talents well.
Every song had a different aspect of stage performance, from fireworks and lasers, being suspended on wires and flying across the crowd to levitating drum kits, there was not a moment when the audience was lacking for entertainment.
Vocalist and bassist Gene Simmons, as his stage character The Demon, was in fine form with his diabolical tongue as he spat blood and breathed fire and flew out above the crowd.
Paul Stanley, the Starchild, was also enigmatic and larger than life as he flew above the floor area to perch on a revolving stage during ‘Love Gun’
While the show was huge and an amazing spectacle, having it inside the Entertainment centre seemed like a bit of a waste with the fireworks and it felt like it would be better suited to a stadium performance.
There were also some hydraulic issues with the stage that meant a quick change of position and direction for the band, but they handled it like the pros that they are.
It was a stellar, larger than life performance of classic rock and glam metal and the KISS Army was certainly left satisfied when the house lights came on after the final encore.
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