KISS plays tonight at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, but I wouldn't attend a KISS concert if it were in my living room. Here's why.
1. The Music
Kiss has never been known for producing anything but the most simplistic hard rock. On stage, the band struggles to recreate these brain-dead tunes. It's well documented that Kiss' 1975 breakthrough concert album Alive! had to be severely overdubbed in the studio before release. And then there are the lyrics -- misogynistic, humorless and moronic.
How does any grown man with a shred of dignity stand on stage and sing junior high clunkers like "Christine Sixteen," "Love Gun" and "Lick it Up." The latter, incidentally, features a most laughably objectifying video that shows the band sans makeup (watch clip below). Now you see why Simmons wanted the group covered in face paint -- at all times, forever. The teetotaler, former schoolteacher is about as handsome as a geriatric orangutan. Had it not been for Kiss, the unbelievably arrogant Simmons, born Chaim Witz, would have continued life as one of the ugliest, un-coolest dudes to ever drag his knuckles across the planet.
2. The Makeup
Rock 'n' roll, at its most rewarding, is a means of self-expression on par with any of the more traditional art forms. At its worst, it's a sorry excuse for grown men to dress up like combatant, sex-starved cartoon characters with laughable handles like The Starchild, The Demon, The Spaceman, The Catman, The Fox, and, my personal fave, The Ankh Warrior.
Here's Kiss, in makeup at a press conference, sounding like idiots. Paul Stanley comparing his band to herpes. Simmons wags his tongue and complains about fans stealing his music, because, y'know, he needs the money. Interestingly, Simmons once again explains at great length how proud he is of Kiss, which make you wonder if deep down he isn't ultimately ashamed of his legacy: creating a body of often mean-spirited work that can only be truly appreciated by teenage boys -- and those with a similar mindset.