Music Festivals

Kiss Kruise Day 3: Start Planning for 2012

KISS Kruise
The Palladium Lounge, Carnival Destiny
Saturday, October 15, 2011

View all of our coverage here, and check out a Kiss live slideshow here.
When a person says "P.S., I Love You" on the Kiss Kruise, it's more than likely referring to the group's singer, Paul Stanley. Without devoting several paragraphs to the power of his pouting, puckered red lips and backhand pick-tossing, let's leave it that he was one fierce bitch for the second full-makeup show this past Saturday night.

"Strutter," which Stanley reminded the crowd was a song on the band's original demo, awakened a story about the New York of yesteryear -- a time of leather and lace. But Stanley had the hip swivels to rival any woman of that era for a few seconds during the second full-makeup performance of the cruise.

"We decided we're doing this again next year," he announced early on while the boat was docked in Nassau, Bahamas. "This is like camp on a boat!"

This return voyage was confirmed by the band's online master and brand coordinator Keith Leroux the next night. If Kiss Kruise 2 does come to pass, Gene Simmons has set the bar high for himself in terms of attempts to make eye contact with every person in the crowd -- on the floor in front, in the balcony, and on the wings. While it's a tall order, the Kiss live experience has a foundation in fan interaction that sometimes borders on OCD.

"This is our idea of a ballad," Stanley said, as an introduction to "Goin' Blind," off Hotter Than Hell. "Here's a very nice story of a very old man and a very young girl." Simmons took the lead vocal on this, which he has called one of his personal favorites from the band's catalog.

There's nothing particularly modest about Spaceman Tommy Thayer's abilities as a guitarist -- he adeptly soloed when needed and took to the front of the stage for an appointed amount of time -- but one of the choicest moments of both masked performances in the Palladium was seeing him team with Stanley for the intro to "Rock Bottom." With no bass or percussion, it's a non-traditional start to the song that not only provides an emotional build unlike any other in the show, but also a bathroom break for Simmons and drummer Eric Singer, who took lead vocals on "Nothin' to Lose," and "Beth."

The night's set was four songs longer than the previous evening's -- and

this time, the encore featured a bitchin' "off the cuff" rendition of "Detroit Rock

City." Stanley's scorching high notes, and Simmons' flapping

lizard tongue moves both would probably get them arrested if performed


Critic's Notebook

Personal bias: The goal should be to have no teleprompters for lyrics on Kiss Kruise 2.

Random detail: Floor seating for the crowd gave each person about an 18x18 inch square to stand in.

Setlist, courtesy of KissOnline

I Stole Your Love


Room Service

Two Timer

Comin' Home


Nothin' to Lose

Love Her All I Can

All The Way


Take Me

Goin' Blind


Rock Bottom

C'mon and Love Me

Got to Choose

Lick it Up

Shout it Out Loud

Hard Luck Woman


Detroit Rock City

Rock And Roll All Nite

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Reed Fischer
Contact: Reed Fischer