KISS, Def Leppard, Poison Fan the Flames of Summer MegaTour

KISS, Def Leppard, Poison Fan the Flames of Summer MegaTour

As if classic rock fans needed any further encouragement, Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell has sort-of hinted that the band may be going on a joint tour with fellow theatrical rockers KISS.

In talking to TicketsThere about possible dates with KISS and Poison, Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell said, “I’d say you’d be half right there, but only half right and half wrong.”

According to the Kansas City Star, Bret Michaels made reference to the possibility of a tour with Def Leppard while onstage last summer, while Poison bassist later Bobby Dall hinted at joint dates with Def Leppard and Kiss this summer during a February interview at NAMM. If this is meant to be a secret, these guys are doing a horrible job of keeping it under wraps.

Since then, however, the band’s ridiculously-named drummer, Rikki Rockett, said Poison would not be touring this summer, placing the blame firmly on the shoulders of a bandmate he chose not to identify.

Luckily, fans of the bands shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out what on earth is going on, with Campbell saying: “There will be an announcement of our tour imminently, we’re talking a matter of days. It has to be announced, because we’re almost at summertime.”

Def Leppard didn’t embark on a proper tour last year following their ‘Viva! Hysteria’ residency in March and April at Las Vegas, playing only a handful of North American dates. The band will return to Vegas later in 2014, this time to focus on Pyromania.

Campbell, who made his name as part of Dio before joining Def Leppard in the early ’90s, did comment that stops in Europe this year were unlikely, though he suggested that it may be possible after the band have completed their next studio effort “Most likely if we get this record finished for next spring that would see us doing a world tour of sorts — whatever that means nowadays.”

Nirvana, KISS, Peter Gabriel Nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Nirvana, KISS, Peter Gabriel Nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame nominees for 2014 have just been announced, and to be honest with you, I can’t believe none of them haven’t already decked the Hall.

Leading the nominations this year are grunge-legends Nirvana, who, if inducted, will be so 20 years to the month after the suicide of their iconic front man Kurt Cobain, and are also the youngest band among this year’s nominees.

Other notable nominations include Chic and Gene Simmons-led pop metal band KISS, as well as Hall and Oates, The Replacements, New Orleans funk heroes the Meters, singer Linda Ronstadt, and rap pioneers, N.W.A.

The remainder of the list is filled out by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, LL Cool J, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and the Zombies.

This year’s list spans more than six decades of rock and pop history, and represents a nice balance between mega-star hitmakers, and less obvious influencers. N.W.A. are often referred to as one of the most notorious and influential hip-hop acts in musical history by numerous important critic types, producing only three studio albums during their career, but shocking enough to warrant letters to their record company from the FBI.

Voting is officially open through to December 10th. Visit Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone or USA Today to cast your ballot. The top five are set to be listed on a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots for the Class of 2014. The inductees are then chosen by a secret, no-doubt cloaked ballot of 600 voters, a group that includes previous inductees, music industry veterans, historians and critics, and other mystery music people.

The 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held during April 2014 in New York and broadcast on HBO.

KISS Paints Face of Canada with ‘Monster Tour’ This Summer

KISS Paints Face of Canada with ‘Monster Tour’ This Summer

KISS has added a month’s worth of Canadian dates to its current world tour that also serves as a 40th anniversary celebration.

The dates will kick off July 5 in Victoria, BC, and run through August 3-4, when the band will undertake a two-night residency at the Mile One Stadium in St. John’s, NL. Other cities on the schedule include Vancouver, BC; Edmonton, AB; Winnipeg, MB; Ottawa; Toronto and Montreal.

“We’re a real, flesh-and-blood rock and roll band with people who’ve spent 40 years doing what we believe in,” said guitarist Paul Stanley said in a statement. “It’s about celebrating life and going against the odds for what you believe in. As corny as that may sound, it got me where I am, and the naysayers will have to live where they are.”

The band first formed in January 1973 in New York City, and in the four decades since, they’ve landed 28 gold albums and sold 100 million records around the world.

In addition to the its birthday, the group also will be touring to promote their 20th studio album, Monster, which was released late last year. A press release promises that it doesn’t get any bigger than KISS, which is “40 years old and ready to kick the asses of any young rock pretenders out there.”

I guess Canadians will have to judge the truth of that statement for themselves. In fact, there’ll be a younger band on the bill as well, as Shinedown will open all dates.

Before heading out on the Canadian dates, the group will be trekking it around Europe for the majority of June, stopping in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Prague and Vienna, among others.

The group has only one U.S. date currently on its schedule, which is an August 16 show at the Amway Arena in Orlando.

Album Review: KISS ‘Monster’

Album Review: KISS ‘Monster’

It feels like I should be talking about how long it has been since this band took up the charge of heavy, epic rock music, but they have technically been back for a while now, with 2009’s Sonic Boom being a slightly glossier attempt at a rebirth. I listened to that record, but don’t ask me for the name of a song or to hum a riff, because I have absolutely no idea what the hell that album was all about aside from an educated guess that it was at least in part about Hell. The risk that Monster runs is to be just as forgettable.

It’s an album of thumping and wailing, knuckle-dragging songs about sex and machismo, and about the only thing that separates it from the resounding shrug of Sonic Boom is that they chose to go with analog equipment this time around, and that really does make a palpable difference.

I had to ask my girlfriend if it was Paul Stanley singing on the opening track (to which she replied that she has no idea who Paul Stanley is, for all the help that offers), but I realized that it really doesn’t matter and that I wasn’t going to get anywhere in trying to dissect this music. The only thing that matters when you’re listening to a KISS record is whether or not it makes you want to set your house on fire with the friction between your legs, and a girl need not know the name of a single member of the band to be very thankful for them.

‘Wall of Sound’ features some of the most ridiculously generic lyrics possible, but it’s a fun enough track to have on in the background. It’s a contest between “You wanna take a shot / so give me all you’ve got” and “When it all goes wrong / you’ve gotta be strong” for the worst, but again, it doesn’t matter, because so long as you are still absolutely sure that Gene Simmons has had more sex than you the music is working.

This type of rock, in that borderland between classic rock and hair metal, is strictly about an image, and with or without face paint a band has to focus almost exclusively on convincing the listener that they are immortal sex demons, if not gods. The platitudes and power chords that get them there cannot be taken out of context without risking a fuller understanding of exactly how silly it all is.

The album is at least decent, and it gets better as it plays. I’m not entirely sure that this means the latter half is superior or if it just means that I had forgotten to be jaded about it by the midway point. Certainly, the final track on the record, ‘Last Chance’, is the strongest, showcasing every strength of the band in one glorious finale, intent to send the statement that they are and will always be the lords of this one street corner in the city of rock n’ roll.

Ultimately Monster is nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the band’s catalog, and you can feel free to treat that as a positive or a negative. It certainly proves that they haven’t lost it–that unidentifiable “it” that most older guys seem to have left in a cocaine-laced penthouse in 1987–and all of the soaring, screeching riffs and growls are there to satisfy your most primal needs as a music fan.

On the other hand, since it sounds so very much like a KISS record, most people would be right to ignore it as they have very likely already heard all of these sounds before. It’s a throwback and a fanservice, so if you’re a big fan you are going to love it, but it’s absolutely nothing more than that.

Release Date: October 9, 2012
Image Courtesy of UMe

Jimmy Buffett, Black Keys, KISS Hold Free Final Four Concert Series

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four championship is just over a week away, and this year’s host city, New Orleans, will host a free concert series during the event. Jimmy Buffett, the Black Keys and Kiss all will perform on different days in downtown New Orleans’ Woldenberg Park.

The series of shows will be known as “The Big Dance Concert Series,” and legendary rockers Kiss will start things off with a set on Friday, March 30. The band hasn’t played the Crescent City since 2009.

Up next will be the Black Keys, which will perform the following day, March 31. Riding high on the recent release of the El Camino album, the NCAA selected the band’s song “Gold on the Ceiling” as the theme for all of the March Madness television ads promoting the college basketball championships. The band also recently appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and played a show at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Finally, Gulf Coast native Jimmy Buffett will close things down on Sunday, April 1. The “Margaritaville” singer commonly appears at the city’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and is reported to be a big fan of the New Orleans Saints football team.

A recent concert at Woldenberg Park by Mary J. Blige and Gavin DeGraw drew an estimated crowd of around 10,000 people, and organizers believe that if the weather is good throughout the weekend, “The Big Dance Concert Series” will likely bring a crowd at least that large.

The Final Four itself will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the city from March 31 to April 2. In addition to the concerts, a multitude of other events are planned for the weekend, including a sports forum aimed at high school students, a sports writing workshop and a youth life skills camp. The NCAA is teaming up with the National Association of Basketball Coaches to bring 2,012 pairs of shoes and 2,012 box lunches to needy families.

KISS Yanked from Lineup of Jackson Tribute Concert

KISS Yanked from Lineup of Jackson Tribute Concert

The rock band Kiss has been dropped out of the line-up for the tribute concert for Michael Jackson after fans of the late pop singer’s became outraged by their previous inclusion.

The change came one day after the announcement by Global Live Events that Kiss would be joining the show in Cardiff on October 8.

The singer’s estate, along with the media and fans have pointed out that Gene Simmons, the bassist of Kiss, in recent years has stated that he thought that Jackson had molested children, with some of Simmons’ most critical comments coming days after Jackson died in June 2009.

Jackson was acquitted in 2005 at the ending of a California trial of molestation charges.

However some of the harshest comments from Simmons came last year during a Classic Rock magazine interview.

Simmons said, where there is smoke, there is fire you know, referring to the accusations that had been pointed at Jackson. He added that he didn’t have any questions in his mind that the accusations were true.

Chris Hunt, CEO of Global Events Live, admitted that booking Kiss was an oversight. He stated, the circumstance gave us no other choice than to withdraw our invitation.

This incident is the show’s latest setback. Jackson’s mother endorses it along with several other siblings. However brothers Randy and Jermaine oppose it.

The brothers note that the tribute show has been scheduled to take place during the trial for involuntary manslaughter of the doctor being charged in the death of Michael Jackson.

“Michael Forever The Tribute Concert” also had been criticized by fans due to the location of the show, the line-up and over ticket prices.

The departure of Kiss leaves Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Smokey Robinson as the superstars for the concert.

KISS to Rock Canada/Northern US This Summer

KISS to Rock Canada/Northern US This Summer

This summer the iconic rock band KISS will be taking to the road once again. Their gigs will spread out across parts of Canada and the northern portion of the U.S.

The outing will kick off with a one night stand in Sacramento, CA on May 29. After a break of three weeks the band, currently featuring founders Gene Simmons (bassist/guitarist) and Paul Stanley (guitarist, singer) along with drummer Eric Singer and guitarist/singer Tommy Thayer, will return to the road on June 23 and perform in Everett, WA. Following that will be another 18 gigs, which include several performances in Canada.

Since March KISS has been hard at work on a new album. Their still untitled effort currently has no exact release date. It will follow “Sonic Boom,” their 2009 set.

Recently on the band’s website Stanley posted, history is going to be made. I’m telling you, this album, everyone agrees will leave “Sonic Boom” behind in the dust. This is awesome. Very soon you’ll be able to hear it.

“Sonic Boom” was the hard rocker’s 19th studio album and their first release in 11 years.

During its debut week the set made the No. 2 spot on Billboard’s 200 chart. It was this highest charting release for KISS to date.

KISS heat up summer with "Hottest Show on Earth"

Rock legends Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer which compose the four-man rock group KISS will be embarking on a 30-city US tour dubbed as the “Hottest Show on Earth”.

The group will be kicking off the tour on July 23 with a show in Cheyenne, WY and will cap off on September 24 in Phoenix. The band’s complete “Hottest Show” itinerary is posted over at their website.

Tickets for the said trek will be available to the public on June 4 through Live Nation. Early access to tickets will be made available to Citi cardholders starting on June 2.

KISS will also be teaming up with Guitar Center for the latter’s band competition which features unsigned rock acts. KISS’ front men Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons will be judging the said competition and the winner will not only receive $10,000 worth of shopping money at Guitar Center, but will also get to join KISS in the said tour as opening act.

In other KISS news, their fans can see the group live and even chat with them on June 1 via webchat through the band’s Facebook page and Ustream.

The band is currently concluding the overseas leg of their “Sonic Boom” tour in Europe to promote their album of the same title which is their first release in 11 years. “Sonic Boom” hit the shelves last fall and debuted at the second spot in the Billboard 200. The album is the band’s 19th studio album to date.

2010 KISS Concert Tour
May 2010
25 – Leipzig, Germany – Leipzig Arena
26 – Berlin, Germany – O2 World
28 – Budapest, Hungary – Papp Laszlo Budapest Sportarena
29 – Bratislava, Slovakia – Inter-Bratislava Stadium
31 – Hamburg, Germany – O2 World Hamburg

June 2010
1 – Oberhausen, Germany – Konig Pilsner Arena
3 – Nurburg, Germany – Nurburg Ring
5 – Nuremberg, Germany – Zeppelinfeld
8 – Trondheim, Norway – Lerkendal Stadium
10 – Tampere, Finland – Sauna Open Air Festival
12 – Stockholm, Sweden – Olympic Stadium
13 – Malmo, Sweden – Malmo Stadium
14 – Oslo, Norway – Valhall
16 – Aalborg, Denmark – Gigantium
18 – Arnhem, Netherlands – Gelredome
20 – Clisson, France- Hellfest
22 – Madrid, Spain – Palacio de Deportes
24 – Barcelona, Spain – Palau Sant Jordi
25 – Vitoria, Spain – Azkena Rock Festival
27 – Dessel, Belgium – Boeretang

July 2010
23 – Cheyenne, WY – Frontier Park
24 – Minot, ND – North Dakota State Fair Center
29 – Burgettstown, PA – First Niagara Pavilion
30 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center
31 – Hershey, PA – Hershey Park Stadium

August 2010
6 – Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center
7 – Mansfield, MA – Comcast Center
9 – Indianapolis, IN – Indiana State Fairgrounds
13 – Darien Center, NY – Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
14 – Wantagh, NY – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
15 – Scranton, PA – Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain
19 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
20 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
21 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
27 – Virginia Beach, VA – Virginia Beach Amphitheater
28 – Charlotte, NC – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
29 – Raleigh, NC – Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion

September 2010
2 – Milwaukee, WI – Marcus Amphitheater
3 – Tinley Park, IL – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
4 – Saint Paul, MN – Minnesota State Fair
10 – Toronto, Ontario – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
11 – Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre
12 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center
17 – The Woodlands, TX – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
18 – Frisco, TX – Pizza Hut Park
19 – San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
22 – Sandy, UT – Rio Tinto Stadium
24 – Phoenix, AZ – Cricket Wireless Pavilion

KISS Tour Paints North America This Fall

KISS Tour Paints North America This Fall

The original face painters KISS are alive and well, preparing to blanket North America with their 40-date mega tour which is set to launch in Detroit on September 25 & 26. Dubbed “Alive 35″ commorating the band?s 35-year anniversary, the 2009 tour will feature all the old KISS favorites and a bit of a rarity — new songs. The forthcoming “Sonic Boom” will mark the band?s first studio album to be released since “Psycho Circus” hit the streets in 1998. ?Sonic Boom? will be exclusively sold via Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club on October 6.

In an unorthodox move, the band allowed its fans to decide on their North American destinations by tracking “demands” through the website Eventful. The band said they’d suit up wherever the demand was greatest whether it be “stadiums to cornfields.” Not too many cornfields are representing, but the major markets all have their slot as well as a few off the beaten path locales. For those who don’t see their city amongst those lucky few (view the full tour schedule below), the band hinted that more dates would be released for 2010.

2009 KISS Tour Dates
September 2009
25, 26 – Detroit, MI – Cobo Arena
28 – Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena
29 – London, Ontario – John Labatt Centre
October 2009
1 – Montreal, Quebec – Bell Centre
2 – Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Centre
3 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
5 – Boston, MA – TD Banknorth Garden
9 – Uniondale, NY – Nassau Coliseum
10 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
12 – Philadelphia, PA – Wachovia Center
13 – Washington, DC – Verizon Center
16 – Hampton, VA – Hampton Coliseum
17 – Greenville, SC – Bi-Lo Center
19 – Pensacola, FL – Pensacola Civic Center
21 – Tampa, FL – St. Pete Times Forum
22 – Sunrise, FL – Bank Atlantic Centre
24 – Birmingham, AL – Birmingham Jefferson Arena
26 – Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
28 – Nashville, TN – Sommet Center
29 – Little Rock, AR – Verizon Arena
31 – New Orleans, LA – Voodoo Experience
November 2009
6 – Chicago, IL – United Center
7 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Center
9 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – MTS Centre
10 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Credit Union Centre
12 – Calgary, Alberta – Pengrowth Saddledome
14 – Vancouver, British Columbia – General Motors Place
15 – Seattle, WA – Key Arena
17 – Portland, OR – Rose Garden
20 – Sacramento, CA – ARCO Arena
21 – Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena
24 – Anaheim, CA – Honda Center
25 – Los Angeles, CA – Staples Center
27 – San Diego, CA – Sports Arena
December 2009
1 – Glendale, AZ – Arena
2 – El Paso, TX – UTEP Special Events Center
4 – Austin, TX – Frank Erwin Center
5 – Houston, TX – Toyota Centre
6 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Centre