KISS Destroys Anaheim

Despite Gene Simmons’ misogynistic, arrogant attitude, there is something undeniably powerful in seeing KISS on stage. A lot of times, a performer’s off-stage behavior will affect my feelings for them in their professional roles. I’ve written before that I don’t much care for Ted Nugent any longer because I don’t much care for his personal politics.

Maybe it’s the make-up, but with Gene Simmons, all is forgiven, and I can put aside my dislike for the person when I see the costumed character on stage. Hearing the explosions, seeing the flashes (it’s the show as much as the music) can still take me back to when I was 13 years old and KISS ruled my world.

I spent my seventh and eighth grade years amassing all things KISS. Somewhere, stored away, I still have a collection of fanzines, trading cards, posters, and on and on. As to why I haven’t thrown it away, your guess is as good as mine.

I saw KISS live the first time (my first concert), at the LA Forum on their Dynasty tour. I went with my cousin and our seats were about five rows from the top, in the far reaches of the 18,000 capacity arena. But we were absolutely blown away by the whole experience. For a long time, that concert was the benchmark by which I judged all other live shows.

So I grew up eventually and moved on, packed away my way-too-large collection of KISS T-shirts (at least one for every day of the week). My musical tastes changed, but as I said earlier, when I see those flashpots and hear the opening beat of “Strutter,” I’m 13 years old again and ready to ready to reclaim my membership in the KISS Army. Let me go rock and roll!

”KISS Destroys Anaheim, Part 2” comes from a show the band played on Aug. 20, 1976 (coincidentally, my 13th birthday), at Anaheim Stadium in California. According to the e-zine Shockwaves, “This was recorded at the peak of KISS' popularity, during their Destroyer tour. On this infamous recording, KISS performs such Destroyer nuggets as "Shout It Out Loud" and "Do You Love Me." Originally recorded for video, this particular concert was shown on primitive cable TV. Of course, it didn't take long for the bootleg market to catch wind of the sales potential on this nugget, so the inevitable audio version was soon born, to the delight of KISS collectors worldwide!”

Music.com praises the band’s performance, while saying the sound quality leaves much to be desired: “What is true of Kiss Destroys Anaheim, Part 1 is also true of Part 2--the performances are excellent, but the sound quality is just OK. And while this bootleg LP wouldn't impress an audiophile, it manages to capture the excitement of Kiss' Aug. 20, 1976, show .”

Unfortunately, I don’t have Part 1, but check this out. Even as a sample KISS, so to speak, it’s a magnificent performance from the band at their peak.

Detroit Rock City.mp3
King of the Nighttime World.mp3
Let Me Go, Rock and Roll.mp3
God of Thunder.mp3

From YouTube, here's Ace’s solo from the same show.

The Official KISS site


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