Fab Four From Hell (Tarantura TCDKIS78-3-1,2)
Budokan Dai Hall Tokyo, Japan Friday March 31, 1978 6:30PM
Disc 1 (46:23) SE / Monitor Check, Introduction, I Stole Your Love, King On The Nigh Time World, Ladies Room, Firehouse, Love Gun, Let Me Go, Rock And Roll, Makin’ Love, Christine Sixteen, Shock Me, Guitar Solo, I Want You
Disc 2 (44:29) Calling Dr. Love, Shout It Out Loud, Bass Solo, God Of Thunder, Drum Solo, God Of Thunder, Rock And Roll All Nite, Detroit Rock City, Beth, Black Diamond
KISS delivered their second live album Alive II in late November 1977 and again hit the road for a two month tour of the United States followed by a five night stand in Tokyo’s most prestigious Budokan Hall. Tarantura has released the first two concerts in beautiful packages Heartbreakers From Hell (TCDKIS78-1-1,2) and Makin’ Up Makin’ Love (TCDKIS78-2-1,2) and this new release gives us the 3rd night and as with the others two is from the incredible Mr. Peach archives.
Again it is an excellent audience recording from very close to the stage and all instruments and vocals are cleanly heard, the mix does favor Paul Stanley’s guitar and thus has a nice raw sound. Paul’s guitar playing is often over looked as his voice and stage performance and presence is what he is best known for but with this concert we can enjoy his talents as a guitar player and how much his playing does for the KISS sound.
The set list is identical to the two previous concerts, KISS was not know from straying from the norm too much and the performance is again top notch. After the obligatory “All Right Tokyo….You Wanted The Best” introduction the band hit the stage amid screaming fans and explosions while ripping into I Stole Your Love and it is obvious they are playing very well, the music is tight and the vocals are superb.
King Of The Night Time World always sounds out when it is not linked with its Destroyer predecessor Detroit Rock City. It is a great version and we can really enjoy the harmony guitar solo. Paul great the crowd with a big “HELLO TOKYO” and asks them if they are alright and tells “All the pretty girls” to meet them in the Ladies Room. Gene has a nice fat bass rhythm for this song all the while Ace is giving a strong performance also, his small lead parts are spot on and the crowd claps for much of the song.
Love Gun as always delivers live, the crowd delivers also, they are totally into the concert and listening at loud volumes you can feel the them at your back. Ace plays the leads perfectly as he does with the next song Let Me Go, Rock N Roll. His lays down the notes over the rollicking song, one of the stronger songs from the bands back catalog played. The rest of the first disc is made up of tracks from the Rock And Roll Over and Love Gun albums, two very strong records, the latter being the last record with the original band playing on the record.
Makin’ Love and I Want You are not only the two strongest songs of Rock And roll Over but the song I marvel at is Christine Sixteen and its lyrics about being infatuated by an under aged girl is classic Gene Simmons. It has a little faster tempo when played live and its catchy chorus makes it a crowd pleaser. Again the big surprise of the night is Ace and Shock Me, the crowd is loud in their love of the Spaceman and returns their affection with some very spirited playing, his solo goes through the familiar routine of smoking and levitating guitar effects coupled with a lot of echo and other effects giving it a metallic space feel, great stuff indeed.
Paul gets the crowd interactive going with a call and response section to introduce the second disc and Calling Dr Love. A quintessential Gene Simmons song, the chorus sung by Paul sounds almost as if he is shouting it and you can hear the crowd singing along also. Gene and Peter both take solo spots during the epic God Of Thunder. The audience seems transfixed on Gene during his blood letting routine and but cheer loudly for the Demon as he plays the introducing bass notes. As I have stated before its Peter’s drumming that makes the song for me, his marching patterns give and evil militant feel to the song, his drum solo is also very strong, he is on top of his game and delivers a feat for the ears to the delight of the audience.
The obligatory Rock And Roll All Nite only adds the feverish crowd who temperature is hot and Paul does some more call and response with the crowd before introducing Detroit Rock City as about a city in America, the clap and cheer loudly as more explosions go off as the band rip into one of their signature tunes, you can hear the crowd sing along to “Get Up…..Get Down”. Again the harmony leads playing by Paul and Ace is perfect and makes for a strong version of the song. The crowd erupts as the first notes of Beth is played, Peter is a little overwhelmed as you can here he say “whew” as the crowd gives him a huge ovation. The clap is unison and are very respectful during the song but give him huge round of applause at its conclusion.
The last song of the concert is Black Diamond, Paul plays the open chords followed by a short and metallic burst of the same melody gives the song a very heavy vibe and the ending with its great choreographed moves and killer Ace solo over the top of it end a very strong show and recording.
The packaging is, as always, something a little special for the KISS releases, a glossy gatefold cover with fantastic live shots of the band and an OBI strip to boot. Tarantura also employs some cool Alive II tout graphics of band member silhouettes that kind of tie the releases together, there is also a picture of the ticket stub and master cassettes from the show. This release fits nicely with the other KISS releases from the Tarantura label and is an excellent release I am very glad to have. It is a great time to be a KISS fan.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)