Monster In Zurich 2013 (Non Label)
Hallenstadion, Zurich, Switzerland – June 20, 2013
DVD (1 hr 55 min) Introduction, Psycho Circus, Shout It Out Loud, Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll, I Love It Loud, Hell Or Hallelujah, War Machine, Heaven’s On Fire, Deuce, Say Yeah, Shock Me, Outta This World, Tommy & Eric Solo, Gene Bass Solo, God Of Thunder, Lick It Up, Love Gun, Rock And Roll All Nite, Detroit Rock City, I Was Made For Loving You, Black Diamond, Outroduction
KISS played a 13 date European tour in the summer of 2013 to support their most recent CD, Monster. The summer festival market is quit lucrative in Europe and KISS would play three festivals during this jaunt. The concert featured here is a live broadcast from an “off” date and finds the group playing the last arena date on the tour, they would have one more date at Frances prestigious Hellfest.
Taken from a live broadcast in this day and age means excellent quality, this DVD certainly meets that expectation. Multi angled, vivid picture and superb sound quality, there is an AXS tv logo in the bottom right corner but it is small and non intrusive and as usual with many of these broadcasts the red lighting can sometimes look like it is glowing but on the whole this is as good as an official release as it has great footage of the band but also of the audience so this is not one of those feeds taken from a big screen. There have been two subsequent releases of this show on other labels, Monster Tour In Zurich 2013 (Blu Ray-R Lost And Found LAF-1780) and Zurich Switzerland June 20 2013 (Pignon 201), I own neither and cannot comment of their quality.
After reviewing two audio boots from this tour it made me anticipate this title even more, KISS is are a visual act as much as musical and the Monster stage set up was most impressive and deserves to be seen in all its glory. The 13,000 capacity Hallenstadion looks to be packed to the rafters for this show, the recording starts just prior to the show starting with a view from the rear of the audience as Led Zeppelin’s Rock And Roll plays over the PA, the AXS tv does a quick promo and uses all KISS style fonts, this gives way to the introduction and band taking the stage with Pyscho Circus. The band’s stage set is built like a huge arachnid with the band on the body section that lowers amid smoke shots, the body also serves as a lighting rig and is really spectacular looking and the stage is flanked on both sides by huge KISS Army banners. Sounds wise all instruments and vocals are well mixed from the beginning of the show which is nice and the band has Zurich in the palm of their hand from the word go. The first three songs are linked almost non stop and the addition of Let Me Go, Rock And Roll is excellent, Tommy does his best Ace impersonation and does a decent job of capturing the vibe as the song was really an Ace Showcase and it also gives the band a chance to do the famous KISS choreography. Paul’s crowd interaction thing is much more enjoyable on DVD versus the audio, when listening to the live tapes you are like “boring next song please” but when you can see what is happening it is much more tolerable. From time to time little messages show up in the bottom left hand corner, they are usually for buying merchandise or to show the origin of the feed.
The visuals from Hell Or Halellujah are quite impressive, the waist level lighting, pyro and flames on the rear projection screen look great and are most impressive. War Machine has the Arachnid legs moving around that is cool, one would have to watch your step on this set, the song also features the Firehouse siren at the end as was typical on this tour and Gene spits fire to boot! As I said visuals is an important part of the KISS live experience. Deuce is played and is a most welcome addition to the set, played mid set it certainly raises the energy level up a notch, it’s amazing to watch Paul, for a man of 60 and a veteran of two hip replacement surgeries it has barley slowed him down as he is certainly one of hard rocks greatest front men.
One of the portions of the show I was really looking forward to was Shock Me > Outta This World and the Tommy Eric solo segment. The band takes full use of the rear projection screen by showing sparkling electricity for Shock Me that is cool and there are some great shots from the front stage looking up at Tommy with the massive Monster rig in the background. Tommy gets on a platform and he and Eric both levitate at the same time, Tommy shoots from his guitar and Eric pulls out a bazooka for his shot in spectacular fashion. The venue goes black for the rise of The Demon, bathed in green lighting and dry ice for the bloodletting, there is a camera angle from behind the stage that is really nice and Gene takes flight going up to the Monster body for God Of Thunder.
During Lick It Up the arachnid body lowers so Paul and Tommy can climb aboard all the while the band is starting to jam a bit and it turns into The Who’s Won’t Get Fooled Again, great to hear as the band has toyed with the song since the 80’s, the song features a ton of pyro at the songs conclusion. Paul takes a trip into the audience for his signature song, Love Gun. Using the zip line to the middle of the venue is an effect he has used for years and is effective as always and thankfully the mechanism does not break down stranding Paul (yes it has happened). Confetti showers the audience for the set finale of Rock And Roll All Nite, again the rear of the stage camera angle gives a unique perspective fans don’t really get to see. A mirror ball illuminates the venue in a 70’s throwback for the beginning of Black Diamond, Paul does a little solo spot and there is a cool shot of someone holding up a lighter that brings a smile to one’s face. The band again pays homage to The Who as they incorporate a bit of Baba O’Riley into the Black Diamond finale, a finale that is filled with many a Sonic Booms. Great show, extremely well shot visually and excellent audio make for an exciting viewing experience.
The packaging is full color inserts with official Monster style graphics and live shots of the band, there is not a company listed so I use the non label, there is a simple menu with song selection and play all function featuring a live clip from Hell Or Hallelujah and the DVD is the same as the cover shot. All this is packaged in a clam shell style case and comes with a sticker. KISS was playing at a high level during the summer of 2013, this is a nice companion piece to go along with the audio bootlegs and in some ways is more satisfying than the audio’s as you can really soak up the event, recommended.