The Summer Of Satan: The Devils Rides Out! (The Godfatherecords G.F. 848)
Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA – July 10, 1976
(75:43) Intro, Detroit Rock City, King Of The Night Time World, Let Me Go Rock And Roll, Cold Gin, Ace Solo, Shout It Out Loud, Strutter, Nothing To Lose, Do You Love Me?, Watching You, Peter Solo, Gene Solo, God Of Thunder, Flaming Youth, Deuce, Firehouse, Black Diamond, Rock And Roll All Nite
The Summer of 76 was KISS’ name for a tour throughout America to support the Destroyer record, one that would find the band playing to large crowds even though the new record itself was not doing particularly well chart wise. This would all change later as the song “Beth” would catapult the band to the big leagues of rock and roll stardom. They infused the set list with new songs and had new stage outfits to mimic the Destroyer cover and never one to rest on their laurels they brought along Bob Seger as an opening act for most of the tour, an act who was also rising quick on the live market. The band played six stadium shows during the tour, the first of them is featured here and featured a bill that included Seger and the J. Geils Band, a great line up that failed to equate to ticket sales as the 30,000 capacity stadium was less than half filled.
The recording featured here is an excellent soundboard recording, as with other KISS boards from this tour (Toronto being another) it is not well balanced but is very clear and immensely enjoyable. The show was also professionally video taped and circulates in trading circles and torrent sights and although it is in black and white is an interesting viewing experience and worth seeking out also. There has been a prior release of the audio portion of this show that was incomplete and missing the first three songs, titled New Jersey Jews (Roaring Mouse 70020). When comparing the titles this new release has louder levels and is cleaner and has a more natural sound to it and is a nice upgrade to the long out of print older version.
The intro has some music being played and a female announcer talking as if the show was being broadcast, possibly on radio? “Alright Jersey City, you wanted the best and you got it…the Hottest band in the land…KISS” is screamed to the audience amid the opening riff of “Detroit Rock City” as the audience chants “KISS…KISS” in anticipation. Gene’s bass is prominent in the mix and the recording has a nice bottom end. At times it is hard to hear Paul’s guitar but Ace comes through cleanly. The band goes into the second song of the opening salvo with a superb “King Of The Night Time World”. Peter is in great shape for this more or less hometown gig and his drumming during the song is fantastic, his fills and rolls are perfect.
As great as the two opening songs were it is the rollicking “Let Me Go, Rock And Roll” where things really heat up (no pun intended as the temperatures at the gig were 100 degrees plus) and leads us into Paul’s opening statement to the crowd. He asked if anyone likes to get high, he already knows the answer as it is Jersey after all. Anyone who has heard this knows that the crowd mix is interesting as it sound as if there were microphones I am guessing near the mixing board. They were definitely not near the stage as it was high so people could see far back. You do not hear the audience as a whole but more like a group of rowdy fans who keep us entertained throughout by their comments, they do not interfere with the music thankfully. “Cold Gin” is the band’s answer to the heat, the song also includes Ace’s solo spot, amid the moon style landscape and while short is right to the point and not excessive.
They continue with “Shout It Out Loud”, the first single from Destroyer and while it failed to infinite the charts it is already a crowd pleaser as is “Strutter” that follows. The band is in full stride now and the energy and music flows effortlessly. Paul tells the audience “To get up, get moving and clap your hands” and they obey their commands and they go right into “Nothing To Lose”. I was thinking about the lyrics and they leave little to the imagination as to their meaning and within a year the bands appeal was increased tenfold to the much younger generation. Again great song and it has been in their live repertoire for some time and is always a crowd pleaser. The crowd calls for “God Of Thunder” and “Black Diamond” and some explosions are heard in the background as Peter kicks into the opening beat of “Do You Love Me?”. Paul does a great vocal rendition telling the crowd he needs love.
A highlight of the early shows on the tour is “Watching You”, one of my favorite riffs (along with “She”) that just comes from nowhere as it bowls over the audience. The song is also a vehicle for Peter’s drum solo. The crowd is especially boisterous during the solo, someone tells him to use his hands! Some commotion is happening in the audience and the crowd goes crazy during Gene’s bloodletting segment, the crowd wants blood, they got it. His solo is short and leads into “God Of Thunder”. I prefer these more stand alone versions versus the latter ones that are intertwined with the drum solo. About three minutes into the song there is some tape warble that last for the remainder of the song, same as on the older New Jersey Jews title.
The second highlight of the night is the inclusion of “Flaming Youth” in all its wondrous sounding glory. The song was short lived in the band’s set list having been played on the European tour that preceded this tour. Thankfully there are a couple great live versions as the song would be dropped in two weeks time. I am guessing that the lackluster sales of Destroyer made the band drop it in favor of the older material. Paul says goodnight to the crowd, something that does not sit well with the crowd who tell them “Goodnight my ass” and they proceed with the KISS chants to draw the group back onstage.
“Deuce” and a blazing “Firehouse” is their reward but it is “Black Diamond” that seals the deal, its opening stains come amid the screams of the audience who are insane by this time. Peter turns in a great vocal performance and Ace plays an incredible solo driving the song to excellence, the dramatic ending is perfect! Paul asks the crowd if they had a great fourth that garners a personal repeat from an audience member involving profanity and introduces the Rock N Roll national anthem and concert closing “Rock And Roll All Nite”, a fine ending to a great concert.
The packaging, typical Godfather trifold and I have to say that I absolutely love the graphics of the cover as well as the title, imaginative and wonderful. Peter Cushing is resurrected along with Christopher Lee to provide some highly inaccurate liner notes. Jersey City was the 4th stop on the tour and there are two other complete soundboards, Cleveland and Toronto, but all is overlooked as the duo are certainly very old. The Jersey show gets a definite upgrade all brought to use by our ever loving Godfather, a highly recommended release that keeps in tradition with the labels commitment to delivering incredible KISS releases.