El Dragon Arrogante (Golden Eggs EGG 153/154)
Mapocho Station, Santiago, Chile – September 1, 1994
Disc 1 (65:37) Promo Ad, Intro, Creatures Of The Night, Deuce, Parasite, Unholy, I Stole Your Love, Cold Gin, Watchin’ You, Firehouse, Calling Dr. Love, Makin’ Love, War Machine, I Was Made For Loving You, I Want You, Domino
Disc 2 (62:42) Love Gun, Lick It Up, God Of Thunder, I Love It Loud, Detroit Rock City, Black Diamond, Heaven’s On Fire, Rock And Roll All Nite. Soundcheck August 31, 1994: Little Wing, School’s Out, Day Tripper, Reelin’ In The Years, Hey Joe, Moby Dick, The House Of The Rising Sun, Stairway To Heaven, Please Please Me, Wild Thing, You Shook Me All Night Long, Summertime Blues, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Anyway You Want It
In late summer 1994 Kiss played an 8 date mini tour of South America many refer to as the “KISS My Ass” tour since the tribute album of the same name had been released two months prior. The Revenge record had revitalized my interest in KISS as did a steady stream of VHS tapes, X-Treme Closeup, KISS Konfidential, and KISS My Ass The Video had finally given fans a look inside their archives as all three had live footage from their 70’s glory years. One only has to look at setlists from this time to find KISS was finally beginning to embrace their 70’s output giving fans more of what they wanted, all killer with no late 80’s filler. The band was also distancing themselves from the bright color hair metal teased hair and going back to the black leather look, KISS was going back to their roots. Three of the South American dates would be labeled as “Monsters Of Rock” featuring KISS headlining a bill with Black Sabbath and Slayer, it gets no better than this.
The second of the Monsters Of Rock dates was at the 12,000 seat Centro Cultural Estacion Mapacho in Santiago, the concert was archived on both audio and video. The soundboard recording features excellent sound, the instruments and vocals are all well balanced with a nice range of frequencies, the bottom end is very strong making this a very heavy sounding recording, KISS with balls. This recording was released back in the mid 90’s as Rockin’ In Chile (Kiss The Stone KTS-411/12) making this new version by the Golden Eggs label very welcomed. This is the Golden Eggs first release from the 1994 tour, although their predecessor Godfather Records released the excellent En La Casa Del Diablo in 2013, I consider these to be companion pieces.
The first disc begins with the radio promo for the concert, a very nice addition to this set (as is the bonus material) and Creatures Of The Night is the natural opener, always following up with another KISS goes for the throat early with a blistering version of Deuce. Parasite 1994 is tight and heavy and while it lacks the punk feel of the original, the more Metal version of the song delivers. Both of the more recent songs in the set are Gene songs, Unholy and the excellent Domino both sound great alongside classics like I Stole Your Love and the equally great I Want You. Paul talks about letting fans choose songs to be played and the set does reflect a bit deeper look, the aforementioned I Stole Your Love, I Want You, and even Makin’ Love and the brilliant Watchin’ You sound refreshed by this line up and for me, are the icing on the Firehouse and Cold Gin cake.
The band did not use pyro for this show, although Gene did breathe fire at the end of Firehouse, the pro shot video details Gene taking the flammable fluid via a mug and the camera man follows him to the stage front as he delivers the perfect Demonized act. KISS of years gone by were a machine, hammering out song after song with very little down time between songs with one of the rare song introductions coming before I Want You. Paul tells of a radio appearance where several fans called and requested the song, and they deliver in spades, Paul turns in an excellent vocal performance on the song. Gene’s excellent Domino is the second song from Revenge in the set, great live and has the sleezed groove that makes it so good.
Paul gets the year wrong when introducing Love Gun, no dirty story to tell, just get to the song. Love Gun is a live staple for good reason, Bruce Kulick nails the solo not by playing Ace’s leads but his own. God Of Thunder is another song that’s much better without the bass and drum solos, focused and heavy, the song is linked back to back with I Love It Loud, a double shot of Klassic Gene. Typical for South American audiences, they are passionate about their Metal and cheer loudly as Paul introduces Detroit Rock City, when watching the video they have their fists in the air pumping them and give Paul and Bruce an ovation as they play the harmony lead part. The song ends the main set and the audience begins “We Want KISS” that leads into a football chant demanding their heroes return. Eric Singer gets the lead vocals on Black Diamond, Heaven’s On Fire sounds beefed up for the better and the concert ends with the crowd levitating as the band hammer out Rock And Roll All Nite, their legend in tact.
The bonus material is of particular interest, an excellent soundboard recording of the soundcheck for the concert performed the day prior, August 31, 1994. What makes this recording interesting is it is all snippets of classic Rock cover songs by many of their musical heroes. The recording is incomplete as the entire soundcheck does circulate and runs 105 minutes, this bonus material clocks in at 18:33 and is sourced from a radio broadcast. The quality is excellent and is broken up between two tracks with radio DJ comments at the beginning of each block. Some of the interesting portions are the two Beatles songs, Steely Dan’s Reeling In The Years, and a hoe down version of Stairway To Heaven.
The gatefold sleeve is really nice with photos being taken from the concert itself as well as magazine and newspaper advertisements related to the event. This is how releases should be, audio and packaging archiving the event in glorious fashion. This release demands to be played loud, WE LOVE IT LOUD!