Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI – May 18, 1990
Disc 1 (77:48) Intro, I Stole Your Love, Deuce, Heaven’s On Fire, Rise To It, Fits Like A Glove, Crazy Crazy Nights, Strutter, Calling Dr. Love, Hide Your Heart, Black Diamond, Shout It Out Loud, Lick It Up, Cold Gin, Forever, God Of Thunder, Under The Gun, I Love It Loud
Disc 2 (77:35) Tears Are Falling, Love Gun, Detroit Rock City, I Want You, Rock And Roll All Nite. Bonus Tracks: Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, MI – October 14, 1990: I Was Made For Loving You. The Stone Pony, Asbury Park NJ – April 14, 1990: Fits Like A Glove, C’Mon And Love Me, Betrayed. Demos And Outtakes: Betrayed, Hide Your Heart (version 1), The Street Giveth and The Street Taketh Away, Ain’t That Particular, No One’s Messin’ With You, Street Legal, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Hide Your Heart (version 2)
Palace Of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills, Mi. May 18, 1990
DVD (1:46:27) Intro, I Stole Your Love, Deuce, Heaven’s On Fire, Rise To It, Fits Like A Glove, Crazy Crazy Nights, Strutter, Calling Dr. Love, Hide Your Heart, Black Diamond, Shout It Out Loud, Lick It Up, Cold Gin, Forever, God Of Thunder, Under The Gun, I Love It Loud, Tears Are Falling, Love Gun, Detroit Rock City, I Want You, Rock And Roll All Nite
This new title from the Eat A Peach label fills a major gap in the KISS unofficial live catalog as it documents a tour that does not have a great amount of attention, the 1990 tour to support Hot In The Shade. Document is a good word to describe this release, one needs to simply look at the track listing to understand what I am referring to. Let’s take a look, we get a complete concert from the soundboard, some cool live bonus tracks and a selection of demos from the Hot In The Shade record and if that was not enough, we get a complete pro shot video to boot. While some of this material has been available before, never before has this material been wonderfully assembled and presented.
Let’s start with the main audio recording, it is a very good soundboard recording, although somewhat unbalanced and is taken from the video recording. To me the balance sounds like it is more of a monitor mix versus just a poor job via the sound guy. The reason I say monitor is that the guitars are lower in the mix unless there is a solo and a specific riff involved, the drums and bass are very consistent in the mix and the vocals are both high and low in the mix depending on the songs. I did first listen to this recording in my car and found the close quarters experience not as satisfying as listening to it on my home stereo. Nonetheless there is just a small amount of hiss and is just a bit thin sounding, I turned up the bass a bit and thus sounds better loud.
The performance is excellent, KISS always brings it when they play Detroit, yes Rock fans, Auburn Hills is a Northern suburb of the Motor City yet is far enough away to not be considered Detroit. Paul makes many references to the Rock City, the Michigan Palace and the famed Cobo Arena all get nods from the band. The set list is also a huge improvement over the past couple tours. While they do play a nice chunk of their 80’s output as well as a couple new ones, the majority of the performance is made up the 70’s Klassics much to the fans delight. I Want You is one of the more unbalanced songs, yet it is an excellent version played with much power and makes for a great way to get the crowd into it, and it’s followed by Deuce which is no slouch either. They dig into the 80’s with ease and the new Rise To It has the band playing a bit of Bad To The Bone that never really gets anything going. Black Diamond is played mid set and instead of the bombastic ending it segues into Shout It Out Loud and it works really well.
The main radio hit from the record, Forever, is reproduced live really well, Bruce nails the solo and the song is a cool semi acoustic ballad that works in the big stadium setting. What also helps the Hot In The Shade tour was the decision to eliminate solo’s, something that became a major bone of contention between Paul, Gene, and Eric Carr, who did not like having his drum solo cut from the set. In hindsight it was the right move and although I love Eric’s solos, some of Gene and Paul’s solo spots were getting old, especially Gene’s. The ending of the concert is very strong, the sequence of Love Gun through Rock And Roll All Nite makes for a powerful ending to the concert, of course Detroit Rock City gets a special intro for the Detroit faithful.
The bonus material is great. The first song is from the same venue but five months later, the October 14 show was also professionally recorded and the video was released in part on the official KISSOLOGY Vol. 2. The set lists for both shows were almost the same, one difference was I Was Made For Loving You. The inclusion of this song is great and the significance is even more important, this would be Eric Carr’s last time performing in Detroit. The recording is an excellent soundboard taken from the aforementioned KISSOLOGY set. The next three tracks are from as benefit concert from the famed Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. The complete recording was part of the excellent KISS MK V (The Godfather Box G.R. BOX 16) collection. The sound quality is very similar, somewhat lo-fi sounding but clear and enjoyable, to my ears the Peach version is a little louder and thankfully, clearer. C’Mon and Love Me was played just a few times in 1990 before being dropped from the set list. Betrayed was a new song from Hot In The Shade, along with Young Cesar that never lasted long in the set, thankfully archived by enterprising fans.
The remainder of the second disc is a selection of demos from the Hot In The Shade record, I have some of this material on the What Goes On Behind Closed Doors (The Godfatherecords G.R. 798/799). Some of this is really interesting material, Ain’t That Peculiar and No One’s Messin’ With You are early versions of Little Caesar with Eric Carr vocals in great quality. The Street Giveth, Something Wicked, and Street Legal are all Gene Demo’s in similar quality to the Godfather release. The two versions of Hide Your Heart sound like the 1987 Paul demo that was at the time rejected, the first version is much better quality, the second is lower quality but gives you great examples of Paul’s song writing outside KISS, the material is very well written and is a very professional demo.
The exciting part of this set is the complete pro shot recording from the May 18, 1990 Palace gig, it has circulated in trading circles for years and there has been a previous release, Hot In The Shade World Tour (WOW 203), the title being somewhat of a misnomer as the tour was a North American only affair. Visually it is very good as it was taken from an in house video feed, there are many videos of other metal bands from this time circulating, Judas Priest, Megadeth, and Metallica are a few others. The DVD has an easy to maneuver basic menu and the sound quality is the same as the audience from the CD’s. There is just a very small amount of color bleed and the beginning is a bit hard to see where the band appear from the Sphinx amid lasers, overall the video is an easy watch and quite fun. The band were trying really hard and run all over the stage and do all their best rock star poses, still glammed up from the 80’s. This colorful version of the band was also reaching its end as the band would return to black leather image from their next record, Revenge. To summarize, great video but not of a hi definition quality, I watched it on a 32″ and was just fine.
All three discs are housed in a mini LP style sleeve adorned with pictures from the Hot In The Shade tour, there are some cool shots of Leon as well. The insert has nice liner notes and this set has that attention to detail collectors have come to expect from the Peach label. A well thought out and executed release, one that shows that you can provide both audio and video media in a collector friendly package, this release sits well in my KISS Kollection.