Tarrant County Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas, USA – September 5, 1977
(78:09) I Stole Your Love. Take Me, Ladies Room, Firehouse, Love Gun, Hooligan, Makin’ Love, Christine Sixteen, Shock Me, Ace Solo, I Want You, Calling Dr. Love, Rock And Roll All Nite, Detroit Rock City, Beth, Black Diamond. Bonus Tracks: Tarrant Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas, USA – September 4, 1977: Rock And Roll All Nite, Detroit Rock City, Beth, Black Diamond
The tour to support Love Gun, dubbed the Can-Am tour was a two month jaunt that found the band playing an extensive Canadian tour with the American portion being made up of West Coast dates and a quick trip through Texas to finish it off. 1977 was the band’s most successful year to date, their new wax opus, Love Gun, had been shipped Platinum upon its release and the tour in its support would feature near capacity attendances in every city they played. Recordings from the tour are largely focused on the American leg, most of the California dates were captured by enterprising audience members, yet perhaps the best of the lot would be the pro shot video from the bands two shows in Houston, Texas. Most KISS fans have many of these recordings in one form or another in their collection.
The new title from the Peach folks features two new recordings to the KISS collecting community, they are both long hoarded soundboard fragments from the two last dates of the Love Gun tour in Fort Worth, Texas. I do not know how they got out, from what I read just prior to the release of Zodiac’s Fort Worth 1977 (Zodiac 238) someone leaked them to the world via a famous torrent site, their comment was “Suck it, bootleggers”. Nonetheless the music made it out to be enjoyed by the masses. I held off on the Zodiac title, I have the download and felt that the Zodiac title was just too short to justify the investment so I found this title more inline with my “allowance”. First off the recordings are excellent, but not without issues. They are not complete, the show that makes up the bulk of the this title is from the final night in Fort Worth, yes the back cover on this new Peach title is wrong. The recording is excellent, well balanced with just a small amount of tape hiss and suffers from some slight distortion that gives the sound a haze, this does begin to phase up to Calling. Dr Love.
Based upon the download, Peach has re tracked all the song breaks and slightly lowered the volume and applied some gently mastering, this helps with the aforementioned noise and distortion, it does lessen the punch of the original. There is a segment missing, the end of Calling Dr. Love is cut abruptly in the original, Peach fades theirs at the 2:25 mark, so Shout It Out Loud, Gene’s solo and God Of Thunder are all missing. The first half minute of Rock And Roll All Nite is missing as well, again Peach fades theirs, making for an easier listening experience. The label also removed some tape between songs to lessen the total time but no stage banter or music is lost. Curious the phasing lessens for the encores, there is still some residual distortion present, but don’t let this scare you, this is still a great recording that sounds good loud. The bands performance is great, sure it’s the end of the tour and the playing is a bit loose and a few vocals are ragged, but it reeks of energy and passion, Peter’s voice sounds tired during Beth and Black Diamond.
The fragment from the first night, September 4, is identical to the previous nights recording that thankfully is distortion free, in their effort to get these two fragments on a single disc, Peach delimitated about 4:30 consisting of Peter’s drum solo (in progress) and the conclusion of God Of Thunder. Again after comparing to the download, Peach mastered theirs with slightly less volume so it easily matches the other recording. The sound is excellent and very well balanced, with it being such a short chunk of the concert but Paul confirms the date and seems like the band is playing another energetic show. There is an interesting version of Black Diamond where Paul sings leads for some unknown reason, must have been an equipment issue as Peter’s vocals do not sound tired like the last night.
The packaging is typical Peach, mini LP style sleeves adorned with posed and live shots of the band with 70’s style borders that reminded me of the old KISS cards. There is an insert with a center picture very similar to the inside gatefold of Alive II and a picture of a ticket stub for the first night. A very nice release from the folks at Peach, I like the mastering and feel it makes for an easier listening experience. I hope this review helps collectors seek out the version they want, for those who want the complete recordings, go after the Zodiac, for those who don’t mind the edit, here is a great title to get.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)