Municipal Auditorium, Sioux City, IA, USA – December 30, 1982
Disc 1 (51:43) Intro, Creatures Of The Night, Strutter, Calling Dr. Love, Firehouse, I Love It Loud, Cold Gin, Keep Me Comin’, War Machine, I Want You, Vinnie Vincent Guitar Solo, I Want You (reprise), Rock And Roll Hell
Disc 2 (40:50) I Still Love You, Shout It Out Loud, Bass Solo, God Of Thunder, Drum Solo, God Of Thunder (reprise), Love Gun, Paul Stanley Guitar Solo, Black Diamond, Detroit Rock City
A few months ago KISS announced a deluxe box set for their incredible 1982 LP Creatures Of The Night. The massive deluxe set features a plethora of bonus material, demos, outtakes and live material from several shows from the tour. This announcement certainly piqued KISS fans’ interest as it is a much beloved album, just look at the track listing for the 5 disc set and the amount of cool stuff like photos, book, and poster makes this a fanboys dream. What piqued my interest was the live material and certainly the concerts they are from, Sioux City and Rockford being two of the first three dates on the 10th Anniversary Tour. The others being from 1983, Houston and Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The Sioux City and Rockford shows famous for short in the set Keep Me Comin’ and Rock And Roll Hell. What is equally as exciting is the Pine Bluff show features a rare King Of The Night Time World.
Within days of this announcement I started seeing the above three concerts and two others, Toronto and El Paso beginning to circulate. Clicking on the descriptions I find that in fact, all six concerts are in fact leaked soundboard recordings and most certainly the sources used for the Creatures box set. These recordings were quickly taken down yet enough fans had snagged them and they began to circulate, thankfully the folks at Zodiac managed to get them and have released them all.
The Sioux City concert was the third date on the tour, the first date in Rapid City, SD December 27, 1982 was cancelled as a portion of the band’s equipment and their costumes did not arrive in time thanks to heavy snow. One does have to wonder who starts a tour in South Dakota in December. The first show played was December 29 in Bismarck, North Dakota, no set list is available nor is any recorded documents, video or audio. The Sioux City concert has circulated for years from a poor audience recording, Keep Me Comin’ from this recording was a bonus track on If It’s Too Loud, Your Too Old (The Godfatherecords G.R. 631/632). Just to refresh my ears I gave the track a listen, I’ve heard worse. Needless to say this new soundboard is a bit of an improvement.
This soundboard is excellent quality and is bare bones, the audience is very low in the mix, thankfully all instruments and vocals are well balanced and the overall sound is incredible and demands to be played loud. If there is one issue and it’s not an issue really is the soundboards are missing at least one song, the Sioux City concert misses the first encore of Rock And Roll All Nite, curiously the final song Detroit Rock City is here. Perhaps the person releasing them has horded a song here and there or it was just not recorded. Nonetheless what is here is incredible and I am grateful to have recordings of this quality from this tour in my collection.
Not only was Creatures Of The Night a return to form for KISS, it was a step forward in making them relevant in the eyes of the new wave of Rock fans. The music has a heavy edge and the addition of Vinnie Vincent gave them a more modern approach in the lead guitar department, his playing certainly polarizes most KISS fans. I am in the group that loves his approach, no other lead guitarist has stepped outside of the Ace influence like Vinnie, he played what he wanted to and gave the songs a fresh approach. The Sioux City show has great sound but the band hammer through the concert which, at times, suffers from being their first live show since December 1980. There are a few missed cues and some equipment issues notably during Creatures Of The Night. You can also hear them getting warmed up vocally as well, by Strutter all is much improved. While the fans are low in the mix you feel their presence, this concert was a near sell out and they sound like they are ready for a KISS show. There was opposition to KISS playing in Sioux City, Paul kind of addresses this in his first rap.
Dr. Love and Firehouse find the band really getting back into the swing of things, the latter features Vinnie playing a really interesting solo with an effect on his guitar that sounds quite odd, they take a pregnant pause as the siren doesn’t immediately work, once it does they start again! This concert is unique as we have the first known live versions of the Creatures songs, I Love It Loud gets a loud ovation from the audience, obviously familiar with it as it was the lead off single and did get a lot of airplay on MTV. The crowd falls right into Paul’s Cold Gin rap, the song is classic KISS and despite the two new members it retains the loose feel of the Ace Frehley KISS songs. Keep Me Comin’ is a definite highlight of this concert, this is the only known live version of the song so to have it in this quality is a treat. Great but slightly tentative version of the song which interestingly features the ending of the song Exciter that would be released on the follow up album Lick It Up.
I Want You sounds tentative and rather tame lacking energy, of course Vinnie gets his solo spot during this song, his solo goes absolutely no where and the recording cuts at the 6:15 mark, the recording resumes as Paul is at the ending of the I Want You reprise. Rock And Roll Hell is excellent and like Keep Me Comin’ is another highlight of this recording, why it was dropped is beyond me as it works well live. The Paul power ballad I Still Love You is excellent, he puts a lot of emotion into his delivery, Vinnie’s solo is perfect and equals the sorrow that the song delivers so well. Shout It Out Loud brings the energy back and delivers in spades, pure Rock fury, Gene does his blood spiting Demon bass solo routine as a prelude to God Of Thunder which also features an incredible Eric Carr drum solo. I love the addition of the church bell, it adds an ominous tone to the solo, the audience cheers him on and obviously love this solo spot. The beginning of God Of Thunder is disjointed, not everyone is ready or on the same page but soon settles down. Eric is phenomenal during his solo, such a great musician, certainly my favorite after Peter, always a pleasure listening to him.
Paul gives an X-rated intro for Love Gun, the airport security story, certainly the people who were protested were not happy. Nonetheless, a killer version of the song, just hammering the audience. Interesting to hear some of Paul’s vocal effects, lots of echo. He is also the final one to take a solo spot, kind of like an extended introduction to Black Diamond and like Gene’s spot, the audience eats it up. Eric gets the Peter vocal role during Black Diamond and sings with passion! Vinnie rips a killer solo that does not sound out of place, the song delivers on all marks, the ending featuring the tank moving all sounding powerful, explosions galore! The fact that Rock And Roll All Nite is missing makes no difference to me, it’s certainly not missed. Detroit Rock City is the last song of the night, Paul tells the audience “You just remember if they don’t like Rock and Roll they’re too fucking old!”, a perfect intro to the classic Destroyer track. The recording cuts at the 1:48 mark sadly eliminating the end of the song.
The packaging is cool, the inserts are covered with live and posed shots of the short lived line up with make up. These leaked recordings are excellent and essential for KISS fans and will be like an unofficial addition to the forthcoming Creatures Deluxe box set. This music demands to be played loud!