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Kiss – April Fool From Hell (Tarantura TCDKIS78-4-1,2)

April Fool From Hell (Tarantura TCDKIS78-4-1,2)

Budokan Dai-Hall, Tokyo, Japan – Saturday, April 1, 1978

Disc 1 (57:02) SE / Crowd Noise / Monitor Check, Introduction, I Stole Your Love, King Of The Night Time World, Ladies Room, Firehouse, Love Gun, Let Me Go Rock And Roll, Makin’ Love, Christine Sixteen, Shock Me, Guitar Solo, I Want You, Calling Dr. Love, Shout It Out Loud

Disc 2 (40:53) Bass Solo, God Of Thunder, Drum Solo, God Of Thunder (reprise), Rock And Roll All Nite, Detroit Rock City, Beth, Black Diamond

It’s been five years since the last KISS release from Tarantura featuring a Mr. Peach recording had been released, so I was much surprised and happy when I see this new release from the label featuring the fourth of five concerts performed at the Budokan in Tokyo, Japan. This was the missing show we have been waiting for, the other four concerts have been released as Heart-Breaker From Hell (Tarantura TCDKIS78-1-1,2), Makin’ Up! Makin’ Love! (Tarantura TCDKIS78-2-1,2), Fab Four From Hell (Tarantura TCDKIS78-3-1,2), and Maiko Girls From Hell (Tarantura TCDKIS78-5-1,2) and now with this new release we have the complete tour.

Peach has seats in the same section for the KISS shows so this show has sound similar to the other four, overall excellent sound nicely balanced with some mid and top end distortion present, making it not as clear as the others. There is very little crowd noise directly near him, although it’s a 78 KISS show so one can expect the audience to be fully involved making for a wonderfully atmospheric recording. Typical for Tarantura is that the volume is needlessly cranked too high, but one knows this going in. Other than the volume, this is a great sounding document of a previously unheard concert.

The recording begins with some last minute tuning and microphone checks as the band take the stage, “Alright Tokyo…you wanted the best and you got the best…the hottest band in the world…KISS” is the intro. The sound of the recording is muffled and the band is grossly out of tune as they limp through the beginning half of I Stole Your Love, a couple minutes in they get the guitars tuned and the song ends on a strong note. Peach moves his mic position during King Of The Night Time World and from here on out, the sound will remain at this consistent level.

Paul keeps the between song banter to a minimum and like the other four, just hammer through the set. Ace’s playing is top notch, his solos have that swagger only he can bring, Love Gun and a superb Let Me Go, Rock And Roll are fine example of this. Paul dedicates Christine Sixteen to all the beautiful girls of Tokyo and Ace and his brilliant playing takes center stage for Shock Me, of course featuring his guitar solo, full of audio and visual fireworks. Gene uses some heavy vocal effects for both Calling Dr. Love and as one would expect, God Of Thunder.

The band has to tune again prior to Gene’s bass solo, aka drone music to spit blood to, and God Of Thunder. He is also using a phase and electronic effect for his solo that sounds really good, almost like a bass and creepy old organ mixed together. Ace comes in late for the song and the song sounds a bit off, like they can’t quite get in sync. Peter’s solo seems to come to the rescue and is greeted by a loud ovation. What is interesting in looking at Peter on the packaging of this set is he looks tired in every picture, you would not know it listening to his solo, he nails it and has the audience entranced. Rock And Roll All Nite is super high energy, Gene shouts “Up Up Up” enticing the audience even more.

Three and a half minutes of chanting “We Want KISS” drags our weary Rock and Roll warriors back to the stage. The standard encores were standard, Detroit Rock City sounds like the band is tired, this continues for Peter’s solo rendition of Beth, and Black Diamond sounds more energized than the previous two and by this point could play it in their sleep. This concert finds KISS tired and performance wise is not up to the others, KISS had been going non stop and after Japan and the filming of the KISS Meets The Phantom, would finally get a well deserved rest.

The packaging is a gatefold sleeve with pictures of KISS with a fake Godzilla and life sized Lion, the band did a considerable amount of promotion for the Japanese media. The interior sleeve features live shots with the group’s autographs as well as pictures of the ticket stub and master cassettes, again ties in nicely with the other four. The pictures on the CD’s are interesting, disc 1 has a picture of Paul’s chest, disc 2 has Gene’s, interesting to say the least. Nice to have the last show, before the Peach masters this tour was poorly documented now we have it complete in excellent quality.

If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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