The Forum, Inglewood, CA, USA – Thursday December 18, 2003
Disc 1 (45:16) Opening SE, Introduction, Detroit Rock City, Deuce, Shout It Out Loud, Let Me Go Rock ‘N’ Roll, Lick It Up, Firehouse, I Love It Loud, I Want You
Disc 2 (37:53) Bass Solo, God Of Thunder, 100,000 Years, Black Diamond, Stairway To Heaven, Angie, Black Diamond, Beth, Joe Perry, Strutter, Rock And Roll All Nite
What do the words Rockismus Maximus or World Domination or lastly AeroKiss mean to you? If you guessed they are synonyms for the joint headlining tour that Aerosmith and KISS did in 2003, you are correct. With both bands not having any new product (music that is, KISS always has stuff for sale), the idea for a way to back people into summer sheds or arenas made perfect sense and has now become common practice for KISS as well as other classic artists. What was undoubtedly a highlight of the tour was that Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry would do what no one has ever done before, get onstage and jam with KISS, in fact he was so excited about it he would not only play but don a pair of Paul Stanley’s platform boots so he was on their “level”. Perry states in his autobiography Rocks that it was Paul who asked to have a jam and that it took him a few days of wearing the boots and falling around to feel comfortable enough to get onstage with the band, thankfully we have an aural document of the occasion.
The recording used for this release comes from the second “indoor” leg of the tour and would be the second to last date of the tour as well as Peter Criss’ second to last date as a member of KISS. The recording is a very good audience source and sounds as if it was done pretty close to the stage. It is well balanced, nice and clear and sounds great at loud volumes, there is some audience interference close to the taper, short conversations, clapping and some hooting and a hollering that seems to go par for the coarse these days.
The opening SE is just a bit of Motley Crue’s Kickstart My Heart used as a prelude (think of Montrose’ Bad Motor Scooter) to the “you wanted the best” introduction. Detroit Rock City and Deuce get things going, Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll sounds a bit laid back but does have a real strong finish thanks to Tommy getting going on the leads and some fine drumming from Peter Criss that leads into kind of an extended jam, Peter asks “Who Loves you?” at the end.
Paul has a dirty intro for Lick It Up that has a girl from the audience state “That’s right…what ever happens here stays here” much to my amusement. Lick It Up and I Love It Loud are the only songs from the bands 80’s catalog and the set is certainly a best of affair, Tommy Thayer doesn’t over play and sticks to the book that Ace wrote. As I am listening to Firehouse I have to wonder, all you ever hear from the current KISS camp is how bad the “other two” original members playing skills were, Peter is playing superb and his playing is great, adding alot of little fills and such and seems to be in great form. I Want You makes an appearance in the set and is much welcomed by my ears, although the endless hollering by Paul at the end got a little tedious.
Gene is the only member to do a solo, it is merely a vehicle for his blood spitting routine and is well received from the audience, as is the follow up of God Of Thunder. 100,000 Years has the “Feel right” rap as well as a bit of a sing along to keep the crowd into it, a great version of the song. Paul does a couple classics as an introduction to Black Diamond starting with a snippet of Zep’s Stairway To Heaven followed by the Rolling Stones’ Angie as well as a bunch of niceties aimed to the audience. Once Black Diamond is started the band turn in a powerful version, Peter is in fine voice and the ending bombast is just that. Peter gets his solo in the form of Beth that has some of the audience singing along, some good, some band. The place erupts when Paul introduces Joe Perry and they kick into Strutter and it sounds like he takes a shot at a couple leads, fun is certainly had by all. The KISS set ends with Rock And Roll All Nite in typical Kiss fashion, all in all a well played and enjoyable concert.
The packaging is typical gatefold sleeve wonderfully adorned with shots from the actual event as well as backstage shots of Paul and Joe together. The CDs are picture discs and this a limited edition of 100 numbered copies.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)