Snake Attack Budokan (Tarantura TCDKIS-3A-3B)
Budokan Dai Hall Tokyo, Japan Monday April 4, 1977
Disc 1 (51:48) / Disc 2 (49:10) Opening, Monitor Check, Introduction, Detroit Rock City, Take Me, Let Me Go Rock “N” Roll, Ladies Room, Firehouse, Makin Love, I Want You, Cold gin, Guitar Solo, Do You Love Me, Nothin’ To Lose
Disc 2 (39:02) / Disc 4 (39:24) Bass Solo, God Of Thunder, Drum Solo, God Of Thunder, Rock And Roll All Nite, Shout It Out Loud, Beth, Black Diamond, Announcement
When KISS arrived in Japan in Spring 1977 the anticipation was high, the ten concert tour was sold out and was widely covered by the press worldwide. Surprisingly enough there was only one concert available on bootleg form, the show from the Budokan Hall on April 1, 1977 that was pressed on both vinyl and compact disc formats. Then in late 2010 Tarantura started issuing Mr Peach recordings from not only the bands inaugural visit but also the follow up tour a year later. As with most Peach recordings they are wonderful documents that capture the entire event and are much coveted by KISS Kollectors.
This release is something special, it is another great Mr Peach recording of the bands final concert and finds the band playing to a capacity crowd at the Budokan Hall in Tokyo. what makes it special is that on this eve Peach brought two recorders to the venue and we are treated to both of these recordings ! The first is on discs 1 and 2 and is from a source labeled as Technics RS-686D. The sound is wonderful and clear with just a bit of crowd noise at times but is well balanced with wonderful atmosphere and is over all very good to excellent sounding. The second source is labeled Sony TC-3000SD and is slightly inferior in quality. The sound is clear and well balanced and has a much better bottom end but the middle and high frequencies are not as pronounced making the recording not as bright. it however easily falls into the very good category and most people would be very pleased with it if not for the first source being so nice.
The performance is again fantastic, the band is playing very tight and although they experienced a form of Beatlemanina know as KISSMANIA on their visits to Japan there and on their final concert some weariness evident in the playing. There were no known variations in the set lists during the tour and is well balanced between classics and songs from their most recent record, Rock And Roll Over. The recordings pick up a few minutes before the band hits the stage and captures the anticipation building before the house lights dim and announcer comes on the obligatory “All right Tokyo…you wanted the best and you got the best…the hottest band in the world…KISS” and the crowd erupts as the band rips in to the opening strains of Detroit Rock City and the continue to go crazy as the band begins their decent to the stage.
The band follows quickly with Take Me with the band already in a groove, Paul is the master of ceremonies as usual and at the songs conclusion he lets out three loud ooowwwss that are immediately responded too by the crowd. Paul then tells the crowd that it is their last night in Japan and they want to leave them with rock and roll. The party atmosphere is raised for Let Me Go, Rock “N” Roll, the fast almost boogie nature of the songs has some great leads playing from Ace, there are times you can hear the crowds responses to the band choreographed moves during the song. The audience is very loud and give the band loud ovations after every song and they love Paul’s comments about there being many beautiful girls in attendance and asks them to meet him in the Ladies Room. The fevered pitch continues as the band play Firehouse, a song that has the crowd clapping along with the band.
The Zepplinesqe riff makes Makin Love sound very heavy and in the second recording sounds as if it bludgeoning the audience, Ace again rips a great solo. The beginning of I Want You sounds if it is coming from a distance and the crowd greats its arrival with a loud cheers, it is obviously a favorite. Probably my favorite song from the record it also gives Paul to do some call and response crowd interaction with the legions of fans, they seem to be hanging on his every word. The classic Cold Gin is a vehicle for Ace’s solo, kind of surprising is that Paul did not incorporate Sake into his rap as he uses the same beverages as usual.
Ace takes the audience through a trip of over four minutes, he hits them with a flurry of notes before leading into the upper reaches of the vast hall they are playing in, his use of effects like to smoking guitar thrill and excite them and they respond with screams and cheers.
Do You Love Me is another favorite, the song is the complete package from its opening drum beat from Peter and the lyric asking if its the stardom or the real thing, although it could have been the 7 inch leather heals. One of the better songs from the era not written by the band. The crowd is needing some Gene time and they get it, beginning with the classic ode to the backdoor nasty in the form of Nothing To Lose. One of KISS’ strengths is that they all could sing (Ace would start soon) and the way to would harmonize and switch back and forth with vocal duties is most parent on this song as Gene is brilliantly augmented by Peter Criss raspy soulful voice. Gene time is not over, the first disc fades as he begins his solo bass solo feature.
The second disc starts with what fans affectionately refer to ass elephant farts, Gene’s solos for a good decade where more a thing to augment the visual aspect of his blood spitting routine. The audiences clapping is drowning out the band, I love the way the band kicks in a Peter begins the marching style patterns of the song, so important to the dramatic feel of the song. Ace sounds as if is he is conjuring demons for the solo to great effect and is quickly followed by Peter solo. Before his decline he was such a great player and made great use of his drum set, one has to wonder if the time the band spent tour with Rush and the friendship that developed between to two drummers influenced him and the structure of his solos.
They waste little time in launching into Rock And Roll All Nite, again the crowd is right there and are lifting the band with their enthusiasm. It is great to hear Paul, Gene, and Peter all harmonizing with the vocals and at the songs conclusion you can tell the band is in need of a breather. The audience does not relent, they cheer. scream and clap with no slowing until the band return to the stage.
Shout It Out Loud is their reward but the song that really brings it all together is Beth. It is wonderful to hear 11,000 people clap along to the song, it has such a wonderful ambiance and is a very enjoyable morning and Peter gets a nice ovation for his efforts. The monster has not yet had enough, they crowd cheers and claps wanting more of their rock and roll gods, Their reward is Black Diamond. The band give the crowd the last of their energy and have cemented their legacy in the hearts of the wonderful people of Japan.
The packaging is a real treat, the four discs are housed in a small style box similar to the Rainbow ones and is beautifully adorned with shots of the band from the tour taken by Bob Gruen. He was the bands official photographer for the tour and took many striking photos of the band adorned in their kimonos at some shrines. The bands make up and appearance in contrast to the beautiful architecture made for many striking images and really add to the cohesive nature of this set.
There is also an 8 page booklet included with photos of both the recorders and the master cassettes, a three day itinerary and some kind of press clippings. The rest of the pictures are live shots of the band and the four cds have each of the band pictured on them and the set is a limited edition of 150 numbered copies. An excellent package from the kind folks at Tarantura, their KISS releases are always something special, this one takes the cake and hopefully is not the last of the KISS Peach recordings.