KISS – ALIVE IV (PART 4 OF 4)
Ah, I can’t believe this is the last one already. The sound of the classic ‘You Wanted the Best, You Got the best’ intro is a welcome, welcome return. So, this album was recorded seven years after the Alive III and in that time, the band reformed with their original line-up, played a massive two year world tour and released a studio album entitled Psycho Circus. Oh, and they put the fucking makeup and suits back on!! The legends returned to their thrones and revived one of Rock N Rolls greatest bands. KISS are kings, KISS are Gods, KISS are KISS!!
So, after the intro booms over the PA, the opening chords of Psycho Circus blare out and the band fire things up in rocketing style. Psycho Circus is an absolute gem of a track and without a doubt the best thing to come of their last studio album. Even the mighty Shout It Out Loud doesn’t undermine its impact, despite the fact that the version here is a heaving monster of a thing. Shout It Out Loud is one of about eighty KISS tracks that could take the title for ultimate party anthem. You may notice several repeats on this record from the previous three but I’ll try and keep it interesting J, so come on, ‘Shout It, Shout, It, Shout it out loud! Turn it up Louder baby!’
As always, the amazing Deuce makes an appearance and honestly, a KISS live record or show wouldn’t be the same without this song. In fact, if you ever do go to one of their gigs and they don’t play it, stage a protest and sing songs of freedom….until Gene tells you to stop, then you obey the master and be on your way. I love this song! I meant to write more about the stage theatrics when I was doing the first Alive article and one of the things I wanted to describe was the routine Ace, Gene and Paul do towards the end. You cant really describe it properly though so pop over to this location on YouTube and see if for yourself. Well worth it.
Next up, their eighties classic Heavens on Fire, which just doesn’t get old. Kind of a slow start on the recording but they pull through. Next track, Into the Void is another great track from Psycho Circus and legendary guitarist, Mr. Space Ace Frehley himself make it what it is. Ace should do more lead vocals. It may not be the strongest voice in the universe but it’s perfect. Great upbeat rock number and its successor, Firehouse is just as good or else a lot better, I always get those confused :p. I think this is Firehouses first appearance on a Live record so I’ll fill ye in. When the band play this live, the stage lights up with siren flashing lights and at the end, Gene Simmons breaths fire (think it’s this one). The fire breathing is fun, especially since uses a flaming sword to do it. Fuck the haters; Gene Simmons rocks your balls off (wide open TT – Ed).
Do You Love Me is another classic KISS number that really doesn’t need too much explanation. Pretty good job of it done here. Let Me Go Rock N Roll is a brilliant riff/solo filled belter. Ace’s guitar work is incredible here and it’s good to know that, no matter how much time those guys spend apart from one another, that still got it! Tickets There’s beloved I Love It Loud’s up next. You can never get sick of this song. Not really bothered about details for this last one, just enjoying it. Personally I’d recommend just going out and buying these albums rather than reading my reviews, but whatever. Lick It Up, god I love that song. I wonder what Ace and Peter thought about playing it since they weren’t involved on the original. Ah well, it all sounds good.
Ah, the Stanley penned 100,000 Years. Does it get any better than this? Now the show is in overdrive and the next six (five songs, fuck Beth, we’re not mentioning it – Ed) songs will have you rolling around in your seat. Mental track and possibly the closest thing the band have done to metal or at the very least, it’s a damn fine attempt at it. Love Gun’s next and this is possibly my favorite live recording, even better that the Alive II one. Paul’s voice is shockingly good and the band sound on top form. At the start you can hear Paul mention he’s coming out to the crowd. During their reunion tour, they set up a rig that allows Paul to fly over the audiences heads and land on a small stage towards the back of the arena, stadium..etc.
Black Diamond, Beth (ugh) and Rock N Roll All Night finish the shows off as pyro’s explode away in the back ground and make any listener wish for their chance to stand in one of KISS’s crowds. Amazing stuff, good auld KISS.
Well, I’ve tried. Not sure I succeeded but at least I tried to write something about the magic of this band. They are incredible and with a new album on the way in a few days, you can guarantee KISS will be around for a long time to come.