KISS: Freedom To Rock, Colorado Springs, CO


I’ll always remember where I was on March 28th 1988. It was on KISS Colorado Springsthat date nearly 30 years ago, I experienced my first KISS concert. It was the Crazy Nights tour and I was 3rd row center. On that night my lifelong commitment to the KISS Army was cemented. As I watched KISS from the front row at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, CO, I was reminded of that night and why KISS is so special. It goes without saying that KISS fans are, without equal in terms of passion. We, myself included, debate (often to the extreme) all things KISS. From line-up’s to set lists, albums, to costumes, no topic is too obscure. The more obscure the better. To the kids experiencing their first KISS show none of this matters and there’s a beauty to that innocence.20160724_144740_50_2

The set list delivered this night of the Freedom To Rock Tour was a solid 17 songs, a welcome change from the shortened co-headliner sets they have been playing here is the U.S. the past few years. After working some songs in and out over the initial dates of the tour, the band seems to have finally settled on a set. Destroyer, the band’s classic 1976 album is the most represented with the band pulling nearly a third of the set from that record. Diehards will particularly enjoy the addition of “Flaming Youth”, the closest thing to a deep track you’ll get outside of the annual KISS Kruise and a song not played regularly in many years. With the inclusion of “Creatures of the Night”, “War Machine”, and “I Love it Loud”, the band would appear to be tuning up for this year’s Creatures of the Night theme KISS Kruise which has all the makings of being absolutely epic.

Photo: Keith Leroux

In Colorado Springs, KISS was everything you’d expect. There were lasers, pyro, and confetti. Gene blew fire and spit blood, Paul flew through the air and did his best Roger Daltrey, lassoing his microphone high into the air. There were levitating drums and rockets shooting from guitars. Truth is, as awesome as those things are, they are not what truly make KISS special. During “War Machine” Paul brought a young fan onstage to play his guitar with him, a nightly occurrence during this tour. Toward the end of the night, the band presented a $150,000 check to a veteran’s organization. It’s these moments that truly make KISS special and shows the band’s commitment to supporting our U.S. military veterans goes beyond lip service. Everywhere you looked, proud parents with decades of the KISS Army under their belt, proudly passed the torch to the next generation. For many kids, it was at their first KISS concert. You could see it in their eyes. It was a reminder of how I felt some 30 years ago. A feeling that never completely goes away. I still feel the energy when the lights go down and the band launches into the set opener. For the kids seeing the band for the first time, July 18th, 2016 will always be a day to remember. The day they became a lifelong member of the KISS Army.

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Full Set List

  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Deuce
  3. Shout It Out Loud
  4. Creatures Of The Night
  5. I Love It Loud
  6. Flaming Youth
  7. God Of Thunder
  8. Psycho Circus
  9. Shock Me (Tommy Vocal)
  10. Cold Gin
  11. Lick It Up
  12. War Machine
  13. Love Gun
  14. Black Diamond
  15. Beth (Eric Vocal)
  16. Star Spangled Banner
  17. Rock and Roll All Nite

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