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February 22, 1985


San Diego, CA
San Diego Sports Arena
Promoter: Fahn & Silva Presents
Other act(s): Queensryche
Reported audience: 7,395 / 8,882 (83.26%)
Reported gross: $94,286

Set list(s):

Detroit Rock City
Cold Gin
Creatures Of The Night
Fits Like A Glove
Heaven's On Fire
Under The Gun
War Machine
Drum Solo
Young And Wasted
Bass Solo
I Love It Loud
I Still Love You
Love Gun
Black Diamond
Medley/Oh Susannah
Lick It Up
Rock And Roll All Nite


- From a local review: "Without the makeup, blood, pyrotechnics and six-inch platform boots, KISS proved what it has been proving for more than 10 years -- the boys are good performers and mediocre musicians... KISS still relies on what got it there -- loud, driving, simplistic rock tunes and shrewd marketing. Singer/guitarist Paul Stanley is a modern-day Dale Carnegie with long hair. He knows all the right things to say and has all the right moves to whip the crowd into a frenzy at a moment's notice. His bawdy locker-room tales and fist-clenching poses said it all. Even though the band can lay claim to being one-of-a-kind, KISS was not above the standard trappings that are indigenous to heavy-metal concerts. Eric Carr labored through a monotonous drum solo, as if to prove that he is as good, or as bad, as his predecessor Criss.

Both Stanley and Simmons each took a turn in the spotlight offering self-indulgent, six-string efforts. In years past they could hide behind the costumes they wore; on this outing there was no place to disappear to. Seeing KISS perform in 1985 is like watching the Lone Ranger do a movie-of-the-week without Tonto or his mask. Where is the magic? Where is the supernatural? After all, this is the group that did the movie 'KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park,' printed KISS comic books with 'real KISS blood' and had its likeness on trading cards and pinball machines. Instead of on-stage epic battles of fire-breathing monsters and creatures from other worlds, you get a couple of punks from New York wearing leather and chains and screaming songs like 'Young and Wasted.' What was once a Broadway-like production now is just another Friday night in a crowded bar. The escapism and innocence is long gone and has been replaced by something as charming as a dock strike" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/23/85).
- From another local review: "If nothing else, KISS' concert at the Sports Arena last night offered reasonably convincing evidence that there is life after makeup. In their first San Diego performance since abandoning their 11-year-old disguises and unmasking, the hard rocking quartet presented a surprisingly entertaining -- if ultimately formulated and archaic -- program of mega-decibel heavy metal. Appearing before a boisterous audience of nearly 7,000, the veteran group was at its best on punchy, no-nonsense rockers like 'Detroit Rock City' and 'Rock 'n' Roll Man,' the concert's opening and closing numbers. Like many of the other selections in KISS' set, these songs are crisp and compact, featuring forceful drumming, searing guitar riffs and catchy, sing-along choruses. In terms of lyrical profundity, neither these nor any of the 12 other compositions presented offered much in the way of food for thought.

Then again, those rock fans seeking insight into the human condition have never looked to KISS for enlightenment (even if students of economics and sociology have cited the group as a prime source for measuring the susceptibility of youthful American consumers). Indeed, one could forcefully argue that KISS' lyrics rank as some of the most trite in recent pop history, but to do so would be fairly pointless. Simplistic as some of them may be, many of KISS' songs serve as anthems of adolescent aspirations for their predominantly teen-age followers. Similarly, the incessant macho posturing and bawdy, often misogynistic introductions by founding members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley provide an outrageously exaggerated, yet reasonably benign, outlet for their listeners' rock 'n' roll fantasies. To their credit, KISS largely adhered to the acronym suggested by its name -- keep it simple, stupid" (San Diego Evening Tribune, 2/23/85).

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