By Drake Vittitow
It never crosses our minds, but it is hilarious and odd to think about.
It is just some of your college professors rocking out to a band that was popular 45 years ago, but are still touring now. They are loyal members of the KISS Army, and they are not going anywhere soon.
“I went to my first KISS concert when I was fifteen,” Melinda Current, professor of health and wellness promotion, said. “I can still remember Gene Simmons breathing fire and spitting blood.”
KISS has been around rocking the world since the 1973. Founded by Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley, the band released their self-titled debut album in 1974. That album, along with their next two follow-up albums earned moderate success in the United States. It was not until their live album, appropriately titled “Alive,” that they achieved worldwide success.
The most popular lineup is the first incarnation that started the band in the seventies. The lineup that is performing now consists of Stanley, Simmons, Tommy Thayer on guitar, and Eric Singer on drums. Fans of KISS wanted the original lineup to reunite for the final tour, but tensions with Frehley and Criss were too much to overcome. Nevertheless, fans of KISS are guaranteed by the band that they will not be disappointed.
“I still play “Rock and Roll All Night,” before my classes start,” Bob Gallup, professor of physics and mathematics, said. “I was always fond of Paul Stanley because of his creative approach to the band’s songs and appearance.”
What made KISS stand out from all of the other rock bands at that time was their outrageous outfits, special persona, and elaborate live shows. Each member of the band channels a special alter ego for the live shows. Simmons and Stanley have been the only members to appear on every KISS project. Even though the band has had a revolving door of drummers and guitarists, the costumes and face paint remain the same. Simmons is known as the Demon. Stanley is the Starchild. Frehley stars as the Spaceman, and Criss is the Catman.
“When I was little I always used to dress up as Ace Frehley, the Spaceman.” Brent Smith, education senior, said. “They were my gateway band that introduced me to the world of rock and metal that I have come to love and appreciate today.”
After a storied and successful career, this is the last tour that KISS will embark on. The band said the show is bigger and better than any show they have ever performed. That said, they will be performing nothing but the best songs from their massive discography. Songs like “Detroit Rock City,” “Love Gun,” and “Rock and Roll All Night,” are some of their most hailed songs that will be performed. They will be performing close to home, including:
- CenturyLink Center Omaha / Omaha, Nebraska / March 7
- Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre / St. Louis, Missouri / Sep. 1
- Verizon Arena / Little Rock, Arkansas / Sep. 5
“The personalities of all the band members is what made me a fan of KISS.” Patrick Ross, professor of biology, said. “When you see the face paint and the costumes it inspires curiosity and a sort of mystery as to who these people are in real life.”