ALBUM REVIEW: KISS – Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 (Live)

Alright Tokyo! You wanted the best! You got the best! The hottest band in the world KISS! So begins the start of a monumental night in Tokyo from yesteryear. KISS have always been a massive in Japan and this, the first in a series of upcoming live releases is encapsulated with a recording from legendary venue, the Tokyo Dome from 2001.

On the eve of the Japanese and Australian leg of the Farwell Tour the original Catman Peter Criss suddenly left the band due to disagreements with his contract salary so in what seemed like a controversial decision to some long-time members of the KISS Army, previous drummer Eric Singer donned the Catman persona for the first time as the tour continued. This recording features the line-up of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and the aforementioned Eric Singer.

Detroit Rock City is always a bona fide start to a live KISS concert. It is always a crowd pleaser, and this resonates with the thunderous applause of the attendees from the offset.

I Love It Loud is always a powerful Gene led track from the Creatures Of The Night album. An absolute banger of a track from start to finish especially in a live setting bouncing vocals off the crowd.

Do You Love Me is another from the mighty Destroyer. Sadly, the opening verse vocal gaps left for the audience to respond with fails to deliver and is practically silent from the audience, which is a shame as from past KISS concerts I have attended this always seems to be well received.

Heaven’s On Fire comes from the bands Animalize album. Considering Ace had left the band when this album was released, he is a natural with this track and gives it some extra heaviness. Starchild Paul Stanley is forever the showman on this track as encapsulated with the interaction with the audience before the song starts and throughout its duration too.

Shock Me is amongst my favourite Ace tracks and it’s so good to hear it from this legendary show. The Spaceman then slides into a guitar solo, taking the audience into orbit. For those that have never seen an Ace guitar solo in the flesh, it is well worth a quick search to experience this yourself.

Psycho Circus is the title track from the last album all original members of the band recorded. The chorus sections show the band in total harmony and Paul Stanley on lead vocals is truly on form here too.

Lick It Up ticks all the right boxes. We have the crowd interaction from the offset before the band go into full on attack. Another track that Ace was not involved in originally, he comes across extremely natural playing this piece.

God of Thunder originally intended to be a Paul led track from the Destroyer album this was decided that GENE take the lead vocals on this piece. This begins with the heavily distorted bass solo which in person you would also witness the blood dripping and Demon flying high above the stage before embracing the audience in his wings. One of the heavier tracks in the bands catalogue it is up there amongst my favourites from the bands career.

Black Diamond has the dual vocal exchange of Paul and Eric. Eric is an absolute beast behind the kit and makes this track his own.

Rock & Roll All Nite is always the final piece of a KISS concert and is one of those songs that never fails to put a smile on ones face. This is a band at the top of their game, and this live version just screams perfection.

There are other tracks included within this release such as firm fan favourites Love Gun and I Was Made For Lovin’ You along with some rarer live tracks such as Talk To Me and I Still Love You.

With this being the first in a series of live recordings to be released from the band this has certainly raised the bar in terms of quality and sound. It totally envisions the live experience of seeing the band live and is a must for all members of the KISS Army to check out and add to their collection.

Rating: 10/10

Words: Martin White

Multi-Platinum Icons KISS Launch New Archival Live Series With ‘KISS – OFF THE SOUNDBOARD: TOKYO 2001’ – To Be Released On June 11

Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001 (Live) is out now.

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