MUSIC REVIEW: These monsters of rock brought thrills and the freak show to a grandstand doubleheader.
By Jon Bream/StarTribune Photo: Kyndell Harkness
Like the Crue, Kiss offered a set that was mostly an assembly of greatest-hits plus one new song. And, of course, the kingpins of rock theatrics had plenty of the same old tricks -- a fireworks-shooting guitar, giant flames, Simmons' flying to the top of the stage and Paul Stanley's riding a cable over the crowd to a platform among the 13,138 fans. The new wrinkles were a giant video screen backdrop (the biggest the State Fair has ever seen), Kiss spelled out on video instead of actual lights at the back of the stage and Simmons' wearing a wedding band. Now that's really new.
Relatively new guitarist Tommy Thayer played it fast and clean and sang credibly on "Shock Me." At 60-something, the ever-energetic Stanley and Simmons didn't seem to miss a platform-shoed step.
Both Kiss and Crue have headlined the fair before, in 2010 and 2005, respectively. As co-headliners, which of these golden oldies was better?
The sing-alongs were a tossup. Lee's drum kit roller coaster couldn't be beat. But Kiss had more creative visuals, no ballads (bravo!) and charged pacing. Heck, even Stanley's arms were better toned than Neil's, even though the Motley Crue singer is a decade younger.
If these two monsters of rock were rides on the Midway, Dr. Love (Kiss) was more exciting than Dr. Feelgood (Motley Crue).
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