Well 40 years ago today I was 11 years old going on 12 and my parents for my soon to be birthday got me the ultimate gift which was seeing KISS in Duluth!
For KISS it was the Return of! For myself, it was the Beginning!
What an experience for a first concert eh Folks?
You have to hand it to my parents back in 1979 who dragged me to church every dang Sunday but my Mom and Dad were smart folks as they didn’t buy into that nonsense that KISS stood for Knights In Satans Service or any of that other silliness that surrounded the 4 masked ones that were plastered all over my bedroom wall’s back in 1979!
(Below is a pic of me posted with my parents back in Oct/79)
Bottom Line was they were very cool with it! A few years down the road (the early 80s) I still remember my Mom coming into my bedroom and asking me if that guy singing that song was an opera singer at one point! That guy that my Mom asked about was Rob Halford and he was doing his operatic vocal thingy at the end of Side 1 of Judas Priests Magnificient Unleashed in the East album. The song was The Green Manalsihi with the Two-Pronged Crown.
Good call Mom!
Speaking of Judas Priest. That night in Duluth they were listed as the openers but 3 dates before Duluth they left the tour and were replaced by Johnny Cougar and the Zone(as they were called) and faced a hostile crowd that night in Minnesota! I wonder why?!*
Before too long KISS took the stage and I still remember the opening as the Gene/Paul/Ace and Peter raised up from underneath the stage and took their spots and launched into King of the Nighttime World!
My 11 year old mind is blown and thanks to the power of the internet here are the songs that KISS played that night.
1. King Of The Night Time World
2. Let Me Go, Rock And Roll
3. Move On
4. Calling Dr. Love
6. New York Groove
7. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
8. Christine Sixteen
9. 2.000 Man
10. God Of Thunder
11. Shout It Out Loud
12. Black Diamond
13. Detroit Rock City
15. Rock And Roll All Nite
This show basically set the blueprint for me wanting to attend live shows as KISS in their glory was setting off a ton of pyro on a huge stage complete with Guitar and Drum solos delivering all of this at a loud volume!
I’m not even friggin 12 years old and look what lies before my naked steaming eyes!**
Gene and Paul taking their job that night seriously and I betcha counting the cash from the ticket/merch after the show while Ace and Peter were probably polluted by party treats by that point but I didn’t care and I was way too young to even know about that stuff!
It only took one night to be sold in the live atmosphere of a concert.
If there was an Impact Concert to set as a foundation of wanting to attend a live show from there on out this would have been the one or probably any KISS concert from the 70s if you were lucky enough to attend and are as old as me!
Big Love to my Parents (Don and Vicki) for raising me right and by not judging what my listening habits were as a youth!
$10 for all seats at this show. Now that is something as well.
*- Cougar got booed throughout as I recall and when you think about it how wild is that it’s your first concert and the opener gets ripped by the crowd! What a first impression!
**- I totally nicked that sentence from David Lee Roth. Is anybody surprised by that?