August 15th, 2012, 12:01 pm · · posted by KELLI SKYE FADROSKI, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Over the past few years Kiss has been hit-or-miss live, but Tuesday night at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, the makeup-wearing quartet more than made up for its last headlining gig, a terrible, poorly planned 2010 set at the Epicenter festival in Fontana that had zero impact after a tremendous return from Eminem.
This time the band, in full-on garb, came out with gusto, kicking off an all-killer-no-filler 13-song set with “Detroit Rock City.” The capacity crowd, which included hundreds of costumed fans sporting various Kiss looks, roared along to each track.
As usual, bassist Gene Simmons and guitarist Paul Stanley, the mainstays of the long-running group, gave everyone quite the show, the former often whipping out his slithery tongue while demon stomping across the stage in gigantic, thigh-high boots, the latter strutting around, fluffing up his hair and shaking his behind toward the screaming 20-something (yes, 20-something) women in the front row. Simmons is 62, Stanley turned 60 in January, and still young ladies try to do everything they can to get backstage – even in Irvine.
Kiss’ production remains pure spectacle, from their kabuki get-ups to the many massive fiery explosions, plus risers that hoist the band into the air and jumbo screens that ensure even fans in the furthest corners of the lawn had a decent view.
Photos by Kelly A. Swift, for the Orange County Register
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