The KISS concert last night was incredible!!
Cameras weren’t allowed at the concert (although I saw many!) so here are 5 photos the Chronicle Herald newspaper in Halifax took and published in their paper today.
All afternoon it poured, and we didn’t know the opening acts well so we decided not to show up when the gates opened at 2:30 and instead aim for 6pm or so.
When I was in Blockbuster on Friday I was talking to the nice guy working at the counter who gave me a tip and told me a good intersection (Cork and Windsor) to find that would only be a 25 minute walk, was safe, and usually had available parking. I believe he said he grew up in the area.
With the help of the GPS on Jeff’s blackberry, we found the intersection, there was lots of parking. We pushed it by driving at least another 7 blocks closer to the concert and still found spots to park. It was a quiet backstreet with curb parking. We were about a 5 minute walk to the stage – but then we had to walk around to the far side of the Halifax Commons to get in to the venue.
I’m not too familiar with Halifax yet, but this area is a really large grass around deep in Halifax, surrounded by high rise apartment building. I suspect it has soccer fields and/or baseball diamonds, but it was difficult to see under the 40,000 or so people!
When we arrived, Econoline Crush was playing. I am familiar with their music and they were quite good. Neither of us cared much for the home town act, The Trews, from Antigonish and were eager for them to get off the stage so KISS could play!
Luckily the pouring rain subsided and the rest of the night it was misty and foggy. I was getting worried that we wouldn’t be able to see the concert because the tops of the apartment buildings were fading in the fog and the stage was getting fuzzy! Luckily it didn’t get too thick.
For the sake of our lives we stayed near the back. (10-15 years ago I’d gladly have fought my way to the front, but I have more brains now and it’s pleasure not to have ringing ears today). There was a massive screen behind KISS so you could see them close up on the screen, and there were 2 more projection screens on each side of the stage. In fact we were able to sit down on our rain jackets for awhile when my feet got too painful (I might have found the problem with my feet, but they aren’t fixed enough to stand still for 6+ hours).
I’ve always been a fan of KISS music, but never fanatical. There were hard core KISS army members there in full KISS costume, platform shoes, with faces painted. A couple men were in full black leotard. There were even young kids fully decked out in KISS face paint. Some of faces ran off in the rain though!
There were many drunk staggering people around. Seems a shame that they spent $100 bucks to get into a concert and will probably not have more than a vague memory of the night. We saw some drunks get hauled out – one in handcuffs, and a couple more on stretchers. There was lots of pot being smoked too, everywhere. Some people were so messed up I don’t know if they were drunk or high. One guy’s eyes were bugging out of his skull and he didn’t blink and just staggered around trying to fit in to the crowd.
They must have had a hundred porta-potties with trucks on scene to keep them pumped out. The wait was never more than a moment, and they had little portable places to wash your hands.
The grounds were so big so there was lots of room at the back for the food vendors tents, and the souvenir tent. Yes, we each bought a $45 KISS t-shirt. Coke was $3 and hotdogs/hamburgers/pizza slices were $6 each. I was amazed how many people were standing in the rain eating soggy rain soaked nachos with cheese. GROSS!
KISS have been playing for 35 years, longer than I’ve been alive. They are MASTERS of the live show. Lots of lights, sirens, fireworks, fire, confetti explosions, and the music and the beat never stopped. There just was never a lag. Between some songs they had incredible drum solos or guitar solos. Most of the first hour was early music that was mostly before my time. Still awesome. They finished with “Rock and Roll All Night” and it was wild! Fireworks and explosions! They quickly came back for an encore and that is when they played all the classic tunes from my era. Paul Stanley even smashed a guitar on stage – classic!!
We did pull a old person move though. We knew that 40,000 people had only two small exits at the back corners of the event. We knew we had to walk out there and then along the entire side fence where we could still see, so we left when there was a song or two left so we could still hear and watch through the fence, but we were ahead of the crowd. We got back to the car and were able to get out ahead of the mobs a little after midnight.
I’ve seen a lot of concerts, but most were inside in smaller venues. The last big concert outdoors I was at was probably Another Roadside Attraction with the Tragically Hip back in my late teens I think. This one was way better. I might have been a little starstruck to see Gene Simmons in Nova Scotia!
A lot of the experience felt like I was transported back to high school. There were lots of old KISS t-shirts, long hair, tattoos, leather jackets with tassels – I couldn’t help but think when Paul McCartney was on that very stage for last weekend’s concert that the crowd composition must have been radically different.
Now I only wished KISS would sell a DVD with the footage from this concert so we could relive it again!