The following is how I’d stage the Monster Tour. New songs. New gags/SFX. All kinds of new. Here we go…
No curtain. Stage is dark. Giant stage length video screen begins showing early black and white footage of the band playing concerts from the early 70s, old footage of the band, and Ken Burns style photo panning. It goes from black and white to color. The footage goes from the beginning to the latest photoshoot. No sound, but Paul and Gene do voice overs played through the sound system.
Paul: Four decades of decibels.
Gene: Forty years of rock and roll.
Paul: You, our fans, made it happen. We are honored to be here.
Gene: This stage is holy ground.
Paul: Thank you for celebrating our fortieth anniversary with us.
Gene: If it’s too loud… you’re too old!
A beat as everything goes black.
Remember, there isn’t a curtain and the stage is completely flat. “Alright [insert town]! You wanted the best. You got the best. The hottest band in the world… KISS”
Explosions. Fire. Smoke. Lights. Strobes. Fireworks. Giant stage length video screen showing huge traditional lighted KISS sign. Stage starts out flat, but the entire stage set is on hydraulics and rises as they start the opening song. The stage literally rises from the smoke. There’s a row of speakers flanking the drums. The video strips of past stage shows are gone. On the end of both sides of the stage, slightly raised platforms can be accessed through steps. The drums keep going up to reveal Gene, Paul and Tommy from under the drums and stage.
- Creatures of the Night (alternate is I Stole Your Love)
SFX: The video wall cuts from the KISS sign to live shots to specialized video packages for songs. At the end of Creatures, Tommy creates feedback with a row of speakers on his side. Speakers actually rise, vibrate and spark.
- King of the Night Time World
Paul speaks, “How ya doin’ people? Are you ready for a rock and roll show? Are ready to celebrate forty years of KISS? We wanna celebrate with you! We’ve got a new album out called Monster. You all have Monster right? Gene wants to sing a song off of Monster called Wall of Sound.”
SFX: Video of the album artwork as Paul is talking about Monster.
- Wall of Sound
SFX: Video wall looks like a booming speaker
Paul speaks, “Here’s one that comes off the album Hotter than Hell. It’s called Hotter Than Hell!”
- Hotter than Hell
SFX: Video wall has hot girls walking. Gene spits fire at the end.
Paul speaks, “Here’s a song we’ve never played live. I played it on my solo tour. Goes like this.”
- A Million to One
SFX: Video wall has KISS sign doing video tricks, different colors, etc.
Paul speaks, “Now here’s a song everybody knows by the opening. It’s got one of those openings that you go, ‘I know that one.’ I was warming up my voice and this happened.”
- Heaven’s on Fire
SFX: Fire cannons. Video wall showing “angels” surrounded by fire.
Paul speaks, “KISS has been around for forty years. And when you’ve been around that long you influence everyone from Motley Crue to Garth Brooks. This next one’s our friend Garth’s favorite. Eric’s gonna sing it for you now. It’s called Hard Luck Woman”
- Hard Luck Woman
Paul speaks, “Back in the day, we’d play this song and everyone would get out their lighters. Now it’s an iPhone with a lighter app. Some things change, some things stay the same.”
SFX: Video wall is dark to help emphasize the laser light show
Paul speaks, “You know, Tommy gets some shit for being the lead guitarist in this band. Let me tell ya people. There’s nobody who loves this band like Tommy Thayer. We’ve had some great guitar players. You know ‘em. All of ‘em mean something to you and to us too. But let me tell you people. Tommy Thayer is the motherfucking lead guitarist in KISS and he wants to sing a song for ya.”
- When Lightning Strikes
SFX: Stage goes dark. Tommy starts his solo. Two giant plasma balls connected by a large, long black video strip rise from under the stage. Video of lightning crackles between the plasma balls as the solo goes on. Towards the end, strobes hit Tommy and he “teleports” while the guitar remains floating and playing a riff in full reverb mode. The plasma balls/video/guitar lights go out and a spotlight appears on Tommy on stage right with a new guitar. A cherry picker moves him out over the audience as he continues to play, but this time he does a bunch of KISS song riffs. Things we never hear-Strutter, Rock Bottom, She, Flaming Youth, Ladies Room, All American Man, War Machine, All Hell’s Breaking Loose, Domino, Modern Day Delilah. All the speakers are now levitating, moving up and down and sparking. Picker moves back to the stage and the rest of the band comes back to finish When Lightning Strikes.
Paul speaks, “Tommy Thayer, Lead Guitar! Now people, this band has been lucky to have some amazing drummers. Look, we know you guys love Peter Criss. We love him too. Follow his advice and check yourself cause cancer sucks. And we love Eric Carr. Eric Carr kicked our asses every night and we miss him. Eric Singer is the kind of drummer every band wants – Alice Cooper, Badlands… But let me tell ya people. He’s the drummer in KISS and he’s gonna do a little number for ya called All for the Love of Rock and Roll’
- All for the Love of Rock and Roll
SFX: Eric solo. His kit is on a cherry picker and raises as he starts to play. His kit moves out to the front of the stage and then over it. Moving from left to right. Eric has a headband camera on that transmits his view to the large video wall screen. Picker comes back to the normal position. Classic KISS licks start to play in one long medley with Eric playing along–Firehouse, The Oath, C’mon and Love Me, I Just Wanna, She, Christine Sixteen. Rest of the band comes out on stage.
Paul speaks, “Eric Singer on the drums. You want some more guitar? How about this…
- Makin’ Love
Paul speaks, “We played this next one a lot this past year. It’s the first single off of Monster. Goes like this.”
- Hell or Hallelulah
Paul speaks, “You know I needed to get myself checked out before we went out on tour. You know who I called?
- Calling Dr. Love
SFX: Stage dark. Gene rises from the stage in a large cage. Gene solo, spits blood. He “bends” the bars to break free and steps into center stage. Cage drops into the floor. Gene steps back onto the roof of the cage and it raises again so he’s standing on the cage roof and inside the cage are two nubile devil women.
- The Devil is Me
Paul speaks, “We wanna do one that’s a real deep cut. You don’t mind if we mine the KISS catalog do ya? This one’s called Mr. Speed.
- Mr. Speed
SFX: Lots of KLASSIC KISS video shots on the video wall during this song.
Paul speaks, “This one comes off of Creatures of the Night. It’s called I. Love it. Loud.
- I Love it Loud
SFX: The non-band parts of the music video are shown on the video wall.
Paul speaks, “We fly all around the country. This one time I was flying and the flight attendant came over to me all serious. She licked her lips and said, ‘what are you doing with that pistol in your pants?’ I just smiled, looked her up and down said, ‘Honey that ain’t no pistol that’s my… [crowd chant]. I said, ‘Honey, that ain’t no pistol that’s my… Love Gun.”
- Love Gun
SFX: video wall uses shots from the Love Gun album artwork. Mostly the girls. As the song ends spotlight on Tommy as he opens the next song with the riff –
SFX: video uses the animation used on The Tour with War Machine.
Paul speaks, “Here’s a song that comes off Rock and Roll Over. If you know this one, you wanna help us out. It goes like this…[plays the intro and then stops] Do you know this one? You wanna help me sing it? Alright, lets try it. [Sings a few lines and lets audience finish] Be honest people. How many of you know this one? We have fans that have been with us from the beginning and some that haven’t been fans that long and that’s all right. We are honored you’re here. How many of you don’t know this song? Raise your hand. Hey that’s okay. That’s cool. That just means the rest of you are going to sing it so fucking loud that they’ll pick it up real fast when we do it later in the song. Let’s try it again [plays opening]
- I Want You
SFX: More of a breakdown than effects. Paul works the crowd.
Paul speaks, “This one comes off of the album, Monster. Have you got Monster yet? download it off iTunes, get it at your local stores. We are proud of it. This one’s called Shout Mercy.”
- Shout Mercy
- Shout it Out Loud
“Shout it, shout it out-” Statue Pose. Spotlight on individual members.
End Shout it Out Loud. Explosions.
Goodnight – Lights out. Stage dark.
Spotlight on Paul who starts playing riffs from other bands until he hits the opening notes of Black Diamond.
Paul speaks, “Alright. Good people of [insert your town here]. I want you to sing with me. Your part goes like this, ‘OooooohWhoaOooooh’ ” sings first part, has audience sing. “That was just ok. That was just rehearsal.” does it again. “Now we got it. One more time with feeling!” Third time Into –
- Black Diamond
SFX: Stage dark. Video screen shows short movie to the audio of opening of Detroit Rock City off of Destroyer. When it gets to the opening of the song, the band starts.
- Detroit Rock City Into –
SFX: Deuce dance
Paul speaks, “Countries have national anthems. rock and roll has a national anthem and it’s called Rock and Roll All Night and Party Every Day”
- Rock and Roll All Nite
SFX: video screen goes black as large old school KISS sign is raised up. As the song ends, explosions happen all around the sign and it “seemingly” crashes to the ground behind the stage and the band goes into…
- Star Spangled Banner instrumental
SFX: Confetti storm. Video wall has patriotic images, fireworks. Tons of explosions, cannon booms. Gene and Tommy on cherry pickers over the audience. Drums rise. Paul smashes guitar.
Paul speaks, “We love you. Goodnight.”
I would be a happy, happy fan with a show like that…