Walmart AMP – Rogers, AR – 28 September 2017
Rock legends KISS graced the Ozarks September 28th with a night to remember at the Walmart Amp in Rogers, AR. The venue was completely filled with people of all ages on the cool, fall night. The KISSWORLD Tour for 2017 has made landmark back and forth between the United States and Europe. Though a new album has been debatable for the band, they continue to tour across the U.S. and ended this leg at the Gretna Heritage Festival.
A large banner with the band’s logo kept the crowd in surprise until the last minute. The banner fell as the music began, and KISS started the night with “Deuce.” Paul Stanley was a natural and gracious host, joking and talking with the crowd all night long. The nature of his skill is to be expected, being in the music industry for so long. Fans raved about “Shout It Out Loud” before Paul mentioned being deserving of induction into the Hall of Fame. A young girl, unsure if she was family or a lucky fan, joined the band on stage for “I Love It Loud.” The audience interaction was at an all time high, sounding like a pack of wolves howling at the moon as they collectively sang “hey ey yeah” back to the band. The song ended with shocking shots of fireworks, and this was a reoccurring theme throughout the night.
Paul got the fans to scream in chaos as he said, “Everybody always talks about Little Rock.” The crowd boos in response, and he continues, “After tonight, would it be okay if we came back and see you again, Rogers?” The band was under yellow spotlights for the performance of “Firehouse,” and sirens filled the speakers before Gene Simmons played with firebreathing. The tone switched as blue lights illuminated the stage, and Tommy Thayer played as front-man for “Shock Me.” A highlight of that performance was his great harmonizing skills with Gene; they really worked well together. Tommy ended the track with a phenomenal guitar solo while being illuminated by purple lights.
The Starchild continued as host, introducing “Flaming Youth” as “a classic that the band doesn’t get to play all the time.” Fans enjoyed the performance that was heavy on distorted and echoing vocals while the giant screens showed a montage of old music and homemade video clips.
The summoning of The Demon awoke the beast during Gene’s bass solo. A church bell shocked the creature, sending him bleeding from the mouth. As the solo continued, he flew up to a higher platform above the stage. The crowd went wild in suspense as he played underneath the red lighting. Soon after, fire blasted and begun track “God of Thunder.” Fans clapped along to the marching beat, and Gene flew back down to the stage while lurking in the shadows during Tommy’s guitar solo. The song was finished out in a smokey haze.
It was heartwarming to see most fans living in the moment during the night, most singing and dancing along to tracks “Say Yeah” and “War Machine.” Paul brought out his southern twang while he taught the crowd the melody to “Say Yeah” so everyone could sing along. “War Machine” played out to be a crowd favorite with cheesy yet desolate war animation displayed on the screens.
Paul continued to be playful with the crowd. After a short pause in the performance, the band came back on stage. Once he described that he had made a bet with someone backstage, he said, “I betcha 5 bucks these people can say my name so loud, you can hear it in Little Rock.” The crowd lost it, ensuring Paul had won his bet. “Alright, I just won five bucks, and y’all are heading to the psycho circus,” he said with laughter.
Famous hit “Rock and Roll All Nite” kept the band going before ending the memorable night with an excellent performance of “Detroit Rock City.” The amphitheater crowd was gleaming with joy for what was just witnessed, and fans were eternally grateful for the Amp booking such a classic act.