RiverEdge Park gets a KISS filled with fireworks and blood-spitting rock n’ roll

Photos by Andy Argyrakis

Hot on the platform heels of headlining Chicago Open Air, KISS came back to the burbs with a vengeance at a packed RiverEdge Park in Aurora, giving its Army 100 or so minutes of nothing but the best the band had to offer. Though the venue is no stranger to nationally touring acts, “KISSWorld 2017” was surely a milestone show on its summer schedule thanks to a non-stop supply of fireworks, hydraulic lifts, and most importantly, blood-splitting rock n’ roll.

The encore combined patriotism and more of the party, starting with a touching military salute and communal run through “The Pledge Of Allegiance,” followed by a dose of “Cold Gin” and some “Detroit City” to those surrounding the Windy City, who even with a pair of gigs so close together, can’t seem to ever get enough of KISS.

Without a new album to promote, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer stuck to nothing but the group’s aggressive oldies stretching back more than four decades, which at this point, has attracted several generations. Once the curtain bearing the unmistakable KISS logo dropped to the ground, the guys blared through the Stanley-led “Deuce,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “Lick It Up,” “I Love It Loud” and “Love Gun” sounding exactly like expected and everyone living up to their reputations as music’s ultimate showmen.

As is customary, Simmons demonstrated his expertise at breathing fire after “Firehouse,” while Thayer also got a chance to display his vocal/six-string chops throughout “Shock Me” and a subsequent solo. KISS also dug out a few more somewhat obscure selections, such as “Flaming Youth” (from 1976’s “Destroyer”), “Say Yeah” (off 2009’s “Sonic Boom”) and “War Machine” (1982’s “Creatures Of The Night” closer) to keep regulars on their toes.

For “Black Diamond,” it was Singer’s turn to shine, especially as his drum kit smoked and levitated, though that marvel paled in comparison to the front line being lifted several stories into the air surrounded by a blizzard of confetti and explosions during “Rock And Roll All Nite.” The encore combined patriotism and more of the party, starting with a touching military salute and communal run through “The Pledge Of Allegiance,” followed by a dose of “Cold Gin” and some “Detroit City” to those surrounding the Windy City, who even with a pair of gigs so close together, can’t seem to ever get enough of KISS.


Click here for more KISS photos from RiverEdge Park.

For additional information on KISS, visit KISSOnline.com.

Upcoming concert highlights at RiverEdge Park include Get The Led Out (Aug. 25); Andy Grammer (Sept. 9) and Fiestas Patrias (Sept. 16-17). For additional details, visit RiverEdgeAurora.com.