Kiss, Columbus, OH, Germain Amphitheater, July 10, 2004
How much more can be said about the greatest rock and roll institution in the all-be-it brief history of American rock and roll? Kiss has changed the face of music more than anyone could probably know or even realize. Kiss made it the norm that a great, theatrical show should accompany a large arena tour. What others did that followed was to combine great music with the theatrics, and Kiss will never proclaim to be the most talented musicians on the planet. But Kiss made music fun. Paul Stanley is no Jimi Hendrix, Gene Simmons is no Billy Sheehan and Peter Criss is no Lars Ulrich, but Kiss has been a mainstay party band from day one, and never proclaimed to be anything different. Over 30 years after their inception, Kiss is still touring major arena and amphitheaters, and bringing everything one should expect from a Kiss show with them.

Last year, Kiss shared the stage with Aerosmith and was not able to show the fans what a true Kiss show is like. So, for 2004, Kiss went on a headlining tour and brought every trick Kiss has ever had, and even 30 years later, it proves to be one of the top shows to see.

Kiss went way back in their stockpile of songs to not just play the well-known classics, but played a set any Kiss fan would be proud to hear. Gene was lifted high above the stage to a platform all his own, and Paul was whisked from the stage to the soundboard to share the show with those not fortunate to get near the front.

In a concert season that has provided a ton of shows, but maybe not as much quality, Kiss crept in under the radar screen to give old-time rock and roll fans a glimpse of what sex, drugs and rock and roll really means. Today, it is almost taboo to be a rock star and live the life of fame and fortune, but bands like Kiss show why we all want to grow up being a rock star. Not a musician, but a rock star and there is a big difference. The members of Kiss are rock stars first and musicians second and make no apologies for it. Unlike some, they do not hide behind a false persona. That is what makes this institution of Kiss so spectacular. They want to be bigger than life and wear it like a medal of honor.

Any young band today should be forced to see a Kiss show so they can see what performing live could mean to a fan. That for most fans, making sure every note is hit perfectly is not the most important part of the night. Most fans want to be entertained, not necessarily hearing the song played perfectly. And that is what Kiss has done for over three decades. And maybe that is what makes each concert season seem a little less enjoyable, is there are no new Kisses out there today ready to be bigger than life and allow for the fans to escape their daily lives and live in a dream world. Even if only for one night.