Kiss in Oslo 2012

Summertime in the city

Well. There has not been much summer and I don’t live in a city. Even if they call the place I live in a city. It has been bloody cold and raining for the most of the summer. But It’s been eventful months as a Kiss fan and a really busy time. I even managed to get married with my wonderful girlfriend for ten years, now my wife.

Beside my wedding, the main event for me as a Kiss fan was the Kiss concert in Holmenkollen on June 30th. A concert I had been really looking forward to and was a little scared how would be. How would Paul’s voice hold out? Would he sound better than the concert in New Orleans earlier in the year. That concert did not live up to the expectations after Paul’s vocal surgery at all.

The “Kiss weekend” started on Friday the day before the concert. Kiss Army Norway was having a gathering for all Kiss fans on Rock In. I was not able to drink anything because I had to get up with early with the kids the day after. But I decided to take the car and go in to Oslo anyway. Kiss fan arrangements are not something that should be missed. It’s always fun to meet old and new friends and chat a little about Kiss even without alcohol.

I met mega Kiss fan and collector Carol and his Marina from Holland outside Grand Hotel where Kiss was staying on the way to Rock In. And had a really cool chat with them before I went up to Rock In. I haven’t the patience to wait outside hotels anymore like I did in my younger days. But at least I did get to see Nick Simmons outside the hotel. Not that It was to exciting. But It was kinda Kiss related anyway.
Rock In was fun even if I was sober. Met some friends I had not spoken to in a while and spoke to foreign fans I have just had contact with through the internet before.

One of the main topics were the fog that had almost ruined the Kollen Festival on It’s first day. For the first hours of the festival It was almost impossible to see the stage even if you were really close to the stage. But It got a little bit better when the main attraction Rihanna came onstage. Hopefully It would not be as bad the festivals second day when Kiss was playing.

After having woken up with the kids on Saturday morning I went Oslo to ‘Popsenteret’ to see Stig and Alexander’s lecture ‘Planet Kiss’. And It was actually quite good. Of was of course mostly directed to more casual and newer fans than us die-hards that have been living with Kiss for over thirty years. But It never got boring or embarrassing at all. So the guys did a great job. After the lecture I got my ticket (armband) from Stig, and I was ready to go.

Before we went up to Holmenkollen and the Kollen festival to see Kiss we made a stop at ‘Sarahs Telt’ in the center of Oslo. And that was a lot of fun. The place was packed with Kiss fans from all over. We sat down at a table with a lot of Norwegian, Swedish and English Kiss fans, and had a great time. We were told by some that met Kiss at the airport that they would not play ‘Hell or Hallelujah’, that would be saved for the London show after the song had been released two days after the Kollen show.

During the time we were at ‘Sarahs Telt’ my friend Håkon texted me and told me that he was on the first row at stage Kiss was playing. He is the most patient guy I know about and always does stuff like that when he attending concerts. We stayed at Sarah’s Telt for about an hour and then went up to Holmenkollen by the subway.

When we came into the festival area I was the only one with a VIP ticket. So I just thought I would check out Billy Idol before Kiss started playing and heading for the VIP area. Billy Idol was fun even if I’m not the biggest fan in the world. But he has some cool songs and the band seemed to be in good spirit. They probably sounded a little mellower compared to what I have heard of them before. But a cool concert anyway.

After that I went to the VIP area. And what a joke that was. Of course It’s nice with toilets, drink and food. But It was a loooong way from the stage. And I was there to see Kiss, not to drink and go to the toilet. If they expect people to pay for VIP tickets they should sort out a way so those would be the best ‘seats in the house’ . So I went out of the VIP area and headed for the main stage. The area in front of the first barrier was not yet filled up so that was my main target. After that I just wandered around talking to people and after a little while I was watching Turbonegro from the fourth row. Right behind Håkon. Turbonegro was quite good even if they are not close to being among my favorite bands. Their new vocalist is so much better than their last one. It’s really strange that I don’t like them better because their kind of rock’n roll is really up my alley. But that’s the way It is, I really can’t explain It. It’s not that I haven’t tried to like them. I have even seen them live six or seven times.

Then came the ‘magical pause’ before the Kiss show started. I really love the anticipation that’s ‘in the air’ before every Kiss concert. The roadies going around the stage, flipping guitar pics at people in the front rows etc. I even got a Gene pic that landed on my shoulder. Usually I don’t really try to find them at all. I’m to old and to lazy.

The the ‘Kiss curtain’ went up and anticipation grew even more. How would this sound compared to what we saw online from New Orleans. Would Paul be able to cut It? Then “Oslo… You Wanted the best. You got the best…” blasted out of the speakers. And the band started the show with “Detroit Rock City”. My favorite show starter beside “I Stole You’re Love”. Oh boy did Kiss and Paul deliver. For the first couple of songs I were more or less just listening to Paul’s voice. And he sounded great compared to the New Orleans show. And even much better compared to even the shows I saw in 2008 and 2010.

The setlist was: Detroit Rock City, Shout It Out Loud, Deuce, Makin’ Love, I Love It Loud, Crazy Crazy Nights, Shock Me, Calling Dr. Love, 100,000 Years, Love Gun, Black Diamond, Lick It Up, I Was Made for Lovin’ You and Rock and Roll All Nite.

For me It was probably the coolest Kiss show I have seen since 1996. It felt really intimate from where I was standing even if It was a festival show.  For me It became a really magical show. The band was in really spirits and adding Makin’ Love to the setlist was a great move. It was the first time I saw the song live and It really worked well in the set. I even liked the break in the middle that most people don’t like.

I also really liked that Gene stayed on the floor after his bass solo and blood spitting. The flying is one of the few things that I really think is redundant with the other shows today. The same goes for Paul’s flying routine that he did not do in Oslo either.

What I find strange is that I find myself more and more liking the ‘best of’ set lists they are playing, and don’t really crave the obscure songs any more. If that’s because I know we will get them on the Kiss Kruise or not I’m not really sure about. It could be that. The only thing I would have done different at the Kollen concert would be replacing ‘I Love It Loud’ with ‘God Of Thunder’. But otherwise I’m really satisfied with what I found to be an almost perfect concert experience for me. Of course they are getting older and the movements and stuff are a little more slower and stale. But in my eyes they are growing old with style. And even if Paul’s voice isn’t the same as before It more than works for me.

After the concert finished I met up with some of my friends and headed for the subway down to Oslo. We were supposed to go to the cellar underneath ‘John Dee’ where we usually have had the Kiss pubs for an after party. But I was just to incredibly tired that I just felt like going home to bed.

A great day and a great concert. The only let down is that I were not able to go to London and see the show on Wednesday 4th of July the week after because of work. But all in all I had a really great time. And I can’t just wait for October the Kruise. I need my ‘Kiss fix’ soon again…

So thanks Kiss for a great show in Oslo. And last but not least all the cool fans who made the day a great experience.

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