POSTED ON AUGUST 22, 2012:
Back To Basics
Two long-time rock/metal bands join forces
Back in March, two bands came together to announce one of the biggest tours of the summer. If you want flash and bombast, you can't get any bigger than KISS. That is, unless you pair them up with Motley Crue. It's a package that has been crossing the U.S. this summer, packing arenas and amphitheaters and the tour finally makes its way to Tulsa for a stop at BOK Center this Sunday night, August 26.
This isn't the first time these two bands have come together, but it's certainly the biggest. As Vince Neil shared at the tour press conference, "Our first tour as Motley Crue was with you guys (KISS) in 1982 -- it was the 'Creatures of the Night' Tour. I remember that. To be able to do that now is amazing, because I saw these guys last year. I actually stole away from the Motley show and came out on a day off and saw you guys on a day off and said 'Holy shit!' I called Nikki up and said wait 'til you see these guys' stage show."
When reflecting back on that first tour together, Paul Stanley said "Seeing them (Motley Crue) on stage, it was obvious back then that this was the next big thing."
So why come together again, thirty years later? Maybe a better question is why not? Both bands have weathered the test of time and continue to be amongst the biggest rock bands of all time, selling a combined 80 million albums over the course of their careers.
When asked what he contributes his band's longevity to, Paul Stanley said, "You may say that it doesn't seem like classic rock-and-roll in the sense of what Elvis did, but all we've ever been in both bands is Elvis on steroids. It's Elvis through a Marshall amplifier. We're there, we're celebrating life, we're celebrating all the things that life gives you and all the opportunities, the freedom it gives you and we're out here to say 'Thank you' to the fans.
"We never forget that we were once in the audience, seeing bands that let us down," he continued. "We're up here to make sure nobody is let down. This will be THE tour."
Separately, but of the same sentiment, Stanley said, "We talk about 'Bang for the buck' and this will be the definition of bang for the buck on this tour. If you want to see more bombs and artillery, you'll have to check out the military."
So exactly what's in store for Tulsa this Sunday night? The bands weren't inclined to share what surprises they've got planned for the tour, but assured fans that it will be a show to remember. Back to back, 90 minute headline sets by Motley Crue, then KISS, promise a full night of rock-and-roll and more bombast and pyrotechnics than you've seen in one place for a long, long time.
Nikki Sixx shared that when growing up "I had a KISS poster, and Aerosmith poster and Sweet on the wall. For me, to be able to go out and do this together, it's an honor. I know what KISS is about, I've been with them for years and we obviously know what Motley Crue is about."
"I think it's a perfect, perfect match," Sixx continued. "Maybe a match made in hell, in some places in America, they might think, but it's a perfect match. It's going to be all night long with KISS and bombs and girls -- topless, a few -- and Motley Crue. I can't wait to experience it myself."
When asked about fan interactivity and how involved that audience will be in the current show, Stanley commented "Isn't that what we're all about? I think we wrote the book, collectively, on fan interactivity. This isn't a show you go to and sit on your butt. This is a show where you get up and you're a part of the band."
"We're only as good as the audience is," he went on to explain. "The audience gets us to do what we do, so as far as fan interaction goes, that's really what rock-and-roll is. If you just want to listen to music, stay home and put it on the stereo."
Still going strong thirty years after the two bands first toured together and forty years after KISS formed, both bands have developed a broad following that reaches across multiple generations of listeners. When addressing this phenomenon, Stanley explained that his band as gone beyond focusing on specific demographics and now has a multigenerational draw. When explaining why the group draws such a broad cross-section of fans, however, he got down to the real basis of the band.
"There are lots of people who can sell millions of albums, but can't fill a phone booth and that's because they don't know how to entertain," he said. "We are entertainers and proud of it."
Above all else, this tour really is about getting back to basics and delivering a great rock show.
In the words of Gene Simmons, "Both Motley Crue and Kiss are united in one crusade: We are sick of girls getting on stage with dancers and karaoke teams in back of them. What you're going to hear on stage is live music: All the bands are real, all the music is real. The guys that you see on stage playing their instruments are actually playing their instruments. No karaoke singers allowed, no fake bullshit. This is the real stuff."
"Nikki and I have been in touch and we're both going 'This is awesome'," Stanley said. "This is something we're all real fired up about and it's double what either of us could do. Exponentially, this is that much bigger. Whatever each band is capable of doing, you do it double all night and its out of the park. ..."
With both bands going head to head, you know there will be a little healthy competition as well as camaraderie going on, but that only promises to make the show that much more exciting for the fans. Both bands will be playing 90 minute sets, packed with the hits (and perhaps a preview of a couple new tunes from KISS' upcoming release, Monster), so fans know what to look forward to when they arrive.
Ultimately, Stanley said that "We're going to go out there and make sure that you get what you pay for. We're trimming away all the fat and everything that's out there is going to be prime, prime meat."
Beyond the makeup and all the pomp and circumstance, it's clear that with this tour both bands are primarily focused on one thing: getting back to the basics and putting on one huge rock show. As of press time, tickets are still available and range from $59-$179, with Motley Crue scheduled to take the stage at 7pm.
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