By Louis Antonelli, Jim Lunger & Keith Leroux
WIth photos by Hiro Shiga
Last night an extraordinary page was written in KISSTORY. At the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California, last stop of the band’s 2007 ‘Hit & Run’ mini Tour, KISS performed as a TRIO for the first time ever. Immediately following the band’s sound check, Paul Stanley suddenly fell ill, with what was later determined to be a “cardiac event”.
Once it was determined by emergency medical staff that Paul could not perform, there was talk that the show would need to be canceled. It was Paul himself, who insisted that the band play the show without him. Paul was concerned that fans had traveled long distances and because of the band's individual schedules the show could not be rescheduled.
KISS Manager Doc McGhee then took the stage to announce to the crowd that Paul was sick and unable to perform but that Gene wanted to speak with the fans. Gene asked the audience if they wanted him, Tommy & Eric to perform. The crowd responded with a defeaning chant of yes, yes, yes. With that, Gene announced that the concert (If they could pull it off), was a tribute to “The Greatest Voice in Rock and Roll - Rock God Paul Stanley”.
With Paul en route to the hospital - Gene,Tommy and Eric played their hearts out in honor of their stricken leader! The set list evolved as the night progressed and KISS blasted their way into the hot night air - valiantly trying to hold it together minus the band’s heart & soul. In an emotionally charged moment, Gene told the crowd that he was an only child, but nevertheless had a brother – Paul Stanley! ‘Christine Sixteen' brought 11 invited fans onto the stage to help perform the song, and added a bit of lighthearted fun to the pensive night.
The trio went on to perform a full set including classics and rarities - ‘Watchin’ You’, ‘Goin’ Blind’, ‘Nothing to Lose’, ‘Black Diamond’, ‘Cold Gin’, ‘She’, and ‘Parasite’. The sold out arena was filled with dedicated fans who appreciated what a unique night this really was, despite its bittersweet nature, and rocked hard & loud. As the final chords of ‘Rock & Roll All Night’ were struck, and the last jets of flames and confetti shot into the night sky, everyone realized what they had just witnessed was simply great music performed by dedicated, extraordinary musicians who really gave it their all, and then some.
Another thing every KISS fan at the show last night realized - is just how lucky we are that our favorite band, led by the greatest front man in Rock N Roll PAUL STANLEY, cares so much for us fans!
Get well soon Paul - we all love you!
02. Cold Gin
03. Calling Dr. Love
04. Christine Sixteen
05. Nothin' to Lose (Eric on vocals)
06. I Love it Loud
07. Goin' Blind
08. Watchin' You
11. God of Thunder
12. Let Me Go, Rock 'n Roll
13. Black Diamond (Eric on vocals)
14. Rock and Roll All Night