Blog,  Concerts

My 1st KISS: My 1st Concert

Almost 25 years ago, I went to my 1st concert.

I may have seen someone play before this at a Summer Motion/4th of July event, but I don’t remember them.

So, this was my 1st concert.

And it just happened to be my favorite band ever:  KISS!!!!

December 8, 1998 at the then Charleston Civic Center (Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center in 2023 as I type this).

I was 16 years old (I’m 41 as I type this in 2023.).

I still was not quite driving yet (actually I was very late getting my license but that’s another story), and this was before I ever owned a personal computer.

So, I had to get tickets the old fashioned way:  go to a ticket outlet.

And this case, it was our local Kroger.

My Dad took me to Kroger on a Saturday morning earlier that year to buy tickets.

I remember it being cold and we waited in line with many others to buy tickets. 

It took about 2-3 hours before we got them (3 tickets) but no regrets.

I, my Dad, and my brother Christopher went to the show.

A band I had never heard of before or since, Econoline Crush, opened.

They were fine and actually very loud (this was my 1st time hearing music played that loud).

After they were done, I put ear plugs into my ears, and from that point on, I’ve used ear plugs at almost every show I’ve seen for safety.

I sadly do not have any pictures to show, other than my ticket stub, but I will give you my memories of this show (It also helps I have the audio and video of it and no I did not record them.  I got them from fans.)

KISS were on their Psycho Circus tour (new album at the time has the same name) at the time.

It was still the original lineup of Gene Simmons (Vocals/Bass), Paul Stanley (Vocals/Guitar), Ace Frehley (Vocals/Lead Guitar), and Peter Criss (Vocals/Drums).

To give some backstory, I actually had just become a fan of theirs earlier that year (at that point, I knew of Gene in the movie Runaway and knew of the band but was not aware of much of their music) when I saw them featured on a VH1 show called The 100 Greatest Artists of Rock & Roll (They were listed at 67.).

I bought a best of album called Greatest KISS first and I fell instantly in love.

I soon started buying their albums (they have many), although I still did not have all of them by the time I saw them.

But I was very aware of a lot of it by show time.

They had a big curtain up, as they always do, before the show.

I’ll always remember the moment the curtain came down and there they were (we had great seats by the way, right by Paul’s b-stage he flew out onto later on). 

You could not have taken the smile off my face with anything. 

I could have died that night and been happy.  It meant everything to me and still does.

They played 3 songs from Psycho Circus and a lot of classics from the 70s.

Peter’s drum kit went up into the air and flew out over the audience.

Ace’s guitar smoked and flew through the air.

As I said, Paul flew through the air onto the b-stage later on for a few songs.

And Gene spit fire and blood as he does, and flew up into the air on a small platform for his signature song God Of Thunder.

Also, some of the show involved using 3-D glasses.

They did not work for everyone.  It depended on where you were, but they worked for me.

What it was was that during certain points in the show, you would be instructed to put on your glasses and you would see some cool imagery.

The imagery included Ace and Peter pointing their guitar and drum sticks right at you, Gene’s face flying around, and maybe Paul’s guitar stuck out at you too, and some other stuff I don’t remember.

I thought it was pretty cool, but again, it did not work for everyone there.

I still have the glasses too, as well as some of the paper confetti that came down from the ceiling at the end of the show.

25 years later, I still love KISS so much.

I love every album and every lineup.

I had no idea that 25 years later, I would still be seeing bands/artists I love (I’ve seen KISS 11 times alone as of 2023.).

This was the start of something that for many years was just something fun to do every once in awhile.  But eventually, it became a passion/positive obsession.

There have been MANY shows I did not see and I regret that.

But overall, I’ve done pretty good.

And I’m not done yet.

I’ve been saying for years I’m going to stop or slow down, but I’ve yet to do it.

Maybe I’ll slow down in 2024?  We’ll see.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I loved living it.


Set List:

  1. Psycho Circus
  2. Shout It Out Loud
  3. Deuce
  4. Do You Love Me
  5. Firehouse
  6. Shock Me
  7. Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
  8. Calling Dr. Love
  9. Into The Void
  10. Ace Guitar Solo
  11. King Of The Night Time World
  12. Bass Solo
  13. God Of Thunder
  14. Within
  15. Peter Drum Solo
  16. Cold Gin
  17. Love Gun
  18. 100,000 Years
  19. Rock And Roll All Nite
  20. Encore:  Beth
  21. Detroit Rock City
  22. Black Diamond

Photo Gallery (click on thumbnail to view larger image)


    • The Ardent Fan

      My second favorite concert after The Rolling Stones. If Led Zeppelin ever reunited and I could see them, that would be my number one, but that will never happen. But that’s OK. I’ve seen Robert Plant and I’ll see John Paul Jones twice in March.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *