Concert Review/Photos: Gene Simmons and His Band – The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor – Windsor, ON – 8/25/17

Concert Review/Photos: Gene Simmons and His Band – The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor – Windsor, ON – 8/25/17
August 31, 2017 | By | Reply More

                On August 25th, 2017, “Gene Simmons and His Band” performed at The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor in Windsor, Ontario. This venue is directly across the Detroit River where Cobo Hall is located. You know, the venue where the legendary KISS  “ALIVE I” album was recorded! It was also a very special day for Gene as he was celebrating his 68th birthday. “If it’s too loud, your too old?”, WRONG!! He LOVES it LOUD! Even at 68yrs of age, it doesn’t seem that anything is slowing him down.  Surprisingly, this is Gene’s first ever solo tour. KISS has a pretty thin tour schedule this year, so why not?

                Every die hard KISS fan is probably wondering who Gene has in his band. Gene has assembled a group of hard working musicians, mostly based out of Nashville, TN.  The lineup consists of Ryan Cook (guitar/vocals), Jeremy Asbrock (guitar/vocals), and Phil Shouse (guitar/vocals)…all of which are part of Nashville’s “The Rock N Roll Residency”. Jeremy and Phil are also both part of John Corabi’s solo band. Lastly, is Canadian drummer Brent Fitz (Slash, Vince Neil, Union) on drums who just recently joined the band.

                Gene and the guys took the stage around 9:30pm starting out with “Deuce”, the same song that kicked off ALIVE I and has since remained in the setlist for KISS.  Gene was armed with his Red Dragon AXE Bass, while the others were all playing with Vintage® Guitars. You know what?? They sound MASSIVE. Like everyone else, I watch a ton clips on youtube. The youtube clips of this band do not do them justice. They sound amazing and are very tight. It’s a nice sight when you see band on stage that is thoroughly enjoying what they are doing. I can only imagine what it’s like for these guys to play with Gene. I am pretty sure they are just as big of KISS fans as myself and everyone else in the audience is each night.  

                “Well the night’s begun and you want some fun”…. Yes we do! The band erupted into the 2nd song with the KISS Klassic, “Shout It Out Loud”. Having 3 guitars really opens up a lot of doors to allow a much fuller sound. Especially on this song with the harmonizing parts. “And get the party started”…. Next up was “I Love It Loud” from the 1982 KISS album “Creatures of The Night”. Gene invited 20 fans to come up on stage during the song, and quickly instructed the fans to split up into groups of 10 on each side of stage and allowed a few fans to be around him during the performance.  The crowd was chanting “Hey hey hey yeah, hey hey hey yeah” right along with Gene. Yes! We love it loud too, Gene!

                Ryan Cook went to the mic to say a few words regarding Gene’s birthday. The crowd began singing “Happy Birthday” as Gene’s wife Shannon Tweed came out onto the stage rolling out a large birthday cake for him , while their daughter Sophie followed from behind filming the memorable occasion on Facebook/Instagram Live. (See video below). 

                Up next up is the song “Christine Sixteen”, which Gene jokingly said to the audience that he now calls it “Christine Sixty”.  Next up is a song that I don’t think KISS has ever performed live, which is “Got Love For Sale” from the “Love Gun” album. This is just a taste of what Gene has been doing with this band. He is pulling out songs from the KISS catalog that have rarely or never played at all. The set lists for his shows have been changing a little bit for each show, which keeps every show fresh and exciting. They even squeezed in a pleasing Beatles cover of  ” You’re Going to Lose That Girl”.

                Next up was “Do You Love Me” with Ryan, Jeremy, and Phil sharing lead vocals. One funny moment during this was when a tall blonde was standing next to Gene during the chorus and pulled out her cell attempting to take a selfie. Gene quickly grabbed her cell and tossed it to security in the front. I am pretty sure Gene just wanted that girl or anyone for that matter to just enjoy the show. A link to that video (below)  can be seen below around the 40 second mark. After the song, Gene immediately told the girl that her cell was “down over there” for her to go retrieve. I watched her walk down the steps to get her cell phone back. She looked pretty happy after just having the opportunity to sing on stage with Gene Simmons. Who wouldn’t?

Gene Simmons and His Band: Do You Love Me – Windsor, Ontario (YouTube user has embedding disabled)

                Gene and his band continued their set with songs such as “Radioactive” from Gene’s 1978 solo album, “Wall of Sound” from the 2012 KISS album “Monster”, “Charisma” from the 1979 KISS album “Dynasty” and “Watchin’ You” from the 1974 KISS album “Hotter Than Hell”.  Next up was a personal favorite of mine, “She”. One of the reasons that is favorite of mine is that it is one of the first KISS songs I ever learned on guitar as a teen. It may be a bit bold to say, but as I was listening to them play, it was like I was listening to the KISS ALIVE I album. Gene and his band are killing it live! Next up was “Parasite”, another song from “Hotter Than Hell”. Gene once again invited fans up on stage again. This time,  one of the fans on stage who portrays “Gene” in a KISS tribute band called “Detroit Rock City” ended up singing lead vocals on “Parasite”. He did a very good job and handed it like a pro.

                As the show was winding down with songs such as “Plaster Caster”, “Cold Gin”, and “Doctor Love” and the ever popular KISS closing song, “Rock and Roll all Nite”… The audience was left wanting more. There was no make up, pyro, platform heels or stage design. Just 5 guys on stage having a great time. Gene, Ryan, Jeremy, Phil and Brent put on one hell of a show. If this show comes to your town, GO! Gene once again showed the big boys how it’s done, even in a scaled down and casual environment. One thing I would like to see happen is for this band to record some original music sometime. The chemistry is certainly there and I am sure other KISS fans would like to hear some new music from Gene as well.  

Photos of the performance are below.

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