Vince & I traveled from Nova Scotia to Montreal in 1996 to see the KISS’s Reunion tour. We ferried to New Brunswick and took the KISS KARAVAN (motor coach) set up by the radio station Classic Rock C98.9 in NB to Montreal. It was a long bus trip, 13hrs, with a group of people who were KISS fans. We didn’t drink at all on the bus and I was afraid to go to bathroom…for just plain fear of so many things. So, I/we held it until every 2hr stop along the way. I had traced a picture of Gene from his solo album and had blackened all the appropriate areas. This picture I held up against the window when we hit the really busy highway getting closer to Montreal. I’d do that to show all the cars we passed or passed us that we were going to see KISS. Now when I look back on that, if someone in a car didn’t know who Gene was, that could have really freaked them out…Awesome! Then we hit this tunnel all of a sudden, everything went BLACK and everyone freaked, but in a good way. We were travelling UNDER the water in a tunnel. It was wicked. Then we arrived, finally! We all stayed in a hotel that used to be apartments so there was a bedroom, washroom, living room and kitchen and a balcony. Didn’t get out to see much of Montreal until returning to the province just last year but I highly recommend going if you get the chance, its an awesome place, lots of shit going on there…it’s alive. Certain areas are better than others and the area we were in was very tourist friendly, the old Montreal…and not to mention tons of strip bars, holy frick!
So the night of the concert came and we were bussed to the Molson Centre, big spot. We were close to the floor in the back but still had good seating compared to those poor bastards way the hell up in the nosebleed section. We were preparing for this moment even before we knew we were going to their concert. We had been watching the 96′ Shout it out loud every chance we had and especially on the weekends, caught every interview on TV and taped it (yeah VCR’s back in those days), so we knew basically what songs they were going to sing and when and no we didn’t have the internet in 96′ we got that the next year. The band opening was called Degeneration X and I think they were pretty good, we were hyped up for KISS so I don’t have a big memory of them…I’m surprised I remembered their name. The show started as it had at every concert “Allllriiiiight (name of your city here – Monnntreeeeallll), You wanted the best! You got the best! The hottest band in the world ……KISS!!” Black sheer curtain drops with ginormous balls of fire shooting up in to the air from the stage and the music explodes from the stage. We hadn’t a drop of alcohol; we wanted to remember every single second of this (what we thought) once in a lifetime experience. Unlike the couple from down home, traveling with the Karavan, that were a couple rows back. They had a bit too much to drink and decided to experience sushi for the first time while being in Montreal….just before the concert. I think, from what I remember, he got sick and passed out and missed almost the entire concert. During the entire concert we had perma-grins, and the grins didn’t stop! They were AMAZING from the fire breathing, blood spitting, guitars on fire, smashing guitars and drum solos to all of the old songs we grew up with and loved. We were sad to see it end but it had to. We all found our way to the bus, all hyped up and yelling to one another because it was so bloody loud our ears were humming. It was funny trying to communicate on the bus heading back and the driver must have thought we were all nuts, but he smiled. The next day we all grabbed the paper because on the front page was Gene! It was awesome, and I still have it somewhere packed away. The bus ride was enormously long and there were so many feeling quite sick and no one was hyped up like they were on the way in….wow. It was 13hrs of almost total silence and some were sleeping…ok most were.
We were high for the longest time because of having that opportunity and I was telling everyone I could now die happy, we saw KISS. That was the biggest thing for us during that time of our lives and so glad we were able to go. The picture is me dressed as Gene for Halloween in 96′. First time I wore platform type boots and they were not that comfy but worth it to pull off the look.
Anyone have a memory of a KISS concert? Maybe their first, or one that stood out? Maybe it wasn’t KISS but another band that meant the world to you to see? Tell me!! I want to hear about it.