August 4, 2004
Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre - Atlanta, GA


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Glam-poser heroes Poison opened with an energetic greatest hits set that was the perfect lead-in to the insanity that is KISS (At least Poison had all four original members). Adrenalized performances of “Nothin’ But A Good Time,” “Talk Dirty To Me”, and “Look What The Cat Dragged In” almost made me forget just how lame the songs actually are.

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Meanwhile,  “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Something To Believe In” still have the power to bring out lighters (even in broad daylight). The lowlight: “Unskinny Bop.”  That horrible piece of tripe is still one of the most humiliating pimples in the history of (so-called) rock and roll. Those 4 minutes were truly the biggest “ick” moments of the summer.

But other than that, Poison put on a heck of a show.

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KISS brought their usual spectacle (but even fewer original members) to Atlanta this year. Former Black ‘N’ Blue guitarist Tommy Thayer is back portraying the role of “The Spaceman” while former drummer Eric Singer has rotated in again as “The Catman.” At least this time, they’re shaking up the set list.

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Others didn’t fare as well. “Unholy” was a poor substitute for Gene Simmons’ “God Of Thunder” blood-spitting and flying to the lighting rig routine while  “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” is not even in the same league as what it replaced, “Black Diamond.” “Christine Sixteen” even fell a bit flat. I will give ‘em bonus points for the old switcheroo. It was definitely time for a change. It just may take a while to find the right balance.

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After 8 years the novelty of the reunion and the same tired songs has worn off. The band has deleted a slew of former staples in favor of more interesting cuts like “Got To Choose,” “War Machine,” and “Makin’ Love.” Those three were welcome additions.

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The most ridiculous moment was the Spinal Tap-ian apolitical political speech that Paul Stanley delivered at the end. It basically amounted to a lame Rock The Vote spot. The rant was capped with “Be sure to vote in November, ‘cause if you win…(dramatic pause), you can Rock And Roll All Nite and Party Every Day!” Ah, the beauty of absurdity! The crowd ate it up, the confetti flew and the fire rained down.

(Chris McKay /

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