Gene Simmons’ offspring may think he’s a ridiculous parody of what he once was, and make BIG fun of him in the process. Well, you want the littlest, you got the littlest; weighing in at less than half his size, ‘Mini-Gene’ makes for a fine replacement. If people were laughing, they weren’t for long. This BIG band of little guys are well, HUGE. They really are no joke, though I must admit to a bit of chuckling myself at first. And before the show, I couldn’t help being a bit comically taken after introductions and a photo-op — watching four pint sized adults in complete regalia and kiss make-up running around backstage getting set up, stomping around in their dragon-toothed boots and their capes flying around topping at my navel.
Showtime: I watched their friendly human personalities morph into, well, demon-like persona’s. After the group reached for a solid high-five and “HOOOAH!” I had to jump out of the way and cling to the railing as they came barreling through taking the stage. The pre-show jokes, chuckles and asides from the Dante’s audience soon dissolved into well rounded applause, and soon Kiss Army salutes were perpetual for the rest of the evening.
Eight years in the making, and with Simmons’ blessing(and that’s not an easy feat), New York- based front man Joey Fatale has searched high (and low) for the perfect prototype of his Kiss dream band, and sent many back out the door from which they came, mainly because they just didn’t cut the mustard. This evening premiered new band member Kurt who flew up from L.A. for his first show as drummer with the band, and proved to be a fine addition.
Complete with fire breathing, blood spewing and beautifully tattooed strippers, they captured, if not menaced, the notoriously fastidious Dante’s crowd with the greatest of ease. Watching the audience teeter between expectations of a circus act soon gave way to a surprised and un-quenching desire for killer rock and roll, and was a sight to behold. And yes, that is Joey’s real tongue rivaling Simmons’ (I tugged on it myself down in the green room before the show)!
To put any thoughts that they are a one trick pony, along with many Kiss covers, the tiny gods of thunder rampaged through other metal classics from the day, treating the crowd to: “Paranoid”, “Crazy Train”, “Home Sweet Home” and “Sweet Child Of Mine”. And… you ain’t seen anything till you’ve seen a midget made up as Gene Simmons and wearing a Slash top hat with a lipped cigarette while wailing “Sweet Child Of Mine”. Joey’s cantor-like delivery was the perfect simultaneous contradiction of terms. Detroit Rock City, Calling Dr. Love, Love Gun, and on down the list they played. Save for the Kurt’s miniature kit, it appeared that they play full sized guitars. They were not (short) on solo’s either. Ending with the ever- anthemic “I Was Made For Loving You” was interestingly auto-erotic, given the strippers dangling boobs barely above ‘Mini Gene’s’ flailing blood-dipped tongue.
Look for a soon to be released CD, probably available just in time for the bands next appearance…be there.
© 2011 Buko Magazine