Saturday, January 27, 2007

Random Ticket Stub of the Week

I have a huge jar full of ticketstubs, and I thought every week I would just grab a random one, and write about my memories. This week, I picked KISS at the Luisiana Superdome. Tuesday, July 19, 1996. The ticket price was $28.50.

Over the last several years, I've had the opportunity to see a lot of bands that I never thought I'd see again. A lot of them I'd seen the first time around, and was happy to dive into the nostaligia of it all - The Pixies; Janes Addiction; Dinosaur Jr. Others I was excited to see for the first time, and genuinely blown away by how vital and inspiring their performances could be - The Stooges; Television; Mission of Burma; Rocket From The Tombs.

I was a huge KISS fan growing up, and was fortunate enough to see them a handful of times as a kid. (When I was too young to realize that songs like "Rocket Ride" had more than one meaning.) When the original lineup finally reunited (with makeup!!!) I immediately looked up the tour dates to figure out the first possible moment that I could see them. As it turned out, very early in the tour, they were gonna be in New Orleans - one of my favorite cities.

On the plane ride to the Big Easy, I read an article about the reunion. In the article, they asked Peter Criss what was the highlight of his entire Kiss expereince. He answered "playing Anaheim Stadium in 1976". Because that's when he realized they'd made it big.

Now, the night before the concert, I happened to be in a bar, and Peter Criss walked in. I went up to him and said something smooth, like "Dude, you fuckin' rock." But then I added that I was in the audience at Anaheim stadium in 1976. "Of course," I told him, "I was just a kid." "When you were just a kid?" he asked. "What's your point? Are you trying to tell me I'm old?" Taken aback by his antagonistic tone, I thought for a second, then answered, "Well compared to me, you are very old."

The night of the concert, I was out of my mind. I felt like a kid again. Because of the makeup, the band looked the same as they ever did. The stage show benefitted from modern technology, and was phenomenal. The band played tighter, and sounded better than they ever did. I screamed myself hoarse as they roared through any fan's dream setlist.

I saw them probably ten more times over the next couple years, but nothing came close to the excitement I felt that first night.