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Photo Gallery: KISS is alive at 35 at The Pearl in the Palms

KISS performs at The Pearl Concert venue at The Palms Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 28, 2009. Erik Kabik/
Photo: Erik Kabik/

KISS Alive at 35 @The Pearl

Our contributing photographer Erik Kabik, who shot KISS in concert at The Pearl in the Palms last night, told “I first saw KISS in 1977 at The Capital Center in Landover, Md., when I was 6 years old. They were the first band that I became a true fan. ... I joined the KISS Army, I had the lunchbox, the KISS dolls, posters, all that stuff, and got my parents to take me to see them in 1977 and then again in 1979 in my full Gene Simmons makeup. I saw a lot of music during those years, as I grew up in the rock and roll world seeing mostly my parents’ music (they took me to see all of their shows), but KISS was my show and the one band I made them take me to see.

“Being a serious music collector and following bands of many genres for the past 32 years, KISS holds that place as the first real big one that got me. I found other music that hit me deeper and transformed my view of music and the world later, but those four dudes in makeup, breathing fire and pounding out ear-splitting rock anthems, was about the coolest thing for a young boy growing up in the 1970s. I think it was much to the chagrin of older KISS fans who watched their rock and roll world turn into a kiddie sideshow. But when you have a band of guys who look like clowns selling dolls, comic books and lunchboxes, what would you expect? Although I saw a lot of kids at the show at The Pearl, it was the grown-up KISS fans back for nostalgia dragging their kids to see the band rather than the other way around.

KISS at The Pearl - from

“The show proved that KISS is still the ultimate concert spectacle, and it’s backed by straightforward, no-holds-barred, rock and roll tunes. KISS is about escaping and being over the top and a place to let your inner rocking, air guitar-playing and sign of the horn-waving spirit flow freely. To paraphrase what Paul Stanley said tonight, a lot of other bands get up onstage and talk about stopping global warming or getting rid of world hunger, but KISS is about forgetting the world’s problems. ... The world is going to be just as screwed up tomorrow when we all wake up, so let’s take off for the night. Gene Simmons and Stanley, the only two original members, may be a bit slower these days, but they still rock, pack a mean punch and blasted off what sounded like a few hundred pounds of pyrotechnics just to make sure you noticed.”

Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue also shot the KISS concert, and our Senior Editor John Katsilometes gives us the rundown on the KISS concert in his Kats Report on the Las Vegas Sun. Plus, our loyal VDLX reader Richard Corey recorded this video posted on YouTube.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground. Read more of Robin's stories at

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