Last night I saw KISS and Morrissey perform live back to back shows. I came out the other side a changed man. A man who, because he’d just seen KISS and Morrissey back to back, questioned whether or not he even was one. I don’t know anything anymore. Except this: I wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll all night, and party ev-a-ree day is like Sunday.
KISS sacrificed babies to the Gods of Rawk at the Ed Sullivan Theater for an impossibly epic web series called Live on Letterman. They owned. Morrissey may not know whether the body rules the mind or the mind rules the body, but KISS is pretty sure it’s the former. Last night they were what they’ve always been: a band that lives from the loins, so preening, showy and cocksure they make the oiled up ‘roid addicts of the WWE look like Perfume Genius. And because we were in the tiny theater David Letterman makes a living creeping out young actresses in, we felt every bit of their outsized shit show–complete with requisite pyro–in our bones and on our skin. Afterward the entire crowd walked out to greet the New York night like KISS My Anthia arriving to the L.A.I.R.E. Battle Royale.
Morrissey provided the perfect come down, good but in a completely opposite way. He played a reserved and subtle set that lasted roughly as long as KISS’ truncated onslaught, one hour. Morrissey live is all effortless cool, a gentleman with such impeccable grace every man in the audience at his sold out Radio City Music Hall gig decided to cut their hair just like him. Even after such a loyal gesture, at times he seemed a tad unimpressed by the crowd, and at one point toward the middle of the short set asked if he should leave. He is human, after all. He needs to be loved.
In a perfect world the two would come together and form the greatest band no one ever asked for (Not sure what they’d call themselves … Kabuki Moz? Mopey KISS? Morrissey and Paul Stanley’s Wild Chest Hair Explosion?), an “I got the brains, you’ve got the brawn, let’s make zero money” Super Group whose album, Viva Capes, would sell a half Satanic 333 copies to the angry fan base of both. Or maybe that’s a horrible idea? I don’t know, man. Like I said, I just saw KISS and Morrissey play live back to back shows. Nothing makes sense or matters anymore.
What follows is a rundown of some of the things I saw and heard last night. I’ll let you guess what happened where. I’ve provided the answers too, because I’m not a monster. And speaking of, Monster is the title of KISS’ new album, which they released Tuesday. Sadly, it does not feature guest vocals by Morrissey.
1. _____________ wore a cod piece.
2. A black bra was thrown onstage at __________ .
3. __________ featured a very Rock ‘n’ Roll video backdrop of a cow’s snout being cut off with hedge trimmers, baby chickens having their beaks clipped and a bull having his balls crudely removed with dull sheers.
4. “This old woman said to me backstage, ‘Give me your autograph, __________. I’m Jewish. I’M JEWISH.”
5. “You’re a bunch of wild animals!”
6. “Are you feeling anything? Are you still breathing? How the hell do you know?”
7. Countless guitar picks were hurled at the crowd like throwing stars at _______.
8. _______ wore makeup.
9. _____________ was handed a book.
10. _______________ cried onstage.
11. “This feels like one of our old club gigs!”
12. At one of the shows, a young boy, all of 12-years-old, ran onstage, hugged ____________ and handed him a rose.
13. “The Beatles played on this stage! That may not mean anything to you, but it means a whole lot to us.”
14. “Holy shit, if I would’ve caught his shirt, I’d have mailed it to you,” said a girl outside the ____________ show.
15. “I got a great idea. Let’s play a song from the first album!’
1. Gene Simmons.
2. Morrissey. He caught it, looked at it non-nonchalantly and threw it back into the crowd. Had it happened at KISS, Gene Simmons probably would’ve eaten it.
3. Morriessy, during “Meat Is Murder.”
4 Paul Stanley, Jew.
5. Paul Stanley, to the crowd, stating the obvious.
6. Morrissey, bored.
8. KISS and Morrissey. (Wah wah.)
9. Morrissey. No one in KISS can read.
10. No one. But, because he cries so often on his reality series Family Jewels, you can’t help but think of Gene Simmons breaking down in tears when you watch him. Even when he’s in full makeup, holding his bass high and thrusting his hips while pointing to his crotch and wagging his tongue which, in its own way, is also tears.
11. Paul Stanley, eternal goofball.
12. Morrissey. It was the sweetest. He had a wispy haircut like a young Edward Furlong circa Terminator 2 or the kid doing boneless ones in REM’s “It’s the End of the World” video. I’ve never seen security throw someone off a stage so gently, and that turned out to be a bad thing. Thinking it set a precedent for how they’d be ushered off, the show’s one-song encore (Still Ill” ) turned into a bumrush of Morrissey fans looking to hug their hero. A couple of them were made an example of.
13. Paul Stanley, underestimating his fans.
14. Morrissey. He wore four shirts throughout the night, and tossed the third into the crowd.
15. Paul Stanley, man of great ideas.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 11, 2012