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Alive/Worldwide Tour: 1996-'97



Start Date: June 15, 1996

End Date: July 5, 1997

Shows: 192

Countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, Yugoslavia

Headlining Acts: Ozzy Osbourne

Opening Acts: The 4th Floor, 311, Alice In Chains, Alkbottle, Biohazard, The Bogmen, Caroline's Spine, Channel Zero, CIV, Core22, Coyote Shivers, Custard, D Generation, Deftones, Die Artze, Dog Eat Dog, Econoline Crush, El Fantastico Hombre Bala, Everclear, The Exponents, The Fauves, Fear Factory, Fireballs, Fugees, Fungus, Garbage, Glueleg, Goldfinger, Hellacopters, The Hunger, Irigy Honaljmirigy. Johnny Bravo, KORN, L7, Live, Lush, Malon, The Melvins, Moonspell, The Mutton Birds, Naked Lunch, Neneh Cherry, The Nixons, No Doubt, Non-Intentional Lifeform, Otto, Outhouse, Pantera, Paradise Lost, Passion Orange, Poe, Powerman 5000, Pushmonkey, Rage Against The Machine, Red 5, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Reef, Reel Big Fish, Royal Crown Revue, Satisfucktion, Sepultura, Sex Tiger, Sideburn, Silver Chair, Skunk Anansie, Snout, Sponge, Stabbing Westward, Stage, The Straws, Sugar Ray, Thunder, Uncle Meat, V8, The Verve Pipe, Waltari, Warpigs, Zluty Pes

Average Attendance: 13.737

Line Up: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, Ace Frehley.

In 1996, a wish came true for many KISS fans, the original line up of the band reunited and put the makeup and costumes back on, suddenly KISS was back, and with a bang! The plan for the band was to go back as how the band was in 1977. but when the band was reunited, they needed a big world tour to go with it, they hired Doc McGhee and his company McGhee Entertainment, Doc previously managed bands like The Scorpions, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue! Another big help to get the reunion tour started was Danny Goldberg, CEO of Mercury Records. 


The band's first public appearance in full makeup and costumes came at the 1996 Grammys on February 28, 1996 and they were introduced by Tupac Shakur. The appearance was a huge success and seen by a billion people and the world knew once again that the original KISS was back, especially with the help of the Internet that was on the rise in 1996. On April 16, 1996, Conan 'O Brien hosted the press conference for the Alive/World tour (a.k.a nicknamed The Reunion Tour), on board of the 1940's era flight deck carrier turned museum, the U.S.S Intrepid located on the west side of Manhattan in front of a large audience with the biggest names in the press and music industry.


Tickets for the first official show of the tour in Tiger Stadium sold out in 47 minutes (a total of 40.000 tickets!). KISS had turned from nearly selling out their performances at KISS conventions to filling entire stadiums. From the 192 concerts they sold out 127 of them with the rest almost sold out, 24 countries were visited, 77 different opening acts, 400,000 feet of concert footage was taped and archived and they performed in front of over 2,5 million people. The first leg of the tour was considered the number one tour of 1996.

The Alive/Worldwide stage in almost all of it's glory

Rehearsals for the tour began in June in the Van Nuys International Airport in California and continued at Cobo Arena in Detroit from June 21-25 before moving to Tiger Stadium on June 26. Seeing the era of 1977 was being used for the "Reunion Tour", they used a upgraded Love Gun tour stage, except no big stairs beside the drum riser this time but a wall of amplifiers, where the lower half would shift forward after the first song, Doc McGhee invested in a big video screen, this screen was made up of cubes which were 2 feet high (60 cm) by 3 (91 cm) feet wide each and they had a video projector inside with a lenticular lens like a rear projection TV. They were roughly six feet (1,82 m)deep! Above the video screen a huge bright KISS logo made out of hundreds of lights and could flash in various patterns.  Ace supplied a effect for the video screen to be used, he would morph the 4 1978 KISS solo albums and did a great job at it, it was at the show and at the Reunion Reel that was shown at press conferences before the show (see remastered version below!)


The show would use pretty much everything the band had done before in the past only better, Gene flying to the rafters after spitting blood, the drum riser going up with a amazing looking curtain in front of it with 2 golden cats on it (who also had green blinking eyes but the lighting of the stage made it impossible to see). The platform risers were back, Ace would let his guitar smoke, let it go up in the rafters and grab his second guitar too shoot rockets up in the lighting rig, during the tour another effect was added and the last rocket Ace would shoot would 'shoot off' a piece of prop lighting of the lighting rig that would fall down on the stage . But there was one thing they designed for Paul, seeing he basically never really had a small act. So they designed a flying rig for him for the 1997 Lost Cities leg of the tour, a effect that Paul wanted to do for many years, even rumored to be used for the 1979 Dynasty tour! When Paul would introduce Love Gun he asked the audience if he could come over there, 'there' means a small platform somewhere in the crowd, if it was a indoor stadium show, it was a platform at the soundboard. The band would go into the intro of Love Gun and Paul would fly over the audience to his platform, sing Love Gun and returned to the stage, a wonderful way to get closer to your audience!


For promotional purpose the band were also using 4 huge KISS balloons in the shape of the 4 band members either outside the stadium (not with bad weather) or inside if their was room like at the Tiger Stadium concert!

Paul flying over the crowd and Ace's smoking guitar!
The tour books for The Alive/Worldwide tour, on the rleft, the first issue, on the right, the silver tour book for the Lost Cities leg of the tour with live pictures of the first part of the tour. Both came with the printed autographs on the back.

Special Shows / Happenings:

 
- Laguna Hills, CA. June 15, 1996 -
 The first show of the tour was actually more a warm up show for a special event (KROQ 4th Annual Weenie Roast), to check if everything on the technical side was working right, it did not go very smoothly at all, Ace's smoking guitar effect did not work, his rockets missed their target and one even flew over the heads of the audience, during "100,000 Years" the flamethrowers set some of the fireworks for the grand finale on fire sending it in all directions, the Firehouse alarm also went off in the wrong song.

- Moline, IL, July 12, 1996 -
Paul eventually got so entangled in his microphone cable he was forced to stand still while singing the final verse in fear of falling over.

- Chicago, Il, July 16, 1996 -
Ace came down with bronchial infection and his performance was reported "far below his standards, sloppy". The morning after when local DJ Mancow criticized Ace very harshly, KISS's management even called in to the radio station informing them about Ace's illness.

- New York, NY, July 25, 26, 27, 28, 1996 -
KISS once again made history at the Madison Square Garden, the place they saw as the stadium where they knew they made it big in 1977. Paul was teary eyed and chocked up during "King Of The Night Time World" and Peter as well after "Beth" dedicating the song to his late mother with blue roses he gave away after the song.

- Ottawa, Canada, August 5, 1996 -
After smashing his guitar, Paul threw his guitar in the audience but missed the person he wanted to give the guitar to, he asked the fan who caught the guitar to give it back to Paul, the fan actually obliged and Paul gave the guitar to the fan who was originally to catch it.

- Toronto, Canada, August 6, 1996 -
In all their years of performing, the band had seen many items being thrown upon the stage, most of the time these were bra's or panties. But this time it was nothing they expected as a fan threw his prosthetic leg on the stage, Paul picked up the leg and signed it with a marker that got thrown up the stage as well, the rest of the band also signed the leg and returned it to it's owner!

- Los Angeles, CA, August 24, 1996 -
Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer (who severed ties with KISS on August 16 as Mercury Records made clear in a press release) were in attendance, as well as Jay Leno, who appeared backstage to tape several skits for his show.

- Tacoma, WA, August 31, 1996 -
The pyro at the end of "Black Diamond" set the ceiling on fire of the venue, Gene announced that the band would be back after the fire had been put out, eventually the show was put at a halt for 30 minutes.

- Brooklyn, NY, September 4, 1996 -
This was a special performance for the 1996 MTV Music Video Awards, this performance was made in a trade that MTV would air Week In Rock showcasing the Tiger Stadium show.

- Tupelo, MI, September 13, 1996 -
KISS was a target for religious groups since the late 70's, in 1983 this flared up again and now since KISS was back with a bang in 1996 so were the religious groups with their protests, before the Tupelo show conservative protesters staged a boycott of the concert. In response Paul announced during the show to the crowd: "I know there are some people who didn't want us to come here. I want us to all pause in a moment of silence in prayer for these people. Dear God, please, in your infinite wisdom, keep us and protect us from the morons outside who don't know why we're here!" A report indicated that the protesters offered 300,000 dollars to the band to cancel the show! (the band probably would have made almost a million from the show, so they wisely said no!)

- Las Cruces, New Mexico, October 26, 1996 -
A bald fan had covered his face and head in black and white makeup in a design so it looked like a Holstein cow instead of any KISS makeup design! When his image was put up on the video screen before "Detroit Rock City" and Ace noticed it, the band burst into such a un contained laughter that the show was briefly paused. This footage showed up briefly in The Second Coming video, as seen HERE.

- Laguna Hills, CA, October 31, 1996 -
While Paul was doing his cliché raps about the fine selection of women at the show, Peter did a double take when he looked at the video screen behind him and saw his daughter Jenilee in a extreme close up. Strangely enough, this happened at the October 31 show AND the November 1 show!

- Dallas, TX, November 10, 1996 -
Much to the amusement of the band (especially Gene), four female fans in the front row started making out with each other, One fan stripped completely naked and threw her clothes on the stage. In return she was awarded with a KISS tie-dye thirt and Paul's smashed guitar. It was never shown on the video screen seeing Paul's in-laws were at the show.

- East Rutherford, NJ, December 31, 1996 -
Portions of the show were used for a live broadcast on the 25th anniversary of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. KISS balloons were even dropped during "Rock And Roll All Nite". Strangely enough, the part of Paul saying Happy New Years' Eve and the rest of "Rock And Roll All Nite" was taped during the October 1, Atlanta, GA show.

- Osaka, Japan, January 22, 1997 -
Because of a throat infection, Gene only sang lead vocals on the first verse of "Deuce" but shared them on "God Of Thunder" with Paul. Ace and Peter also sang some songs and "Calling Dr. Love" and "Watchin' You" were dropped from the set list.

- Sydney, Australia, February 6, 1997 -

Ace and Paul got stranded mid-air for 10 minutes when their cherry-picker riser stopped working, a portion of the Marshall amp stacks were lowered and the cherry-picker could be swung around but Ace and Paul had to jump the eight remaining feet down to the stage floor.

- Columbus, GA, April 5, 1997 -
Due to Peter having a heavy case of bursitis and tendinitis of the shoulder and lower back (something he already had even in 1978, and now was back seeing the intense playing he went through every night for such a long tour), his drum tech Ed Kanon replaced him in full makeup and costume. After "King Of The Night Time World", Paul announced that to the audience that Peter was under the weather a bit and his 'friend' Eddie replaced him. Eddie did a good job even though he was off a bit once in a while. See footage of Paul introducing Eddie and of the performance here:

- Utrecht, The Netherlands, June 11, 1997 -
After "let Me Go Rock 'n Roll", the concert was stopped for 45 minutes because fans were being crushed against the stage barrier. See footage of Paul HERE talking to the crowd to calm down and take a step back, Paul might has saved some people's life at that show and prevented big injures. As being Dutch myself, concerts back in those days could get rowdy and myself also almost got hurt during a 2002 Rammstein concert in Arnhem.


- London, England, July 5, 1997 -
The last show of the tour was made to be special, the band held a press conference at a wax museum in Piccadilly Circus, selected memorabilia were on display for several days before the show as were used in the Convention tour. Paul would dedicate "Rock And Roll All Nite" to Doc McGhee and his brother Jim, he also would do something he did a few years early and that was once again soaking his guitar in lighter fluid and set it on fire before smashing it. The guitar ended up in the hands of a Dutch fan! *Picture courtesy of Robert Venbroek*

Stage Props:

- Giant KISS logo curtain before show

- Animated KISS Logo

- Gene Spitting Fire/Blood

- Paul/Gene Flying

- Ace Smoking & Shooting Rocket Guitars

- Platform Risers

- Paul Smashing Guitar

- Smoke

- Bombs

- Fireworks

- Pyrotechnics

- Drum Riser

- Confetti

- Big Video-screen

- Moving amps

- Big KISS Inflatables

- KISS Army Banners

- Flamethrowers (chemical based)

- Mirror Ball