After all these years, Kiss comes across as a bunch of rude, loud, obnoxious adolescents. Its in-your-face attitude was fine 16 years ago when the band released its first album and the glitter-glam era was on its dying wings, disco dudedom hovering just around the corner. But it's another time and Kiss's performance Tuesday night at the Patriot Center showed just how pathetically little these fellows have changed.
The band made its entrance from the mouth of a giant sphinx spewing lasers and smoke, and quickly churned out lots of sonic guitar chords, gratuitous cussing and mighty rock-star stances. Bassist Gene Simmons kept thrusting his instrument at the audience, and lead singer/guitarist Paul Stanley is still the king of pouty-lipped posing. Call it heavy-metal voguing.
Somewhere in all this bombast was very mediocre music and musicianship. There's no doubt that early Kiss tunes, such as "Black Diamond," "Shout It Loud" and "Dr. Love," are genuine hard-rock classics -- the big whoop-it-up choruses are just as much goofy fun in the '90s as in the '70s. But anything post-1980, especially the cuts from the quartet's latest album, "Hot in the Shade," was harsh and annoying. The band stumbled most when it played "I Was Made for Loving You," a discofied rock tune that Stanley claimed hadn't been performed in 10 years. We can only hope it will be sooner that this band gives it a rest.