Kiss Go Symphonic Down Under
Well, they've tried everything else. Kiss will play a one-off concert Feb. 28 at the 48,000-capacity Telstra Dome in Melbourne with the 60-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The concert, to celebrateWell, they've tried everything else. Kiss will play a one-off concert Feb. 28 at the 48,000-capacity Telstra Dome in Melbourne with the 60-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The concert, to celebrate Kiss' 30th anniversary, will feature the group's classic lineup of guitarist Paul Stanley, bassist Gene Simmons, drummer Peter Criss, and guitarist Ace Frehley and will cost $4 million to stage.
The event will be broadcast around the world via pay-per-view and later released as a double-disc album and DVD. A documentary will also be made, based around the week-long rehearsals. "Kiss Symphony" will be a three-part event, starting with a rock set by the band, an unplugged set, and then a collaboration with the orchestra.
"When the Melbourne Symphony teams up with Kiss, I promise the result will be no less than a symphonic sonic boom," Stanley said. "Beethoven and Mozart will rise up dancing with fists raised as we unleash a spectacle that will be both classic and classical. This time it's black tie AND black leather." Added Gene Simmons, "Fans are going to realize how magnificent and classical our music really is."
Stanley, Criss, and Simmons flew to Australia to announce the concert today (Oct. 21). Fourteen members of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra were on hand -- replete with Kiss face makeup -- to play "I Was Made for Loving You" and "Rock'N'Roll All Night."
The idea of the collaboration came from the office of promoter Andrew McManus, who promoted the band through Australia 18 months ago on its supposed "farewell tour." One of McManus' aides who was a fan of Metallica's collaboration with the San Francisco orchestra suggested the MSO, which has recorded and toured with Elton John, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, the Three Tenors, and Aussie superstar John Farnham.
This is the first time the MSO has collaborated with a rock band. Arrangements for the show will be handled by Los Angeles arranger David Campbell.
The band expects half the audience in Melbourne to come from the U.S., Europe, and Japan. The Australian airline Qantas is offering a package of airfare, three days' accommodations, and show tickets for $,1600. Asked if there were plans to play the show elsewhere in the world, Stanley sidestepped the question: "We see this as a unique thing, and we're not looking at any plans beyond Australia."
Stanley was no more forthcoming about why Kiss was continuing to play when it already signaled a farewell tour. "When you have everyone asking you not to split up..." he shrugged.
Simmons is also going to be in Australia through the first week of November. He will make a keynote speech Nov. 1 at the Australian marketing institute's national conference at the Grand Hyatt and then embarks on his first speaking tour of the region, under the billing "Speaking in Tongues." At these events, to be held Nov. 5 in Sydney and Nov. 6 in Melbourne, he'll show home videos, play new recordings, and indulge in Q&A with the audience.