The Kiss Army was out in volume if not in force on Monday -- unable to fill the main auditorium of Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, but still able to make themselves heard, chanting "KISS, KISS, KISS, KISS, KISS."
Decked out in Kiss regalia from throughout the band's career, the fans came to hear the new album and see the premiere of the 3-D video for the album's title track. But what they really wanted to do was see Kiss. KISS, KISS, KISS, KISS, KISS.
The band had a lot to talk about: the new album Psycho Circus; a new tour kicking off Halloween night at Dodger Stadium; a 3-D video; a movie, Detroit Rock City, due out next summer; a new Kiss credit card; a new line of action figures; and finally, a Kiss Internet service provider -- www.kissonline.net -- regardless of the fact that most of the crowd wouldn't be trusted to work heavy machinery, much less a sophisticated piece of equipment like a computer.
The video was done in 3-D, Ace Frehley said, because "we're always trying to give our fans more." But for all the technical, computer-aided wizardry involved, the 3-D effects have not progressed much since House of Wax -- outstretched hands, drum sticks tossed toward you, guitar necks thrust forward, a juggler viewed from above.
The new stage show, Paul Stanley promises, will also be in 3-D (that shouldn't be too hard, although depth has never been this band's strong point). He also promised the faithful that Kiss is out to "bring the fun back into rock & roll. We're sick of all the bands who complain about how hard their life is!" (Which does nothing to explain why the band chose Smashing Pumpkins as their opening act in L.A.).
But fun was the last thing on the mind of the evening's hosts Phil LaMarr and Alex Borstein from Mad TV. Forgetting for a moment the fact that another Fox program, That 70's Show, would have been a wittier choice, they were painfully, gratingly unfunny. "My favorite Kiss?" Borstein asked rhetorically. "That's easy. Gene Simmons; I just love that tongue. Isn't that right girls?"
The reason Mad TV is involved is because the band's Halloween show will be broadcast on Fox following Mad TV (they will also appear in skits on the show, as well as on the Friday, October 30th episode of Millennium). Showing that his tongue is just as comfortable kissing up as it is sticking out, Gene Simmons reminded everyone that "Fox is a very fine network. You should watch it more than the others."