It’s fair to say that Kiss fans are some of the craziest fans out there. At pretty much any live Kiss show, the band looks out to a sea of people dressed head to toe in ‘Kisswear’ and such costumes are sometimes even more intricately made than those of the band.
Kiss’ iconic stagewear comes from their personas as comic-book-style characters, including Starchild (Paul Stanley), The Demon (Gene Simmons), The Spaceman or Space Ace (Ace Frehley) and The Catman (Peter Criss). They formed the band in 1973 in New York City and became a world-renowned outfit for their live performances, which included fire-breathing, smoking guitars, firing rockets, spitting blood, levitating drumkits and impressive pyrotechnic displays.
Kiss are currently out on their final live tour, which is scheduled to end on July 17th, 2022. While that last date is fast approaching and will mark the end of a glittering five-decade-spanning career (and their fans have undoubtedly been making the most of their opportunity to see the band one last time), rare footage of a 1975 live show has started to circulate online, which is giving fans a hitherto unseen glance into the band during their meteoric rise to power.
A Youtube user named Sam Loomis uploaded a video to the platform in late June. The video was an entire live show from the Alive!Tour. The show took place on November 30th, 1975, at the Capitol Centre in Largo, Maryland.
But the exciting new footage did not end there. Just a week later, footage from arguably one of Kiss’ best-loved live shows appeared online. It featured over half an hour of their Dressed to Kill concert on May 16th, 1975, at the Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan. This footage is extremely rare; only a few seconds of the show had been available to the public on a VH1 Ultimate Albums episode from 2003. The footage, which had long been rumoured to be in circulation somewhere, will greatly delight Kiss fans. Kiss’ fourth album, 1975’s Alive!, was, in fact, recorded at Cobo Hall.
Amazingly, even more footage continued to be released. Earlier this week, a third video circulated online. It contains nearly two hours of a Kiss rehearsal in 1976 in black and white. The video also shows Kiss drummer Peter Criss singing ‘Beth’ without wearing the band’s infamous make-up or costume. It is unclear exactly where the videos came from, although one of the videos credits Curt Gooch and Ross Bradley, two members of the Kiss collectors community.
Kiss fans have been expressing their delight at the footage online. On the Largo show footage, one fan said, “Absolutely awesome. I’ve been a fan since 1980 when I was only an 8-year-old kid. I’m still a huge fan. I’ve collected tons of bootlegs, audio and video, as well as all of the official albums and merchandise and dolls etc. This is a very killer rare bootleg though. Good quality too!!!!”
On the Cobo Hall show, another fan added, “Sweet. Maybe this can shed light to the folks out there that still don’t get the credibility issue older fans have with Kiss and the fake singing these days. This was raw and real, great stuff. The stuff now is slap in the face to the real stuff back then. Thanks for the video.”
Any Kiss fans should check out the abundance of footage below.