Concert plants a big KISS on city

THEY descended like gods from above.

Surrounded by a cloudy orange hue, KISS landed in Mackay at Virgin Australia Stadium.

Their nostalgic supernova outfits glistened in the lights as they stood on a metal platform with guitars and drumsticks in hand.

On Saturday night American rock legends KISS left thousands of audience members in awe of their showmanship and theatrical pyrotechnic performance.

The highly anticipated concert proved that Mackay is more than capable and worthy of hosting a concert of international calibre.

While on stage lead singer Paul Stanley told the audience they had played all over Australia during their Monster Tour.

"We have played the big cities and we were asked why on earth would you play Mackay?

"I said Mackay is going to show you that size doesn't matter."

The crowd erupted in whistles and applause as KISS began to Shout it Out Loud.

Before they took to the stage, Diva Demolition, Thin Lizzy and Motley Crue entertained the growing crowds as the sun began to set.

MECC manager Mark Fawcett said that in the world of showbiz there was a lot of expectation and the KISS concert in Mackay surpassed all expectations.

"I can honestly say I am proud of what we did; it was a concert worthy of a capital city - it is a dream come true.

"We have broken history in Mackay."

Along with Mackay fans, there were those who travelled from all over Queensland, including Cairns, Townsville, Charters Towers, Rockhampton and Brisbane.

He said the night ran smoothly with only a few small glitches.

The weather, the overall vibe and the behaviour of the patrons was fantastic.

"When people walked into the stadium there was that wow factor," Mr Fawcett said.

"There was a diverse crowd, which added to the safety aspect of the stadium," he said.

KISS fans are in prime position as their idols kick off The Monster Tour 2013 in Mackay.
KISS fans are in prime position as their idols kick off The Monster Tour 2013 in Mackay. Lee Constable

Mr Fawcett said the shuttle buses were a success with many people using the service.

The last group of people left at the stadium and got on a shuttle bus at 12.15pm.

Mr Fawcett said Motley Crue was so impressed with the gig and the venue, they messaged him during their set to tell him it was their best gig while touring Australia.

"It was incredible. I was lucky to have spent time with Motley Crue and they loved it."

Tommy Lee played the drums during their set, while moving clockwise around a steel circle.

Lee said he heard that a lot of bands don't play in Mackay.

"I feel honoured to play for you; we have to change this," he said.

During the evening KISS turned down the volume to dedicate their song Shandi, to 23-year-old murder victim Shandee Blackburn and her family.

Arron Macklin, Vicki Blackburn, Paul Beardmore and Shannah Blackburn were touched by a tribute to Shandee.
Arron Macklin, Vicki Blackburn, Paul Beardmore and Shannah Blackburn were touched by a tribute to Shandee.

The rendition of the song for Shandee was touching.

Towards the end of the concert, there were more fireworks and a creepy vampire impression from Gene Simmons.

He was pulled to the sky during his impression, flying like a vampire with the help of invisible wires.

But Simmons wasn't the only one to take flight. Stanley flew over the crowd on a flying fox to sing on a smaller stage in the middle of the audience.

Mr Fawcett said a lot of eyes were on Mackay along with those of several band promoters, looking at Mackay for similar events in the future.

"We pulled it off and have set the bar high."



JUST like the characters in their favourite film, Detroit Rock City, Grant McKenzie and Kieran Kuskopf did whatever they could to see KISS.

The Brisbane friends thought they had purchased tickets to the Brisbane concert but found out at the last minute they bought them for the Mackay gig.

"We found out a week ago that we would be visiting Mackay.

"It is really chilled here," Mr McKenzie said.

The pair, who were at the front of the Destroyer Zone, said they had a better view of the stage than they would have if they had gone to the Brisbane show.

Detroit Rock City, named after a KISS song, is based on four teenagers growing up in the 70s who jump hilarious hurdles to see the band in concert.

Mr McKenzie said he was of the new generation of KISS fans, and was introduced to the band by his parents.

"I love the old-style rock and roll and they put on a good show.

"They are still kicking on and are still making fresh music.

"I have heard their new album Monster and it is different but not boring," Mr McKenzie said.

Mr Kuskopf said they didn't make music like they used to and said it was awesome to see bands such as Thin Lizzy and Motley Crue live.


Did Saturday's KISS concert rock Mackay?

This poll ended on 25 March 2013.

Yes - 95%

No - 4%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  concert kiss mackay motley crue music thin lizzy

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