Gig Review – KISS, O2 Arena, 11 July 2019

When KISS played at The O2 two years ago, there were plenty of rumours doing the rounds that they’d never tour again. Fast forward two years and this is really it – this time they’re definitely packing up. Or are they? Supposedly yes, but in 2023 they’ll have been together for 50 years and given they’re nothing if not a money making machine these days, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them ‘come out of retirement’.

Regardless, for now I assume this really is it.

Getting accredited for KISS shows hasn’t been easy for some years, so I was commissioned tonight by a national newspaper. Somehow the pit was rammed though with over 15 photographers. We had two songs. Standard for KISS. Except when they came on we were still out in the wings, waiting. That’s because we weren’t allowed in the pit until the curtain had fallen and been cleared out of the pit completely. They descended on massive hydraulic risers and if we’d got that shot it would have been the shot of the night, but no, by the time we were in the pit they were on the stage.

Still, it’s KISS, and they know how to put on a show for the cameras. Gene slobbers everywhere, stares and points and licks his bass. Paul poses all the time, but no longer drops to his knees with a KISS guitar pick stuck to the end of his tongue. Mind you, if he had, the two over zealous videographers would have ensured we saw none of it!

Even though we really only got about 4-5 minutes in the pit it was still a cool show.

As this is (allegedly) the last time they’ll ever play in London, I’d bought myself a standing ticket. Once I’d┬álocked my DSLRs in the car I headed in to the crowd with my little Sony RX100. I had already decided to get directly in front of the mixing desk if I could as I figured I ought to get some half decent full stage shots from there. I pushed the little camera to its absolute limits tonight. Yes, it can shoot RAW files, has continual focus and you can set the whole thing up manually, but it’s a pocket camera. I have to say that I was delighted with a few of the shots I got with it. I knew they’d pull out all the stops but it was a crazy show and I’m really pleased I got to see it.