OK, the other day while flying to Vegas & listening to Crazy Nights, I hinted in a post at something really cool that I was doing in Nevada…so here it is!
I jumped on a plane at LAX Saturday night to head to Vegas the night before the band was scheduled to fly in to see the new KISS stage for the first time! The KISS production staff / KISS crew had gathered in Primm all week to build the all new End Of The Road stage. I was so pumped on the flight!
Just after landing around 9PM, Dean Snowden called to see what time I’d arrive and to let me know that Robert Long, our production manager wanted me to stop over tonight to see the stage. I could not wait.
I was really excited but it seriously escalated as I parked the car outside the arena right next to the KISS trucks and the hotel’s roller coaster. As I walked towards the back stage door I suddenly felt nervous for some reason. Not sure why but I did.
I entered the door directly behind the stage in front of the back of a huge video screen. I turned left walking past piles of cables all over. As I approached the floor of the venue and glanced to my right to witness the massive new KISS stage, I was instantly overwhelmed.
I proceeded to the center of the arena to greet the KISS team who were responsible for this awesome stage, immediately telling them what an amazing job they did. Robert Long, in his usual no bullshit style immediately said “First off, thanks Keith but you are only looking at about 3/4th of the stage..the rest could not fit in the venue. Also, you haven’t seen what it does. So sit down and watch.”
For the next 4 1/2 hours I intently watched as the production team ran through various parts of the show. I won’t spoil the surprise for anyone…and to be honest I’m not sure how I would describe all that I saw. But I will say the stage is simply incredible. Bigger than anything KISS has ever down! It’s coupled with technology and amazing lighting and graphics. It was so much more than I ever expected!
Back at the hotel around 5 am and too pumped to sleep, I did some more work on the Tourbook. Finally crashed for a couple hours before heading back over the arena to wait for the band. We got the warning the band was arriving and Dean and I got our video cameras out to capture the band’s reactions as they saw the stage for the first time. After greeting everyone.. Paul, Gene, Tommy & Eric entered the arena and had the same reaction as I did the night before. They were all instantly impressed.
The band proceeded to the middle of the arena where a couch and chairs where set up for them to witness a run through of some of the stage effects. I chatted with the guys about how amazing the stage was and then production began the showcase. This time the run through was even more elaborate than what I witnessed the night before. The opening of the show is simply amazing and I cannot wait for everyone to see it. I was so excited I messaged a friend with something like this… I can’t show you anything or tell you anything but please book your airfare to Vancouver now. You NEED to be there to see this stage first hand for the first time ever in person and not on Youtube!
The band stayed for over 4 hours and Dean and I captured it all on film. It was amazing to listen to the band talk about the stage and interact with each other, the production team and Rob Roth, the artistic consultant on the stage. Rob is a dear friend of the band. He is also a wonderful and talented person, who happens to be the director who launched Beauty & The Beast on broadway. For the record… my favorite musical ever!
It was so wonderful to witness as the guys looked at their parts of the stage and to see it work after months of seeing it on paper. Their excitement confirmed to me what I was feeling was real!
As the guys got ready to leave, I did something I don’t usually do… I asked them if I could get a photo.. I had to… I’ve been so lucky to have experienced so many unbelievable things with KISS but I think this was the most incredible.. to actually witness the band see their final stage ever and discuss ideas to incorporate into the show was tremendous. And people ask me why I’m always smiling, really? Life is grand!
Later that night, I sent the following text to Paul:
Thanks for today, Paul. In the scope of things…probably the coolest thing to experience as a fan..to be with the band when seeing the final stage….awesome that KISS is going out roaring…so proud and excited!
Paul responded instantly with “Amazing!”
And as all of you will see next year… it sure is!
See you on the End Of The Road!
Special thanks to Robert Long and his entire team – you have out done yourselves with this production! Be proud…you are going to make so many people happy around the world! Read on: http://bit.ly/2AdmGFT