Kiss kick off their archive live series with a die-hard fan's delight

Out now: short-lived Kiss line-up captured live in Japan on Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001

Kiss: Off The Soundboard: Tokyo 2001
(Image: © UMe)

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Although Kiss and the Grateful Dead have little else in common, both command loyal fan armies obsessed with the minutiae of their line-up fluctuations and recordings. In 2019, Gene Simmons told this writer that Kiss planned to follow the Dead’s example and release archive live shows. 

Tokyo 2001 is a strong start to the series, providing an official recording of a short-lived line-up, convened at the end of the reunited original band’s farewell tour, with early-90s drummer Eric Singer replacing Peter Criss. 

By comparison, the same tour’s Alive: The Millenium Concert sounds sluggish, Singer’s drive and energy here lighting a fire under his bandmates. 

The sound is raw, clear and appears free of overdubs (Frehley plays well but fluffs the odd note), and with deep cuts like Talk To Me alongside plenty of hits this is a die-hard fan’s delight.

Rich Davenport

Rich Davenport is a music journalist, stand-up comedian and musician, and has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock since 2016