There is no band I know of more iconic in terms of sound AND appearance than KISS. Love ’em or hate ’em, you know ’em when you see ’em and you won’t confuse KISS with any other band in existence. In the mid 70’s I went to every single show they toured, starting in 1975 and ending in the 1983 when they showed up with Wendy O Williams and the Plasmatics as an opener.

When I heard they were coming to Houston for their 35th anniversary show I really, REALLY wanted to photograph the event. It took some wrangling, but I eventually scored press credentials to provide photos for Craig Hlavaty’s review in The Houston Press.

I’ve shot a lot of small and mid-sized concerts, but this was my first big rock show. I was really appreciative of Technology Bytes co-host Groovehouse’s presence at the show. He had an extra photo release form which I needed to fill out plus an extra set of ear plugs which really made the difference.

The opening act was a band called Buckcherry and we got to shoot their first three songs. I wasn’t all that interested in their performance, but it was an opportunity to get a feel for the layout and I treated it as a warm up. We were only allowed to shoot the first three songs by KISS and I was sweating it a little. The typical scenario is three songs and even it’s not a lot of time to settle in and get your shots.

For this show I carried both my new Sony A850 and my Sony A700. The former mounted with my Zeiss 24-70 and the latter with my Tamron 70-200. Both lenses served their purpose and I was glad to have them. Overall, though, the A850 with the Zeiss wide angle was the most useful rig for this show.

I gotta hand it to KISS, they really put on a show. For the first two songs they played it up for the photographers and gave us plenty of opportunities to get some fantastic photos. I’ve never had a band do that before and it was a real treat. Be sure and read Craig’s review of the whole show at The Houston Press for the set-list and other observations.

Here are a few of my favorites from the evening. Click any image to see a larger version.

Additional photos in my Flickr gallery.

KISS Alive 35

7 thoughts on “KISS Alive 35

  • December 7, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Great shots, Jay!

  • December 7, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    You know, I have the strongest memory of seeing KISS for the first time on television with Witchipoo. As you say, they’re visually memorable.

  • December 7, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I could blow any one of those up and hang them as a poster in my room! Great shots Jay.

  • December 8, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    My brother would wet his pants over this!

  • December 11, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Beautiful shots Jay.
    I bet you had a ball there!
    Just looking at the photos is taking me back to my teenage years, …..sigh, doesn’t time fly.

  • May 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Very nice KISS images!!

  • March 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    KISS is coming to Denver this August (2012), and I’m trying to acquire my credentials to shoot the show. Any contact info you can pass along to me would be great. Also, how was the photo release you signed? Was it pretty strict, or fairly standard? Great shots, by the way!

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