There are some things in life that just go naturally together. Pizza and beer. Steelers and Super Bowl. KISS and a stage. The masked men from Gotham City have been doing it for over 30 years and they still know how to crush most of their contemporaries in a live setting. A lot of jealous and petty people question the output by the band of late. In fact, many of the best of collections put out in the last few years has been to fill contractual obligations by the record company, and this has nothing to do with the band. Oh and by the way, if you're carping about all the product out there…..please feel free not to buy it…and shut up!
Yes, there were the live sets from the Australian shows from last year. Rock the Nation, however, gives the band a chance to welcome Eric Singer back into the fold and show how tight the band is at present. And the shows are as tight as Donald Trump's wallet.
The band cranks through 20 KISS Klassics including a couple of lesser-played songs like "Makin' Love" from Rock and Roll Over and "Got to Choose" from Hotter than Hell. From the opening blast of "Love Gun" through to the confetti-blizzard of "Rock & Roll All Nite", it's evident that the boys have not lost any steam. It goes without saying that Paul Stanley is the best front man in all of rock and he is the perfect master of ceremonies, musically solid but, as always, looking like he invented showmanship as well. A certain Mr. Simmons is equal to the task in both respects, able to captivate the crowd with one flick of his agile tongue.
Tommy Thayer pulls off a "Space Ace" perfectly, faithfully replicating the notes and adopting the gravity challenged moves. Eric Singer is one of the most talented and dependable drummers in the biz and it's nice to have him back behind the kit.
The band breaks up the concert with a mini documentary that is spread out over six minute or so segments. These include a look inside the band's dressing room; photo shoots; the meet and greets from the last tour; soundchecks; a look at some theatre shows; and life on the road. All are entertaining and show some parts of the band we rarely get to see.
The DVD also contains something called KISS Powervision where by selecting this mode, you can watch the show and also have four different camera angles following each member throughout.
The only grumble about Rock the Nation is the inclusion of the Barbie dolls out front that are just there to shake what nature gave them. There are a lot of hotties in the KISS Army who actually know the words and look just as good doing it.
All in all: great show and lots of nice off-stage stuff for the die-hards. This will help fill the time before Paul's solo record later this year.