Alive/Worldwide Tour - 1996 - '97

Start Date: June 16, 1996

End Date: July 5, 1997

Shows: 192

Legs: 2

Countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, Yugoslavia

Headlining Acts: Ozzy Osbourne

Opening Acts: The 4th Floor, 311, Alice In Chains, Alkbottle, Biohazard, The Bogmen, Caroline's Spine, Channel Zero, CIV, Core22, Coyote Shivers, Custard, D Generation, Deftones, Die Artze, Dog Eat Dog, Econoline Crush, El Fantastico Hombre Bala, Everclear, The Exponents, The Fauves, Fear Factory, Fireballs, Fugees, Fungus, Garbage, Glueleg, Goldfinger, Hellacopters, The Hunger, Irigy Honaljmirigy, Johnny Bravo, KORN, L7, Live, Lush, Malon, The Melvins, Moonspell, The Mutton Birds, Naked Lunch, Neneh Cherry, The Nixons, No Doubt, Non-Intentional Lifeform, Otto, Outhouse, Pantera, Paradise Lost, Passion Orange, Poe, Powerman 5000, Pushmonkey, Rage Against The Machine, Red 5, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Reef, Reel Big Fish, Royal Crown Revue, Satisfucktion, Sepultura, Sex Tiger, Sideburn, Silver Chair, Skunk Anansie, Snout, Sponge, Stabbing Westward, Stage, The Straws, Sugar Ray, Thunder, Uncle Meat, V8, The Verve Pipe, Waltari, Warpigs, Zluty Pes

Average Attendance: 13.737

Line Up: Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss

In 1996, a wish came true for many KISS fans, the original line up of the band reunited and put the makeup and costumes back on, suddenly, the original KISS was back, and with a bang! The plan for the band was to go back as how the band was in 1977 before all the trouble started in the band. but when the band was reunited, they needed a big world tour to go with it, for this they hired Doc McGhee and his company McGhee Entertainment. Doc previously managed bands like The Scorpions, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue. Another big help to get the reunion tour started was Danny Goldberg, CEO of Mercury Records.

The band's first public appearance in full makeup and costumes came at the 1996 Grammy's on February 28, 1996 and they were introduced by Tupac Shakur, who sadly was murdered in September of 1996. The appearance was a huge success and seen by a billion people and the world knew once again that the original KISS was back, especially with the help of the Internet that was on the rise in 1996 the hype among fans grew even larger. On April 16, 1996, Conan 'O Brien hosted the press conference for the Alive/World Tour (nicknamed the Reunion Tour), on board of the 1940's era flight deck carrier turned museum, the ''U.S.S Intrepid" located on the west side of Manhattan in front of a large audience with the biggest names in the press and music industry. KISS also were all over TV, from interviews, TV shows and the whole band would even have parts in the TV show 'Millennium' on the episode called "...Thirteen Years Later" (S3, E5).

Tickets for the first official show of the tour in Tiger Stadium sold out in 47 minutes (a total of 40.000 tickets). Once again KISS went from playing small clubs to filling entire stadiums in under a year. From the 192 concerts they sold out 127 of them with the rest almost sold out, 24 countries were visited, 77 different opening acts, 400,000 feet of concert footage was taped and archived and they performed in front of over 2,5 million people. The first leg of the tour was considered the number one tour of 1996...

The Alive/Worldwide stage

Rehearsals for the tour began in June in the Van Nuys International Airport in California and continued at Cobo Arena in Detroit from June 21-25 before moving to Tiger Stadium on June 26. Seeing the era of 1977 was being used for the 'Reunion Tour':

  • Love Gun Stage - Using the Love Gun stage as a inspiration, without no big staircases beside the drum riser this time but a wall of amplifiers, where the lower half would shift forward after the first song.

  • Video Screen - Doc McGhee, KISS's manager, invested in a state of the art video screen, this screen was made up of cubes which were 2 feet high (60 cm) by 3 (91 cm) feet wide each and they had a video projector inside with a lenticular lens like a rear projection TV. They were roughly six feet (1,82 m) deep!

  • KISS Logo - Above the video screen a huge bright KISS logo was placed made out of hundreds of lights and could flash in various patterns. Ace supplied a effect for the video screen to be used, he morphed the four 1978 KISS solo album covers into each other, the effect was added to the retrospective Reunion reel that was shown at press conferences before the show and even before the shows. (See my remastered version below!)
  • Paul Flying - A new prop was designed specially for Paul, seeing he basically never really had one for himself. They designed a flying rig for him for the 1997 Lost Cities leg of the tour, a effect that Paul wanted to do for many years, even rumored to be used for the 1979 Dynasty Tour! When Paul would introduce 'Love Gun' he asked the audience if he could come over there, 'there' means a small platform somewhere in the crowd, if it was a indoor stadium show, it was usually a platform at the soundboard. The band would go into the intro of 'Love Gun' and Paul would fly over the audience to his platform, sing 'Love Gun' and returned to the main stage, a wonderful way to get closer to your audience!
  • Inflatable KISS Figures - For promotional purpose the band was also using four huge KISS inflatable figures in the shape of the four band members either outside the stadium (not with bad weather) or inside if their was room like at the Tiger Stadium concert! For the Psycho Circus Tour they would return but with Destroyer costumes. An interesting fact about this tour is, that KISS archived every show from 1996 to 2001 on Betacam SP videotape with Nocturne Productions. So somewhere in a fault, is archived footage of three KISS tours! Some footage was released like the Tiger Stadium, Irvine Meadows, Dodger Stadium and the July 27th Madison Square Garden shows as they ended up on Kissology Volume 3.
  • Gene Flying - Gene flew to the rafters on his platform after his guitar solo and spitting blood.
  • Drum Riser & Drum Riser Curtain - The drum riser was back with an amazing looking curtain with two golden cats with green blinking eyes that looked almost identical to the curtain used during the Alive II Tour.
  • Platform Risers - The platform risers were back just like the ones used during the Love Gun Tour.
  • Ace's Guitar Effects - All of Ace's old guitar effects returned, Ace would let his guitar smoke, let it fly up in the rafters and grab his second guitar to shoot rockets up in the lighting rig, during the tour another effect was added and the last rocket Ace would shoot 'shoot off' a piece of prop from the lighting rig that would fall down on the stage. Ace would also add tunes from classical music into his guitar solo's like for example Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

The KISS inflatables

Paul flying over the crowd and Ace's smoking guitar!

"KISS & Effects - The Learning Channel"

A short but interesting look at the pyrotechnic effects that were used during the KISS Alive/Worldwide Tour from The Learning Channel.

     Stage Props:

  • Pre-Show "hum"
  • Giant KISS Logo Curtain Before Show
  • Animated KISS Logo
  • Gene Spitting Blood
  • Gene Breathing Fire
  • Gene Flying
  • Paul Flying
  • Ace Smoking, Flying, & Shooting Guitar
  • Platform Risers
  • Dry Ice Smoke
  • Flash Pots
  • Fire Engine Lights
  • Fire Engine Siren
  • Bombs
  • Fireworks
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Drum Riser
  • Drum Riser Cat Curtain
  • Confetti
  • Giant Video Screen
  • Moving Amps
  • KISS Army Banners
  • Flamethrowers (Chemical Based)
  • Mirror Ball
  • Paul Smashing Guitar

Gene back in his Demon character

Typical Setlist:

01. 'Deuce'
02. 'King Of The Night Time World'
03. 'Do You Love Me?'
04. 'Calling Dr. Love'
05. 'Cold Gin'

06. 'I Stole Your Love'

07. 'Shout It Out Loud'
08. 'Watchin' You'

09. 'Firehouse'

10. 'Shock Me'

11. 'Strutter'

12. 'Rock Bottom'

13. 'God Of Thunder'

14. 'New York Groove'

15. 'Love Gun'

16. '100,000 Years'

17. 'Black Diamond'


18. 'Detroit Rock City'

19. 'Beth'

20. 'Rock And Roll All Nite'

Special Shows / Happenings:

- Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, Laguna Hills, CA. June 15, 1996 -

The first show of the tour was more a warm up show for a special event (KROQ 4th Annual Weenie Roast), to check if everything on the technical side was working right, it did not go very smooth, Ace's smoking guitar effect did not work, his rockets missed their target and one flew over the heads of the audience, during '100,000 Years' the flamethrowers set some of the fireworks for the grand finale on fire sending it in all directions, the 'Firehouse' engine siren was also turned on in the wrong song.

- The Mark of the Quad Cities, Moline, IL, July 12, 1996 -

Paul got so entangled in his microphone cable he was forced to stand still while singing the final verse in fear of falling over.

- Rosemont Horizon, Chicago, IL, July 16, 1996 -

Ace came down with a bronchial infection and his performance was reported "far below his standards, sloppy". The morning after when a local called DJ Mancow

criticized Ace, KISS's management called in to the radio station informing them about Ace's illness.

- Madison Square Garden, New York City, NY, July 25, 26, 27, 28, 1996 -

KISS made history at Madison Square Garden, the place they dreamed of playing one day when they started. Paul was teary eyed and choked up during 'King Of The Night Time World' and Peter as well after 'Beth' after dedicating the song to his late mother with blue roses he gave away after the song.

- Sky Dome, Toronto, ON, Canada, August 6, 1996 -

In all their years of performing, the band had seen many items being thrown upon the stage, most of the time these were bra's or panties. But this time it was nothing they expected as a fan threw his prosthetic leg on the stage, Paul picked up the leg and signed it with a marker that got thrown up the stage as well, the rest of the band also signed the leg and returned it to it's owner!

- Great Western Forum, Los Angeles, CA, August 24, 1996 -

Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer (who severed ties with KISS on August 16 as Mercury Records made clear in a press release) were in attendance, as well as Jay Leno,

who appeared backstage to tape several skits for his show.

- Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA, August 31, 1996 -

The pyro at the end of 'Black Diamond' set the ceiling of the venue on fire, Gene announced that the band would be back after the fire had been put out,

eventually the show was put at a halt for 30 minutes.

- Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, NY, 1996 -

This was a special performance for the 1996 MTV Music Video Awards, this performance was made in a trade that MTV would air 'Week In Rock' showcasing the KISS Tiger Stadium show.

- Tupelo Coliseum, Tupelo, MS, September 13, 1996 -

KISS was a target for religious groups since the late 70's, in 1983 this flared up again and now since KISS was hot again in 1996, the religious groups were back with their protests. Before the Tupelo show conservative protesters staged a boycott of the concert. In response Paul announced during the show to the crowd:

"I know there are some people who didn't want us to come here. I want us to all pause in a moment of silence in prayer for these people. Dear God, please, in your infinite wisdom, keep us and protect us from the morons outside who don't know why we're here!"

A report indicated that the protesters offered $300,000 dollars to the band to cancel the show! The band itself made a gross of $278,459 from this show.

- Pan Am Center, Las Cruces, New Mexico, October 26, 1996 -

A bald fan had covered his face and head in black and white makeup in a design so it looked like a Holstein cow instead of the popular KISS makeup designs! When his image was put up on the video screen before 'Detroit Rock City' and Ace noticed it, the band burst into such a unconstrained laughter that the show was briefly paused. This footage showed up briefly in The "Second Coming" home video, as seen here.

- Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, Laguna Hills, CA, October 31, 1996 -

While Paul was doing his cliché raps about the fine selection of women at the show, Peter did a double take when he looked at the video screen behind him and saw his daughter Jenilee in a extreme close up. Strangely enough, this also happened at the October 31 show AND the November 1 show!

- Reunion Arena, Dallas, TX, November 10, 1996 -

Much to the amusement of the band (especially Gene), four female fans in the front row started making out with each other, one fan stripped down completely naked and threw her clothes on the stage. In return she was awarded with a KISS tie-dye thirt and Paul's smashed guitar. Paul's in-laws were at the show and he made sure they would not see this all happening on the video screen.

- Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, NJ, December 31, 1996 -

Portions of the show were used for a live broadcast on the 25th anniversary of 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve'. KISS balloons were dropped during 'Rock And Roll All Nite'. Oddly enough, the part of Paul saying Happy New Years' Eve and the rest of 'Rock And Roll All Nite' was taped during the October 1, Atlanta, GA show.

- Castle Hall, Osaka, Japan, January 22, 1997 -

Because of a throat infection, Gene only sang lead vocals on the first verse of 'Deuce' but shared them on 'God Of Thunder' with Paul. Ace and Peter also sang some songs and 'Calling Dr. Love' and 'Watchin' You' were dropped from the set list.

- Sydney Entertainment Center, Sydney, NSW, Australia, February 6, 1997 -

Ace and Paul were stranded mid-air for 10 minutes when their cherry-picker riser stopped working, a portion of the Marshall amp stacks were lowered and the cherry-picker could be swung around but Ace and Paul had to jump the eight remaining feet down to the stage floor but were not harmed.

Civic Center, Columbus, GA, April 5, 1997

Due to Peter having a heavy case of bursitis and tendinitis of the shoulder and lower back (something he already had back in 1978, and it returned because of the intense playing he went through every night and every day), his drum tech Ed Kanon replaced him in full makeup and costume. After 'King Of The Night Time World', Paul announced to the audience that Peter was under the weather a bit and his 'friend' Eddie replaced him. Eddie did a good job even though he was off a bit once in a while.

Prins van Oranjehal, Utrecht, The Netherlands, June 11, 1997

After 'Let Me Go Rock 'n Roll',  fans were being pushed against the front stage barrier by the crowd so hard it broke. After 30 minutes after the barricade finally was repaired, the band came back out. Paul did a great job talking to the crowd to calm down and take a step back, Paul might has saved some people's life at that show or prevented injuries. As being Dutch myself, concerts back in those days could get rowdy and myself almost got hurt during a 2002 Rammstein concert in Arnhem when the crowd became too wild.

Finsbury Park, London, England, July 5, 1997

The last show of the tour was made to be special, the band held a press conference at a wax museum at Piccadilly Circus, selected memorabilia were on display for several days before the show as the ones that were used in the Convention tour. Paul would dedicate 'Rock And Roll All Nite' to Doc McGhee and his brother Jim, he also would do something he did a few years early and that was once again soaking his guitar in lighter fluid and set it on fire before smashing it. The guitar ended up in the hands of a Dutch fan! *Picture courtesy of Robert Venbroek*

Backstage passes, guitar picks, tickets, a tour poster and Paul's smashed guitar!

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