​Hotter Than Hell Tour - 1974 - '75

Start Date: October 17, 1974

End Date: February 22, 1975

Shows: 57

Countries: Canada, United States

Headlining Acts: Black Oak Arkansas. Dr. John, Foghat, Golden Earring, Jo Jo Gunne, Quicksilver Messenger Service, REO Speedwagon, Rush, Wishbone Ash, ZZ Top

Opening Acts: Arosa, Ballin' Jack, Camel, Cannonball, Clowns, Cockney Rebel, Easy Stream, Eddie Boy Band, Eli, Fancy, Fantasy, Heartsfield, Hickock, Hydra, If, James Montgomery Band, Joe, John Hammond, Kenny Kramer, Man, Mercury, Mike Quatro, Neil Merryweather & Space Rangers, Pezband, Point Blank, Raspberries, The Road Crew, Rockets, Rush, The Sam Hurrie Band, Scream, Skyhook, Smokehouse, Stampeders, Stone Wall, T. Rex, Third Rail, Tongue, Trapeze, UFO, Yesterday & Today

Average Attendance: 3,936

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

Initially called "The Harder They Come", the "Hotter Than Hell" album was recorded at The Village Recorder in Los Angeles between August 16 and September 1974 for a mere $15,511,92. On the second day of recording Paul's Flying V got stolen. The owner of the studio felt bad for Paul and he was allowed to order a new one on the owners expense. For the first time the band got a TV Ad for their newest album, 'Hotter Than Hell'. The Hotter Than Hell Tour was almost identical to the KISS Tour with the same costumes and stage effects, Ace added a bottle rocket launching device to the back of his guitar neck that would sometimes also shoot confetti and serpentines, two mirror balls were added above the stage and a spotlight would be aimed at both during the intro of 'Black Diamond', sending tiny light beams all over the venue.

The biggest change to the tour was that the band now had a dedicated sound crew and system from Fanfare Sound. The band had no TV appearances at all during the Hotter Than Hell Tour (expect for the TV ad for Hotter Than Hell ). Worth of mouth started to make KISS a band to go see among concert goers despite critics giving mixed reviews. KISS was headlining at the begin of the tour and was contracted to play 55 minutes, at the end of the tour this was extended to 70 minutes.

     Stage Props:

  • Fake Marshall Amps Among Real Amps
  • Fire Engine Lights
  • Fire Engine Siren
  • Chain Linked Drum Riser
  • Sparkling Drumsticks
  • Blood Spitting
  • Flash Pots
  • 2 Mirror Balls
  • Bombs
  • Dry Ice Smoke
  • Fire Breathing
  • 7 Candles Candelabra
  • 164 Light Bulbs KISS Logo
  • Smoking Guitar
  • Ground Flamethrowers

Notice the mirror balls on top, spotlights would be directed at them during Black Diamond's intro.

Typical Setlist:

01. 'Deuce'
02. 'Strutter'
03. 'Got To Choose'
04. 'Hotter Than Hell'
05. 'Firehouse'
06. 'She'
07. 'Watchin' You'
08. 'Nothin' To Lose'
09. 'Strange Ways"
10. 'Parasite'
11. '100,000 Years'

12. 'Black Diamond'


13. 'Cold Gin'

14. 'Let Me Go Rock 'N Roll'

Special Shows / Happenings:

- Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, MS, November 7, 1974 -

This was KISS's first sold out head-lining performance in a full sized arena playing in front of a crowd of 10,154 people.

- National Guard Armory, La Porte, IN, December 18, 1974 -

It was JR Smalling, KISS's road manager, turn to set up the effects, after he noticed that the ceiling was metal plated, he set the flamethrowers real high, during the show when they went off, the flames would shoot up to the ceiling, and keep on crawling and nearly hit the walls that were not metal plated! Leaving the crowd baffled at what they saw even though they just escaped death.

- Michigan Palace, Detroit, MI, December 20, 1974 -

After the show the band celebrated Peter Criss's birthday up on the balcony of the Michigan Palace. Someone came around with pot brownies. Gene, well known for never to have taken drugs or alcohol, was not aware of this and ate a bunch of them and ended up bugging Peter on the phone deep in the night freaking out about his head shrinking and his hands looking tiny and his arms becoming longer. If Gene was not completely anti drugs already, this experience sure made him so!

- National Guard Armory, Springfield, IL, December 30, 1974 -

Moose, Peter's drum tech nearly lost a hand when scraping off flash powder residue off the connectors from the copper tubes that were Peter's sparkling drumsticks when it suddenly exploded in his hand. He did not lose his left hand as he had the luck that the surgeon, who just arrived back from Vietnam, had experience with horrifying injuries.

- Winterland, San Francisco, CA, January 31, 1975 -

Bill Graham Presents used the in house system to record the entire show, making it the only professionally recorded show from the Hotter Than Hell Tour.

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