​KISS Tour - 1974

Start Date: December 31, 1973

End Date: October 4, 1974

Shows: 84

Countries: Canada, United States

Headlining Acts: 10cc, Aerosmith, Argent, Billy Preston, Blue Oyster Cult, The "All New" Fleetwood Mac, Iggy & The Stooges, James Gang, Kathi McDonald, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Nazareth, New York Dolls, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Redbone, Renaissance, Rory Gallagher, Rush, Savoy Brown, Silverhead, Suzi Quatro, Teenage Lust, Uriah Heep

Opening Acts: 13th Floor, Barbarossa, Chris Jagger, Conqueror Worm, Fat Chance, Flight, Fludd, Flying Saucer, Isis, Island, Les Variations, Max Onion, Michael Fennely, Mike Quatro, Mojo Boogie Band, Mood Jga Jga, Outlaws, Redbone, Ritual, Ronny Legg, Ross, Rush, Silverhead, Smack Dab, Sweetwater, Thunderhead, Wizzard

Average Attendance: 2,645

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

With a record deal, an album and a more fine tuned live show, the band was ready to take the world by storm! Paul Stanley still donned the 'Bandit' makeup for the first two shows of the tour, but it was quickly dropped seeing it was very time consuming and too difficult to apply before every show. The band had their first television performances and in August 1974 the band took most of the month off to record their follow up album "Hotter Than Hell" in Los Angeles!

Their stage was designed by Mark Ravitz who would also design their future Destroyer Tour stage, (and is today, still designing stage shows!). The KISS logo, three stacks of amplifiers, Ampegs on the far right, Peter's chain link drum riser, that Peter hated as sometimes the chain link would slip off it's sprocket and the riser would fall until the chain link got hooked again, Peter was scared to death of it but he kept on with the show every night! Gene learned to spit fire from magician Amaze-O even though he would set his hair on fire right at the first official KISS show! The stage would be used until KISS went on tour to support the Destroyer album.


KISS Tour Stage:

  • Stage - A stage was designed by Mark Ravitz. It was very basic with the drum riser in the center, amplifiers to the right and left and a giant KISS Logo.
  • Fake Amplifiers - Fake amplifiers were added next to the three real stacks of Marshal amplifiers to make it look like the band was bigger than they were at that moment.
  • Chain Linked Drum Riser - Peter had a chain linked drum riser that would go up to 8 feet/2,40 meters, road crew had to use a rope to make it go up.
  • KISS Logo - A giant bright KISS logo with 164 light bulbs was designed and build in Mark Ravitz's living room as a gift to the band. Bill Aucoin demanded that the sign always was to be used even if the ceiling of the venue was too low. He wanted people to remember who KISS was and wanted the KISS logo to be imprinted into the audience's retina when the show was over.
  • Candelabras - Two candelabras, were positioned left and right of the drum riser with both holding seven candles. These were on for mostly the whole show.
  • Spider Web Prop - A giant spider web prop in the back, also designed by Mark Ravitz, was used at the beginning of the tour but was dropped eventually.
  • Fire Engine Lights - Two fire engine lights, salvaged from an old fire engine, were placed left and right of the drum riser on the amplifiers.
  • Fire Engine Siren - Hidden behind the stage but was still part of the stage used during 'Firehouse'.
  • Pyrotechnics - Flash pots and flamethrowers used during the show, were placed around the drum riser or on the amplifiers.

Sketch by Mark Ravitz of the first original KISS stage logo

     Stage Props:

  • Fake Marshall Amps Among Real Amps
  • Fire Engine Lights
  • Fire Engine Siren
  • Chain Linked Drum Riser
  • Sparkling Drumsticks
  • Blood Spitting
  • Flash Pots
  • Dry Ice Smoke
  • Fire Breathing
  • Gene's Flash Paper
  • Two 7 Candles Candelabra
  • Spiderweb Background
  • 164 Light Bulbs KISS Logo
  • Smoking Guitar
  • Ground Flamethrowers

A good look at the props used on KISS's first tour. The ground flame throwers placed on the amps, fire engine lights, the fake Marshall amps in the center. the candelabras and of course Peter's drum riser.

Typical Setlist:

01. 'Deuce'
02. 'Strutter'
03. 'She'
04. 'Firehouse'
05. 'Nothin' To Lose'
06. 'Cold Gin'
07. 'Kissin' Time'
08. 'Let Me Know'
09. 'Acrobat' ('Love Theme From KISS')
10. '100,000 Years'
11. 'Black Diamond'


12. 'Baby Let Me Go' ('Let Me Go, Rock 'N Roll')

Special Shows / Happenings:

- Academy Of Music, New York, NY, December 31, 1973 -

The first official KISS show and Gene's fire spitting debut, and also the first time Gene set his hair on fire! He was suppose to stick the torch in a foam block on the stage but it was not present there that night! Gene tried to jam the torch in the hardwood stage and eventually the flames got to close to his hair setting it ablaze. Gene also had a short lived (magician) gimmick where he would throw flash paper into the air at the start of the tour that would look like he was throwing flames, at the show he accidentally threw it right into the face of a unsuspecting young fellow. Backstage he was deemed fine!

- Long Beach Auditorium, CA February 17, 1974 -

8mm footage of this show that appeared in 2000, showing a raw KISS show as it was in 1974, has been verified, by comparing photo's and the footage, that it is actually footage of the April 13, Detroit show!

- Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles, CA, February 18, 1974 -

A promotional gig for the band and Casablanca Records, the Los Angeles Ballroom was decorated to look like 'Rick's Cafe' from the 1942 movie Casablanca and many guests were dressed as characters from the 1942 movie. Many record industry big shots were present and also some celebrities including Alice Cooper, who jokingly commented when the drum riser was going up to a journalist; "Some people will do anything to get attention!"

- Muther's Music Emporium, Nashville, TN, April 15, 1974 -

This show was part of an event called the "Second Annual Coyote McCloud", the venue's ceiling was so low that Gene set it on fire during his fire breathing act.

- Ambassador Theatre, St. Louis, MI, May 3, 1974 -

KISS was the opening act for Argent, but Argent's road manager, called Solomon, had put down rules to the band and their crew they were not agreeing with. They were only allowed to perform eight songs, he denied them a soundcheck and no encores were allowed. During the May 3rd show KISS started their encores anyway and Solomon shut the power off to KISS's equipment. This in return angered KISS's road manager JR Smalling, after he found out that it was Solomon who shut off the power, to contemplate the errors of his ways, he stuffed the guy in a Anvil utility case under threat of a Bowie knife! KISS was instantly thrown off the tour.

- Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom, Atlanta, GA, June 22, 1974 -

KISS was such a hit during their fourth show at the Electric Ballroom, that after the third set Paul Stanley faked fainting on the stage. KISS's road manager JR Smalling pulled him off the stage and backstage Paul winked at him, after JR asked him why he faked fainting, Paul reacted with: "I had to do something! We couldn't keep playing the same songs over and over!"

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