Kiss Summer Tour: No Ace, No Peter — But The Opening Act Is Poison

Poison's Bret Michaels says opening for Kiss is 'a complete honor.'

Sirens will blare, fake blood will mingle with greasepaint and flames will lick the sky again — yep, Kiss are coming back for yet another summer tour of North America.

The last time they trekked across this continent, Kiss were opening for Aerosmith. This go-round, they'll drag along '80s glam-metal band Poison, which ensures Kiss headlining status.

"Throughout our entire career, we have been headlining, but I look at the opportunity to go on the road with Kiss as a complete honor," said Poison singer Bret Michaels. "Poison's set will be nothing but hits — a balls-to-the-wall, all-thriller-no-filler stage show."

The tour will launch June 6 in Selma, Texas, and will wrap up on August 4 in Atlanta.

Kiss will perform on a new stage set and will play many rarely performed songs along with tried-and-true hits like "Rock and Roll All Nite," "Detroit Rock City" and "God of Thunder." The tour is being sponsored by VH1 Classic and is called Rock the Nation.

When they opened for Aerosmith last summer, Kiss played without original guitarist Ace Frehley, who was replaced by longtime songwriting contributor Tommy Thayer. This time, they'll also be without founding drummer Peter Criss, whose contract with the band was not renewed. In an interview with Kiss merchandise designer Christopher Franchi for Kiss Kollector magazine, Simmons blamed Criss' absence on a bad attitude. "During the entire Aerosmith/ Kiss tour, Peter kept saying to the band while we were putting on makeup, and I quote, 'I've had enough of this sh--. I've got enough money, I have a great house and a great wife. I don't want to do this anymore.' "

Simmons added that the road was taking a physical toll on the then 55-year-old drummer, who admitted to his bandmates that his energy level was "very low." "He would sleep until one or two in the afternoon on days off," Simmons said. "And he had to put his elbow into ice water to relieve aches and pains."

Criss will be replaced by Eric Singer, who served as Kiss' drummer during the early '90s until the original lineup reformed in 1996.

In a post earlier this month on his Web site, Criss defended himself by writing, "I sang and drummed my heart out on the Aerosmith tour. The real fans know that. End of story. And I also missed Ace on the tour."

The drummer also said that he's now recognizing the advantages of not being on tour. "I have never been so happy in my whole life," he wrote. "I can finally be free to be an artist again. I am in excellent health, wealthy and working on being wiser. The original band is over. And as a founding member I am not shocked at Gene and Paul turning a legendary band into a cover act for just plain profit. How very sad."

Kiss will begin a tour of Australia and Japan on May 8 in Perth, Australia; the last date is June 3 in Kanazawa, Japan. While Kiss continue to play shows, Criss will write new material for an upcoming album that may also feature older songs from his archives.

VH1 Classic Presents Rock the Nation with Kiss and Poison dates, according to the tour's publicist:

  • 6/10 - Selma, TX @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

  • 6/11 - Dallas, TX @ Smirnoff Music Centre

  • 6/12 - The Woodlands, TX @ C.W. Mitchell Pavilion

  • 6/15 - Englewood, CO @ Coors Amphitheatre

  • 6/16 - Albuquerque, NM @ Journal Pavilion

  • 6/18 - Phoenix, AZ @ Cricket Pavilion

  • 6/19 - Irvine, CA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

  • 6/20 - Concord, CA @ Chronicle Pavilion at Concord

  • 6/22 - Ridgefield, WA @ Amphitheater at Clark County

  • 6/23 - Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheatre

  • 6/26 - Somerset, WI @ Float-Rite Park Amphitheatre

  • 6/27 - Bonner Springs, KS @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

  • 6/28 - Maryland Heights, MO @ UMB Bank Pavilion 

  • 6/30 - Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre

  • 7/2 - Antioch, TN @ Starwood Amphitheatre 

  • 7/3 - Noblesville, IN @ Verizon Wireless Music Center

  • 7/4 - Burgettstown, PA @ Post-Gazette Pavilion at Star Lake

  • 7/6 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center

  • 7/7 - Milwaukee, WI @ Marcus Amphitheatre 

  • 7/9 - Tinley Park, IL @ Tweeter Center

  • 7/10 - Columbus, OH @ Germain Amphitheater

  • 7/11 - Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center

  • 7/13 - Camden, NJ @ Tweeter Center At The Waterfront

  • 7/14 - Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Six Flags P.A.C.

  • 7/16 - Mansfield, MA @ Tweeter Center

  • 7/17 - Atlantic City, NJ @ Trump Taj Mahal

  • 7/18 - Hershey, PA @ Hersheypark Stadium

  • 7/20 - Holmdel, NJ @ P.N.C. Bank Arts Center

  • 7/21 - Wantagh, NY @ Tommy Hilfiger at Jones Beach Theatre

  • 7/23 - Scranton, PA @ Montage Mountain Amphitheater

  • 7/24 - Bristow, VA @ Nissan Pavilion

  • 7/25 - Virginia Beach, VA @ Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheatre

  • 7/27 - Raleigh, NC @ Alltel Pavilion at Walnut Creek

  • 7/28 - Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Charlotte

  • 7/30 - West Palm Beach, FL @  Sound Advice Amphitheatre

  • 7/31 - Tampa, FL @ Tampa Bay Amphitheatre

  • 8/3 - Pelham, AL @ Oak Mountain Amphitheatre

  • 8/4 - Atlanta, GA @ HiFi Buys Amphitheatre