Modern Rock Radio Event Marks Return Of Kiss

Performing live in full costume for the first time in a long time.

It was a strange and prophetic moment when nearly all of the

Weenie Roasters had their backs turned away from the stage during Garbage's

strongly delivered set. It's true that weird things happen in crowds--one dude

points in a certain direction and within moments the whole stadium is

distracted by it, trying to figure out what the action is, even if there wasn't

any to start with. Which was sort of the case last Saturday (June 15), during

the fourth annual Weenie Roast at Irvine Meadows. On the top back ledge of the

stadium stood the original four members of KISS; left to right were Paul

Stanley, Ace Frehley, Peter Criss and Gene Simmons (the latter was in rare

form, as his tongue was absent from sight). In their legendary costumes and

full makeup, they were larger than life, literally--they were gigantic,

plastic, blow-up dolls.

Had they been the real thing, maybe a prolonged

distraction would have been understandable. But the crowd wasn't turning back

around too soon; Garbage had lost its audience until everyone had checked out

and awed at the gods above. What makes this occurrence stranger was the essence

of the Weenie Roast itself. This is, after all, a KROQ event, and with the L.A.

radio station's focus on "new music," the Weenie Roast's marking of KISS'

return to the stage after 15 years of an altered existence--no makeup and

replaced members--was a bit of a paradox (then again, writing about KISS on

the Internet is a whole other paradox in itself).

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