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July 1, 1976 -
Apr. 4, 1977

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SpecialEffects.gif (5496 Byte) make-up  1976 costumes  huge Logoredonwhite-blackoutline5mm.jpg (974 Byte) logo  Gene spitting fire  Gene spitting blood  Ace's smoking & burning guitar  Paul smashing guitar  smoke  bombs  drum riser  confetti storm  fireworks  tree  Firehouse helmet  Kiss Army banner  apocalyptic stage design  stairs  gigantic crystals  cat busts 
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76a.jpg (19593 Byte) The Destroyer show had to be bigger and better than the previous shows. The album had been a tremendous success, and the band now played large arena's, and the 1975 show had been designed for much smaller venues.

 And everything was bigger than ever before: The new logo hanging over Peter's drum kit, the stacks of amplifiers on the stage, and the lightshow!

 As seen in picture 1 (a rare look at the stage from above), the entire stage were encircled by Christmas lights hanging from a metal statue, or tree, standing on Gene's side of the stage (just out of the picture in picture 1), over the logo, to the two power pylons on Ace's side (on the extreme right!).  The power pylons on Ace's side, each had high voltage signs, and a KISS Army banner , and were of course a part of the light show.


The apocalyptic design of the stage, was inspired by the album's cover.
 Gene's side looked like a medieval castle, while Ace's side were designed to look
76g.jpg (11670 Byte) like an alien planet, probably Jendell... his home planet ! 

 As you can see in picture 2, the floor of the stage also followed the design: a stone floor on Gene's side, and a crater ridden planet surface on Ace's side! The two sides were stitched together, like Frankenstein's monster, in the middle. This part of the stage design were probably more a benefit for the band, since only a small percentage of the audience would be able to see it!!

The most significant change was a couple of stair-cases, one on each side of Peter's drum riser, leading down from the top of the amplifiers to the stage floor.

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Set list:

Destroyer Tour:

1. Detroit Rock City
2. King Of The Night Time World
3. Let Me Go, Rock ’n Roll
4. Strutter
5. Hotter Than Hell
6. Nothin’ To Lose
7. Cold Gin (incl. Guitar solo)
8. Shout It Out Loud
9. Do You Love Me
10. Bass Solo/God Of Thunder

(incl. Drum solo)
11. Rock And Roll All Nite

Encores:
12. Deuce
13. Firehouse
14. Black Diamond


songs occasionally performed:
Watchin' you and Flaming youth

                                  

Rock And Roll Over Tour:

1. Detroit Rock City
2. Take Me
3. Let Me Go, Rock ’n Roll
4. Ladies Room
5. Firehouse
6. Makin’ Love
7. Cold Gin (incl. guitar solo)
8. Do You Love Me
9. Nothin’ To Lose
10. Bass Solo/God Of Thunder

(incl. Drum solo)
11. I Want You
12. Rock And Roll All Nite

Encores:
13. Shout It Out Loud
14. Beth
15. Black Diamond

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76c.jpg (12470 Byte)Out in front of the stage (in the foreground in picture 3) were several formations of crystals, like the ones KISS is standing upon, on the front cover of Destroyer. Also seen quite clearly in picture 3 are the two cats standing on each side of Peter's drum kit. More about those later!!

As said there were a metal thing standing on Gene's side... sorry, but picture 4 is the best picture of it I have been able find so far!! It is supposed to look like a tree that has survived a nuclear holocaust! Actually the tree thing only shows up on a very few picture's, and I haven't even been able to spot it on any of the video's from the period. The tree was made from hardened rubber, so that it could sway like a real tree in the wind.

 But enough about the stage design... on to the show:
The intro invented on the last tour, had been slightly altered to the one we know now: "You wanted the best, you got the best... the hottest band in the world: KISS". Just as the word KISS were announced the big, improved logo would light up, revealing the band standing on top of the amplifiers. The band would enter the stage via the staircases during the opening chords of Detroit Rock City, while the stage was covered with dry-ice, and bombs were going off. Another new thing were several "lightning bolts" hanging above the stage. These were lightning bolt shaped pieces of wood, with light bulbs, that would flash in sequence to simulate a lightning striking during the opening! 

Just as on the album the song ends with the sound of a car crash. Just as the crash sounded, a couple of smoke bombs would go off! 

 After Cold Gin Ace would play his solo with the usual smoking guitar-effect. But halfway through the solo, Ace would leave the guitar in a rack on the stage, and leave, while the guitar made outer-worldly noises, thanks to an echo-effect! After a while a single spot would reveal Ace standing on the top of his amplifiers with a new guitar. Upon striking the strings of the second guitar, the guitar standing on the stage would burst into flame, and disappear via a trapdoor in the stage floor.

Next solo would be Gene's bass solo just before God of Thunder. Gene would stand on top of the amplifiers on his side, which was the middle of the castle (picture 5)! He would spit blood, and according to some sources kick parts of the castle apart. This I haven't been able to see in any video-footage of the show, nor have I seen any photos of such an effect.   

 
The next new effect, was not really an effect, but as Peter's drum kit would rise during Black Diamond, a curtain with a large drawing of an attacking jaguar would be revealed, hanging under the drum kit! Sorry, but I couldn't find any decent photos of this at this point! As the drums were rising into the sky, more "lightning bolts" would strike!

77PaulliveredFirehousehelmet.jpg (15688 Byte) Firehouse had been moved into the encores (during the Japan 1977 Tour Paul had a real KISS Firehelmet for the first time; see picture 5A) and so were Gene's fire breathing stunt. Nothing new there! And for the final song; Rock And Roll All Nite; the usual confetti storm would break loose, and Paul would smash his guitar...

  The show was changed a little during the tour, and a little more for the Rock And Roll Over Tour, which started in November. The most significant change made during the Destroyer tour was the cats on Peter's drum riser. Apparently the two cats were stolen during the tour, and were replaced. You can see the different cats in picture 6: cat a was the one used during the early part of the tour, a tall aristocratic figure, looking like it came from ancient Egypt. The replacement (cat b) was shorter, stockier and had fangs. It looked more like one of those stone gargoyles on the Notre Dame church in Paris.

 
The Destroyer set was used for the majority of the Rock And Roll Over tour as well, but a new set was introduced along the way! As far as I'm able to tell, the new set was build for the Japanese tour in April 1977. 

Some significant changes were in the new show:  most of the Destroyer stage set - Gene's castle, Ace's planet, power pylons, metal sculpture, and crystals - had all disappeared. This was probably to cut the cost of bringing the show halfway around the world!
Instead lights had been installed in the stairs of the staircases (see picture 7). Lights had also been installed in the drum riser.  

Another interesting change made during the tour, was the switch to wireless guitars. During the opening of the concert in Lakeland, Florida on December 12 1976, Ace Frehley was almost electrocuted, when he touched a railing that wasn't properly grounded. It's difficult to see, but picture 8 is actually a picture of the event. Several roadies are running to pick Ace up, who's lying unconscious on the floor.

 The high voltage used during rock concerts makes the stages a very dangerous place to work indeed; on May 3rd 1972 Les Harvey, founder of the Scottish rock group Stone The Crowe (at the time an up-and-coming act), was killed by a badly grounded microphone in front of the rest of the band and the audience. And on September 15th 1974, Uriah Heep's bass player Gary Thain was electrocuted much in the same way as Ace in Dallas, TX, but luckily survived.

 But aside from safety aspect, the wireless guitars also gave KISS greater freedom of movement on stage. Everybody could move to wherever they wanted to on stage, without worrying about being entangled with the others wires!!

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Tourbook

Tourbook Japan

line-up: cleardot.gif (53 Byte) Gene Simmons (bass, vocals)
Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar, vocals)
Ace Frehley (lead guitar, vocals)
Peter Criss (drums, vocals)

To view the exact tourdates of the Destroyer and Rock and Roll over tours, go to the Tourdates page.

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cleardot.gif (53 Byte)Many thanks to Jan Laursen for letting us use these pages.
Here is the link to his website:

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