make-up 1976 costumes huge 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
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.
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
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 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.
Detroit Rock City
2. King Of The Night Time World
3. Let Me Go, Rock n Roll
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
14. Black Diamond songs
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
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
It Out Loud
15. Black Diamond
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.
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
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
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
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"
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
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
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
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
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
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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