During the 1995 KISS
My Ass Downunder Tour, KISS started a series of official KISS Konventions, put together by
the band themselves.
One of the biggest surprises at these conventions were KISS playing an unplugged set! The
band had appeared on radio and TV through the years playing bits and pieces acoustically,
but this was the first real acoustic concerts, something fans thought they never see KISS
The original plan was to go on stage and just take requests from the audience, but KISS
quickly realized that fans wanted to hear songs that the band never played live before,
and not just the regulars.
When the Konvention Tour hit the American shores in the summer of 1995, the band had
rehearsed a set of rarely heard songs... to the fans delight!
Each show would last around 2 hours, and the last 30 minutes or so, a microphone would be
passed around in the audience, so that audience members could sing lead while KISS played
their favorite songs!
There wasn't much of a stage set for these show, except a backdrop saying Worldwide KISS
conventions 1995-96 (as seen in picture 1).
many surprises up their sleeves for this tour, but the biggest one unfolded at the opening
night in Los Angeles, when Peter Criss suddenly appeared on stage with his former pals
(picture 2), singing lead on Hard Luck Woman and Nothin' To Lose. After years of
hostilities between members and ex-members of the band, there finally seemed to be peace,
or at least a truce!
Setlist (there was no set setlist for these shows, but they played these songs at
2. Plaster Caster
3. Goin' Blind
5. Nothin' To Lose
6. Sure Know Something
7. Calling Dr. Love
8. Cmon and Love Me
10. I Still Love You
11. God Of Thunder (Country version)
12. See You Tonite
You Love Me
14. A World Without Heroes
15. Every time I Look At You
16. Rock Bottom
19. Hide Your Heart
20. Black Diamond
21. Heaven's On Fire
22. Rock And Roll All Nite
They also fooled around with a long list of other song like:
Just A Boy, She, Love Theme From KISS, Love
Gun, Take Me, Love Her All I Can, Charisma, Strange Ways and many others
The tour was an enormous success for the band, and MTV was interested
in filming one or more of the performances for a special. In the end they invited KISS to
do an unplugged set, for the MTV Unplugged series.
The KISS MTV Unplugged session
became the biggest Unplugged production MTV had done at the time (and one of the last, by
the way). The stage set (seen in picture
3) was very large: KISS sat on a stage covered with a carpet showing the Rock And Roll
Over album cover (as seen in picture 4). Behind the band was an enormous sized version of
the logo, with five mannequins on the top. Four of the mannequins were dressed with KISS'
1977 Love Gun costumes, while the fifth was Eric Carr's 1980 costume. The entire studio
was covered with KISS related imagery, too!
The setlist was more or less the same songs performed on the Konvention Tour, with a few
adjustments! The band was playing completely unplugged, unlike on the tour, where Gene had
played an ordinary electric bass, and Bruce's guitar had been put through an amplifier,
giving him the right lead sound. In the MTV studio the band was forced to play without
Again KISS had a few surprises up their sleeves: first an entire symphonic orchestra
played along on "Every Time I Look At You". The band perfomred this one three
times to make sure it was done right.
The other surprise was Peter Criss and Ace Frehley appearing on stage, and for the first
time since the 1979 tour the original foursome played together before an audience!
They performed two songs together before Eric Singer and Bruce Kulick rejoined them on
stage, and played along for the last two songs. For the first time ever KISS performed
with two drummers (as seen in picture 3)!