31, 1998 -
Jan. 3, 2000
||make-up Destroyer costumes two
huge logos Gene spitting fire Gene spitting blood Ace's
smoking & flying guitar Paul smashing
guitar smoke bombs flying
drums confetti storm fireworks Ace
shooting rockets from his guitar 3-D
effects big screen behind drums Gene flying Paul flying Ace lightning
guitar huge blow up dolls huge logo curtain
falling down at the beginning of the show Ace
shooting sparkles from his guitar
Fans had hoped for
it, but only a few had dared to believe in it: another tour/album with the reformed
KISS... but in 1998 KISS announced that they would record an album together called Psycho
Circus, and afterwards they would tour again!
The new Psycho Circus show looked fairly like the Reunion show, with a few adjustments! As
you can see in picture 1, the new stage looked a lot like the previous one, with the
noticeable difference that there were now two logo's on stage!!
This was due to the fact that KISS wanted a large Imax 3-D screen in the middle of the
back wall! The 3-D idea hailed back to the KISS World theme park idea from 1979, that
didn't work out back then. But by 1998, the 3-D technology had been developed into
something that could actually be used for a live performance. The Psycho Circus promo
video had been shot in Imax 3-D and the effect had been so tremendous that it was decided
to use 3-D camera's on stage.
The 3-D idea was great on the paper, but in reality it had a few drawbacks. First there
was the seriously expensive video equipment, that had to mounted to a special crane to
keep it level... if tilted just slightly the effect would be ruined. Secondly the 3-D
films shown on the screens drew away the attention from the action
on stage, which had always been the main focus during a KISS show. And many fans wondered
what the point in putting the live performance up on the screens in 3-D was, since you
could get just about the same effect from simply watching the band on stage. Thirdly there
was the old problem, well-known from the 3-D films, that had been so popular in the '50's
and '80's: the 3-D effect was breathtaking at first, but after 2 hours you just didn't
care any more!!
1. Psycho Circus
2. Shout It Out Loud
4. Do You Love Me
6. Shock Me
7. Let Me Go, Rock 'n Roll
8. Calling Dr. Love
9. Into The Void (incl. guitar solo)
10. King Of The Night Time World
11. God Of Thunder (incl. bass solo)
12. Within (incl. drum solo)
13. I Was Made For Lovin' You
14. Love Gun
15. 100.000 Years
16. Rock And Roll All Nite
18. Detroit Rock City
19. Black Diamond
Other songs performed: Makin'
Love, She and Nothin' To Lose.
At the entrance
everybody got a free KISS 3-D glasses (see picture 1B), which you had to put on whenever
3-D effects were shown on the monitor.
But back to the show... just like in the Reunion shows, the stage would be hidden
by a large curtain just before the band arrived on stage. The curtain used on the Psycho
Circus tour (seen in picture 2), was made up to look like the cover of the Psycho Circus
album: red with yellow stars and moon symbols. It also covered all angles of the stage,
and would be dropped with a bunch of loud explosions, and a display of fireworks. The
amount of fireworks used in the show had been seriously increased for this tour, almost
bordering on overload.
the show would progress just about as usual: Gene breathing fire during Firehouse, Ace
playing a guitar solo after Into The Void, with both the smoking/flying guitar, and the
rocket shooting guitar.
Paul would introduce the 3-D screens for Do You Love Me, by reaching out for the audience
(easily the best effect used at all!).
Before God Of Thunder, Gene would do his bass solo/blood spitting act, and then
"fly" into the lighting rig to sing the song. Something new was, that Peter's
solo had been moved into a slot of it's own. At most shows he started the solo at the end
of Within, with Gene shouting "I wanna see from within"! A new effect had been
added for the solo, as you can see in picture 3: Peter's drumkit rose on a platform, that
would then "fly" out over the first few rows of the audience! Peter also
surprised a lot of people with his solo. In fact I can't remember him doing a solo as good
as the one in the Psycho Circus shows... fast-paced and really melodic!
Love Gun Paul again asked for his transporter, and then "flew" out to a platform
in the audience, from where he would sing the song.
Something new however, was that he during the solo in the song, jumped down and shook
hands with fans standing around the platform. Talking about surprising the fans, huh!
flame-throwers used on the Reunion tour had disappointed many fans, by not being as
impressive as they had been in the '70's shows!
The old gas based flame-
throwers were put back in action for the Psycho Circus tour. As you can see in picture 5,
the fire columns were extremely massive, with a huge fireball on top!
KISS would end the set with Rock And Roll All Nite, which as
usual was highlighted by a confetti storm.
But as you can see in picture 6, Ace had a new effect for this part o the show. His new
light-guitar (introduced at the end of the Reunion tour) had been equipped with a twirling
It would be turned on by Ace himself for the solo in the song.
encores ended with Black Diamond, which as usual had Peter's drumkit rising above the
stage. This time there were no cats underneath the set, as he rose into the air.
As you can see in picture 7, they also used hydraulic platforms for this part of the show.
The platforms were however only used twice: the opening show in L.A. on
Halloween '98, and for the pre-game show at the Superbowl '99.
The platforms were not used on the rest of the tour.
Another thing KISS used only during the opening show were the
lasers (seen behind Peter in picture 8). The lasers had not been a part of the Reunion
shows, but it was planned to re-introduce them for this tour. But for some reason this was
Also like on the Reunion tour, KISS had giant blow-up replicas of themselves (picture 9a
and 9b) placed at some of the arenas they played in.
As you can see the blow-up's were now also in the Destroyer outfits.
In Picture 9b you see the Peter and Paul blow-up's.
The Paul blow-up at the extreme right, was only on display for the Psycho Circus press
As you can see, Paul's blow-up was misprinted...
the star was on the right side of the face, instead of the left (and no, I didn't just
turn the picture around... note that Paul's left arm is raised on both versions!!!).
KISS toured the US in November and December 1998, then
took a break before playing in Europe from late February to early April 1999. The European
tour should have ended with a couple of shows in Russia, but these had to be cancelled at
the last moment, because of NATO bombings in ex-Yugoslavia in March 1999. The
anti-American atmosphere in Russia following the bombings, made touring there unsafe, and
KISS were advised to cancel, which they did. At least, this was the official
The tour continues later in April with a handful of shows in South America. The South
American shows where cut down a little... Paul and Peter didn't do their flying stunts,
and as you can see in picture 10, the lighting rig was slightly different.
Following the tour in Europe and South America KISS should have continued through the US.
The first leg of the US tour in 1998 had been fairly short, and the plan was to do a
summer tour in 1999. But this was for some reason dropped. Some rumors said that the
ticket sales had been too poor for the first leg to do another tour so shortly afterwads,
but KISS hasn't commented on this.
Anyway, Paul was busy from May to August doing a stage production Of Phantom Of The Opera
in Canada, while Gene was busy getting the Detroit Rock City film finished for a late
August premiere. KISS played a short set at the Detroit Rock City premiere, but there was
still no news about the second leg of the Psycho Circus tour.
It had been announced that the tour would
continue in the fall, and Ace revealed in an interview that this would the the bands
Farewell tour. Gene quickly went on the record to say that this was not the case, and by
the fall of 1999 no news about a tour had emerged...
To be continued in the Farewell
Simmons (bass, vocals)
Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar, vocals)
Ace Frehley (lead guitar, vocals)
Peter Criss (drums, vocals)
To view the exact
tourdates of the Psycho Circus tour, go to the Tourdates page.
Many thanks to Jan Laursen for
letting us use these pages.
Here is the link to his website: