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Oct. 31, 1998 -
Jan. 3, 2000

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SpecialEffects.gif (5496 Byte) make-up  Destroyer costumes  two huge Logoredonwhite-blackoutline5mm.jpg (974 Byte) 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 Logoredonwhite-blackoutline5mm.jpg (974 Byte) logo curtain falling down at the beginning of the show  Ace shooting sparkles from his guitar
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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
98kBrille.jpg (6622 Byte)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!!

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Set list:


1. Psycho Circus
2. Shout It Out Loud
3. Deuce
4. Do You Love Me
5. Firehouse
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

Encores:
17. Beth
18. Detroit Rock City
19. Black Diamond

Other songs performed: Makin' Love, She and Nothin' To Lose.
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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.

 

Then 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!
For 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!
The 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 firework display.
It would be turned on by Ace himself for the solo in the song.

The 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 twic
98h.jpg (42124 Byte)e: 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 dropped.

 
98i.jpg (29403 Byte) 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.
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  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 conference. 


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 98j.jpg (28534 Byte)they did. At least, this was the official reason...  
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 Tour section!!

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Tourbook

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 Psycho Circus tour, go to the Tourdates page.

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