Stargazed Magazine are looking forward to Sweden Rock Festival 2019. Instead of interviews we will present the line-up at the festival in a few words. The writers here at Stargazed Magazine will give our view of the bands who play the festival this year. It may be in a historical point of view or how the writer is related to the bands. We will try to write something about most of the bands and this time the turn has come to Kiss.

Kiss is a band that have, over the years, affected many, many people around the world. What did they look like without the make up? Was Paul Stanley gay? Why did they remove the make up after the brilliant “Creatures Of The Night”? How could they sell themselves to the disco era when they released “I Was Made For Loving You”? We can go on rest of this year trying to get answers to all questions but that’s no meaning. In my opinion Kiss is one of the greatest bands in music history and I remember my first listening back in 1983. The date was july 24 and I’d borrowed an cassette with “Kiss Alive”. I wasn’t sold out after the first listening but “Firehouse” and “Rock And Roll All Nite” stood out as very special songs. I had to listen again because if you look this damn cool the music has to be good. And believe me it was. “C’mon And Love Me”, “Strutter”, “Black Diamond” and the twelve minutes killer “100,000 Years” soon blows my head straight off and music are from that day my biggest interest in life.

Later that year Kiss remove their make up and in many ways they bacame a ordinary hard rock band from the United States. I wasn’t disappointed because I’d discovered the band just a few months earlier and the album “Lick It Up” was very, very good. The opening track “Exciter” set the tune for the rest of the album and among my other favourites I can name “Not For The Innocent” (which might be one of Gene Simmons best compositions efter removing the make up), “Gimme More” (Oh my god what a riff) and “A Million To One” (this is Paul Stanley as his absolute best). I didn’t see the band live until 1988 when they had released the album “Crazy Nights” the year before. I thought it was great of course. Finally I’ve got the chance to see Kiss live and I remember they open the night with “Love Gun”. For me it was kind of surrealistic to see my gods, my favourites, MY KISS and this was without the make up. We reached the next level eight years later in Gothenburg.

1996 did Kiss return with full make up and back in the band were Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Me and some of my friends decided to go to Donington Park in England to see the band. This was a great experience and to be honest I was pretty tired when Kiss entered the stage. The sun was shining all day and bands like Paradise Lost, Fear Factory and Ozzy Osbourne played during this hot day before Kiss and when it became dark the classic line “You wanted the best and you got the best, the hottest band in the world Kiss” were sounding in the speakers. And there they were with the original line-up and full make up, opening with “Deuce”. The whole day was amazing and we also learned that englishmen are not very impressed by Kiss, instead their hero this day was Ozzy Osbourne. Later that year It was time for Gothenburg and two shows in Prague.

In my opinion Kiss peaked when they played in Gothenburg, it was extremely good both the performance and the setlist. It kicked off with “Deuce” and for about two hours it was pure magic. A week later me and some friends went to Prague to see the band live two nights in a row and those two shows were also great. After that the band has become weaker and weaker every time I’ve seen them and when they played the Sweden Rock Festival in 2013 it was the worst live performance I’d ever seen in my entire life. The slaughter of “Love Gun” was sad to see and there and then I was sure that it was the last time Kiss performed in Sweden. I was wrong and on friday the 7th of june they will play the Festival Stage at Sweden Rock. I’m sure they will bring a great show but that’s it.