Hola, KISS! Dónde está el spandex?
In a career that now spans five decades, KISS has performed around the world numerous times, been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, sold more than 100 million albums and used more pyrotechnics on stage during its explosive concerts than every war movie in history, combined. The New York-bred band has also become as durable a brand as any in rock, with KISS products ranging from condoms to coffins to comic books, and much in between.
Yet, although KISS has previously performed in Mexico, the group has never before appeared in Tijuana. Until now.
On Nov. 19, KISS will make its TJ debut at Estadio Gasmart, the home of the Toros de Tijuana baseball team. It remains to be seen whether the band will add a Spanish verse to “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “Calling Dr. Love” or any other fan favorites. But the eye-popping bombast that has long been KISS’ calling card translates into almost any language.
Estadio Gasmart has a capacity of just under 17,000. That’s about 2,400 less than Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, where KISS most recently performed in 2014. (FYI, Ace Frehley, Kiss’ original lead guitarist, is a San Diego resident. He is set to perform Jan. 30 with his latest band — under his own name — at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach.)
The most recent KISS album, “Monster,” was released in 2012. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2014 but did not perform at the ceremony. Frehley and original drummer Peter Criss were inducted alongside singer-guitarist Paul Stanley and bassist-singer Gene Simmons.
KISS is nothing if not single-minded, as Stanley affirmed in a 2014 San Diego Union-Tribune interview. “The band, as it is today — and has been for over a decade — is four individuals who are very much motivated to further the band and the cause; four people who say: ‘How can I make the band greater?’ ” he said. “And that’s how you become greater. But when you have people whose main objective is to make themselves greater, then everybody suffers.”
Tickets for KISS’ Tijuana concert are priced from 965 pesos (approximately $52) for general admission to 4,565 pesos (approximately $245) for a “master” VIP package. Tickets are available through boletosmx.com and by phone at 855.756.1816.