In November, legendary rock band KISS will play Tijuana, Mexico, for the first time, to the delight of both the band and the country. The Nov. 19 show will be held at the Estadio Gasmart, the stadium of the Toros de Tijuana baseball team that has a seating capacity of nearly 17,000 people.
Gene Simmons, bassist and KISS co-founder, said he is looking forward to playing Tijuana.
"We've been coming to Mexico for 30 or 40 years," Simmons said. "We've hit most of the large cities, played the stadiums there and it's always been a lot of fun. At the stadium it's been mania - people were doing all kinds of things. Publicly, well, I would say going to a KISS concert is as much fun as you can have with your pants on."
Simmons has fond memories of performing in Mexico during KISS' decades of touring worldwide and selling millions of records. One concert in Mexico City years ago stands out to him: It all started when, to the dismay of security, an audience member tossed a monstrous sombrero onstage.
"I stopped the security and said, 'No, no it's OK, it's OK!' " Simmons said. "They didn't understand what I was doing so I took the sombrero off the floor ... And then I put it on and the place went nuts and everyone started singing the Mexican national anthem right in the middle of the show. So we stopped and we let them sing it."
The fondness Simmons feels for Mexico has been reciprocated throughout the years. It's apparent in the Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica award statues, "Lenguas" - the pink tongue-shaped trophy inspired by Simmons' large, iconic tongue. Mexico's love for KISS is also evident in the nationwide response when concert promoter agency Royal House Society announced they were helping bring KISS to Tijuana.
"It's gone viral throughout social media for the agency," said Fernanda Mancillas, Royal House Society marketing director. "People from all over the country have been buying tickets."
According to Mancillas and others at Royal House Society, the decision to hold the concert in Tijuana shocked Mexico. Concerts for huge acts like KISS historically have been held in larger cities, such as Monterrey, Guadalajara or Mexico City.
The KISS show at Estadio Gasmart, which is located in the southeast area of the city, will be monumental for Tijuana.
"This is the first time that we have a concert of this magnitude in our city, and we are ready," Mancillas said. "We have the infrastructure to have this kind of concert here."
Estadio Gasmart was chosen because it has the capacity for a massive crowd and production. Royal House Society expects the band to bring their usual pyrotechnics, confetti and signature glam-rock costumes. Simmons didn't want to reveal details of the band's highly produced concert in Tijuana ? it's a surprise, he said ? but he guaranteed that the show will not disappoint.
"What we do is sort of a July Fourth fireworks show with, oh, some songs," Simmons said. "We make sure that everyone in the stadium is having the time of their life, and that's what we intend on doing."
Tickets for KISS' Tijuana concert range from 965 pesos (about $52) for general admission to 4,565 pesos (about $245) for VIP. Buy tickets online through boletosmx.com or by phone at (855) 756-1816.
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