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Why the ‘KISS Kulture' is so effective

By Ezra Morrison

KISS, joined by Motley Crue, has announced their raucous summer run, boldly named "The Tour." Poised to begin igniting audiences on July 20, 2012 in Bristow, Virginia, they are looking to incite mayhem in 40 U.S. venues before their finale in Hartford, Connecticut, on September 23, 2012. The first and last time the legendary bands shared the stage was in 1982, when the newcomers Motley Crue opened five shows for KISS.

At their March 20, 2012 press conference, KISS guitarist/singer Paul "Starchild" Stanley — as ornamented as ever — brazenly declared that the tour "is not a rock concert. When you put [KISS and Motley Crue] together, it's an event."

Stanley continued to boast that the tour will be "bombastic" and that "people are going to come and [say], 'I know why these bands have lasted.' [It's] because we know how to do it."

And they sure do.

Both KISS and Motley Crue assure that there is nothing "baby-booming" about either band — brandishing their signature pyrotechnics, performance stunts, flamboyant swaggers, and raw attitudes, they show no signs of slowing down.

As the legendary and curiously quotable Gene Simmons of KISS explained during the press conference, "What you are going to hear on-stage is live music. All the music is real, all the bombs are real, the guys you see playing instruments onstage are playing their instruments."

Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee concurred with Simmons during an interview with MSNBC, promising that audiences will be "totally flipped."

The camaraderie and irrefutable chemistry among the band mates is enrapturing, and guaranteed to satisfy their long-time disciples while drafting young blood into both the KISS Army and hard-rock fan base.

Stanley told Rolling Stone, "What we're hoping for, and certainly I am, is whatever people's expectations are, we blow them out of the water. I want people to hope for the legend that they've heard about and find out it's greater than that."

Perhaps Stanley's statement indicates why exactly the "KISS Kulture" is so effective: It's deliberate. Not only does KISS substantiate the folklore every time they command a stage; the band has successfully managed to bridge the generations by remaining accessible to their fans.

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