Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Alive! ’75 Set To Rock NJ & PA

Alive75-LogoI’m not going to get a chance to KISS live this year, but I am going to see the most-talked-about new KISS tribute band, Alive! ’75, twice. The first show I’m attending is on Saturday, September 19 at The Newton Theatre in Newton, NJ. And the second show is on Saturday, November 21 at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA. Stay tuned for a full recap of both shows, including great photos and videos. In the meantime, below is more information about what makes Alive! 75 special:

Hey there KISS Fans, listen up – This is not just another KISS tribute band…

Alive! ’75 is a live concert concept performance that brings the KISS Alive! album to life within a period-specific 1975 atmosphere. So much more than just guys dressed as KISS playing KISS songs, the overall experience is completely immersive and is designed to take you back to 1975, to see, hear and FEEL what a 1975-era KISS performance was really like.

Think about it – back in 1975, and following almost two years of non-stop touring across the US and Canada, KISS was determined to hit it big. They criss-crossed the country incessantly, playing anywhere and everywhere they were welcome.  And with virtually no radio support to speak of, KISS was finally about to “make it”.  Their double live album Alive!, released on September 10, 1975, proved to be their break-out album.  And now with Alive! ’75 – A Tribute to KISS, you can experience the magic and excitement of this period in rock ‘n roll KISS-tory…

It all starts with the “pre-show” experience.  As you enter the Alive! ’75 theater, you are completely surrounded by elements of 1975.  Blockbuster movie posters and other large-print advertisements and photographs catch your eye.  Classic TV sitcoms, movie trailers and iconic commercials tickle your senses.  The audio-visual displays, wall art, and an overhead soundtrack of “Time Warp – 1975 with Bill St. James” combine to provide a rich sensory sampling of this by-gone era.  And as if that wasn’t enough, character actors provide an additional element of surprise and entertainment to complete the 1975 experience.

As you proceed into the the main concert hall the 1975 experience continues to comes alive in additional sight and sound, with chart-topping music in the air and additional dramatic experiences unfolding before your eyes.  An emcee provides a welcoming monologue including some final thoughts on 1975 and firmly sets the stage for the main event.  It’s as if you’ve gone back in time…

As you settle into your seat with 1975 all around you, the curtain begins to rise…  Your eyes and ears are under full assault!  There is so much to see and it’s oh so loud!  The concert has now begun:  Alive! ’75 – A Tribute to KISS!  With an exact replica 1975 stage set (including a full Marshall-stack and Ampeg SVT back-line), a huge illuminated KISS sign, and period-specific costume, lighting and effects the KISS Alive! album comes to life with a word-for-word and note-for-note performance.  The entire concert, running approximately 80 minutes, is sure to be a complete thrill for KISS fans – especially those who appreciate their early works.

Alive! ’75 promises to totally blow their audience away, not unlike the original early KISS experience that they mean to replicate.  There are a significant number of “wow” moments throughout the show.  Beginning with the opening power-chords of “Deuce” and continuing right on through the closing crescendo of “Let Me Go, Rock and Roll”, this event promises to leave the audience thoroughly entertained and completely exhausted.

“We really wanted to deliver a complete experience – to bring folks back to this classic time in KISS-tory” says Anthony De Lucia, Jr., the shows creator and producer.  “Alive! ’75 is not a tribute band.  You won’t find Alive! ’75 performing in a club or bar environment.  It’s a full-on theatrical performance that creates the atmosphere and provides a raw and energized KISS concert experience like no other.  We think it’s very unique and a pretty big deal.”

Anthony continues: “There is an incredible dedication to detail.  We’ve worked very hard to re-create the 1975 stage show and experience, studying films, photographs and written works to bring that time to life.  We’ve had the great fortune to actually speak with folks who were involved with KISS during that time period to gather additional insights.  The subtle nuances regarding costumes, instruments, stage personas and set design, as well as the technology associated with the overall delivery of the show have been carefully considered.   Duplicating the pyrotechnics has proven to be the hardest part given the changes to laws and regulations in that space, but we have pretty good representative effects.  Overall we think we’re 95% there – it’s going to be a mind-blowing experience!”

Behind the scenes, there is a bit of a nostalgic storyline as well.  Everyone involved with the production is a lifetime KISS fan.  And three of the show’s four Cast Members originally formed and performed in what may prove to be the very first KISS-a-mainia tribute band in history way back in 1979!  All seasoned, professional working musicians, they bring a passion and an enthusiasm to their craft that is reflected in their performance.

There is certainly no shortage of KISS-tribute bands offerings in the marketplace, and many of them do a very good job in delivering an exciting show.  But unlike the vast majority of acts out there, Alive! ’75 – A Tribute to KISS is a complete package, providing the period-specific 1975 experience that is a clear differentiator.  For die-hard KISS fans (especially those who appreciate their early works), as well as general fans of rock ‘n roll history this is definitely an experience not to be missed!

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