“The Second Coming” by KISS

Artist: KISS
Title: “The Second Coming”
Label: Image Entertainment
Release Date: 1/4/2000
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 8.5/10

The phenomenon that is KISS ruled the concert stage and record books on album sales during their heyday. Known mainly for the bombastic shows and presentation as well as catchy music there was literally no stopping them. The end of the 70’s saw core member Peter Criss leave and by the early 80’s Ace Frehley had moved on as well. The band chose to continue with new members and eventually found themselves wiping off the trademark face paint. It was still a great band, but the whole super-hero mystique and appeal would be gone. Years passed with KISS maintaining a steady release of albums, videos and selling out arenas but the fans always wondered if the makeup and original lineup would ever come back. The makeup idea was used as a teaser in the video for “Rise To It” from Hot In The Shade which finds Gene and Paul backstage in their glory days donning it before they hit the stage. They jibe how it will remain on and never off. I remember seeing this video and being on edge about it since it made me really crave a reunion of the original four. Fast forward to the KISS episode of MTV’s “Unplugged” show and fans are given a non-makeup reunion of the original four. The response was quite amazing for not only did we have the appearance of Ace and Peter but we were treated to an all out jam with new and old lineups. History was re-written that day and the wheels were set in motion on a reunion that was to be like no other. As a result we get this DVD that serves as a “Rock-umentary” of the classic KISS lineup, how they reunited and put together this world tour.

The DVD begins with commentary by MTV’s Matt Pinfield who narrates the piece and shows a retrospect on the bands early years. This documentary portion is very well put together and features statements and images from all of the original four members. From there they show the various appearances such as the MTV Unplugged rehearsals and the bands surprise visit to the Grammy Awards when they arrived in full-costume. Great attention is paid to how the band got back into the shape necessary in order to handle the demands of being the Rock & Roll Superheroes that they once were. It’s really a great DVD and while KISS Fans will eat this up, I found that even the casual fan would enjoy this presentation. While this is not a full concert video (which would have been great) there are sufficient clips of the show to sate your appetite. There are a couple of bonus videos in “Shout It Out Loud”, “Detroit Rock City” and “Shandi”. If I could draw some critique it would be that the booklet that is included in the VHS release of this piece is absent from the DVD. It was an awesome photo packed booklet so not including it seems a bit on the cheap side. It also might run a bit long for the casual fan but the KISS fan will have no issue with its length. Overall this is a recommended DVD and one I end up watching in full even when I want to see only a few minutes.

Official Web site: www.KISSOnline.com

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