Kiss at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm

Introducing Joanna Kozlowska 

Photos and Words

I’m always amazed how many artists that have been around for over half a century manage to create live shows that can only make many younger acts bow before them.

KISS is definitely such a band. Although many people will only acknowledge the original line-up and complain endlessly about how classic rock artists should rock in rocking chairs at retirement homes instead of continuing doing live show – the band’s shows simply kick ass and they deliver each and every time, spot on.

A band with such a cult status and longevity is bound to attract fans of all ages. Three generations were present at the concert: long-time fans who have been listening to KISS since the 70ties and 80ties, people who like myself caught the rock’n’roll bug in the 90ties or early 00ties and their kids, often displaying the full attire: chains, band tees, jeans jackets with patches and – of course – face paint.

Regardless of the age, we were all standing there at the Tele2 arena, all waiting for the iconic: “You wanted the best – you got the best” and for that big curtain with the KISS logo to drop down, the band coming down on platforms in smoke and fire while “Detroit Rock City” pounds through the arena. It’s just such a pure joy to see them, to breathe in the love from the audience. The smiling faces, people singing in unison. The shows of KISS have this magic quality that is slowly getting forgotten nowadays – they fill your heart with rock’n’roll happiness. They are nothing less than spectacular.

The visual side – bretahtaking, bombastic, larger than life. The setlist – predictable but delightful. The voices – still on a decent level (and I’m not going to get into discussion whether or not playbacks are being used). Showmanship – top notch, including humor. A classic one when Paul Stanley shows his skills in Swedish and exclaims: “jag gillar din rumpa” (I like your ass).

People who definitely scored the best spots for the evening’s concert were a couple who just got married a few hours earlier, on stage with KISS, during the soundcheck. They’ve been following the band for years so this was a dream come true, a perfect setup for taking their relationship to another level. Bound together through rock music – priceless. They got to stand in the pit, next to security guys and photographers, during the whole gig. Must’ve been unreal.

I’ve seen them only once before, a few years ago, then seated. Even that concert was a blast, but this time, standing at the first row, feeling the heat of the fireworks, getting soaked by water spit by Gene Simmons or getting a chance to catch those guitar pics from Gene, Tommy or Paul – formed a completely another level of experience. 2 hours flew by in a wink of an eye. A bitter-sweet show, knowing that this is probably really the last time I would see them perform. Clutching the glittery tour program, I walked out into the fresh summer air, wishing I could Rock And Roll All Nite. All that’s left now are the memories and a few pics I took – I hope you enjoy them.


Philip Goddard

Back to top