The Early Days of Kiss

The Early Days of Kiss (also referred to officially as the Club Tour) was a series of performances by American rock band, Kiss. During this time, Kiss hired Bill Aucoin as their manager, and were then signed to Casablanca Records.

Club Tour
Tour by Kiss
LocationUnited States
Start dateJanuary 30, 1973 (1973-01-30)
End dateJanuary 26, 1974 (1974-01-26)
No. of shows27 (29 scheduled)
Kiss concert chronology


The first Kiss performance took place on January 30, 1973, for an audience of fewer than ten people at the Popcorn Pub (renamed Coventry shortly afterward) in Queens.[1] The band were paid $50 for performing two sets that evening, following a cold-call Simmons had made to the venue, convincing them to hire the new band for a three-night stand.[2]

Our first show ever was at Coventry. Coventry was a study in contrasts. The first time we played there was nobody there. The last time we played there, you could barely get in the door.
—Paul Stanley[3]

When the band performed at the Daisy in Amityville,[1] Simmons recalled that it was "a drinking club, with cheap beer and a biker crowd",[4] while Stanley remembered the Daisy being "no better than the size of a living room".[5]

To give their performances a presence, the band would use fake Marshall amplifiers on stage with hollow cabinets to make the music seem louder than it was.[6]

From October to November, the band recorded their self-titled debut album, which was released on February 18, 1974. The December 22 show at Coventry in Queens is the earliest filmed live performance by Kiss as described in Kissology Volume 1 and Volume 3. During the New Year's Eve show at The Academy of Music in New York City as an opening act for Blue Öyster Cult, Simmons accidentally set his hair ablaze while performing his fire-breathing routine.[7]


Fred Kirby of Variety who had attended the June and August performances, had given the band a positive review, citing that the band "outshine most of the others in clean, pulsating rock and roll, high in volume and excitement". He pointed out the unrelenting and solid set, as well as praising Gene as a 'theatrical plus'. Kirby concluded his review with stating that the music catches hold and never lets go. He would note that Kiss had drawn good crowds and were building a local following.[8]

Stanley Mises, a local New York Sunday News reviewer who attended the Coventry performances, cited that the show was more complex and the music was "loud, loud, loud" but fairly simple. He would state that the members looked like "Lance Loud on a nightmarish blender".[9]

Chris Charlesworth of Melody Maker, who attended the December 31, 1973 performance, praised the band's performance, music and costumes. He pointed out the music, saying it was "loud and heavy, simple riff-based rock and roll with a steady funky beat". Concluding his review, he noted the climax as "brash and spectacular" as well as pointing out the fire breathing incident during 'Firehouse'.[10]

A reviewer from Billboard who attended the January 26, 1974 performance at the Academy of Music, noted on the band's embrace to touring after having performed at various local clubs for a year. The show was given a positive review with their set cited as being ear shattering, as well as the heavy reliance on special effects.[11]


Tour datesEdit

Date City Country Venue Support Act(s)
January 30, 1973
2 sets
New York City United States Coventry
January 31, 1973
2 sets
February 1, 1973
2 sets
March 9, 1973
2 sets
Amityville The Daisy
March 10, 1973
2 sets
April 13, 1973
2 sets
April 14, 1973
2 sets
May 4, 1973 New York City Bleecker Street Loft Queen Elizabeth†
The Brats‡
May 26, 1973 Palisades Lamont Hall Bloontz‡
Rebillot Quintet‡
June 1, 1973 New York City Bleecker Street Loft The Brats†
June 8, 1973
2 sets
Amityville The Daisy
June 9, 1973
2 sets
June 15, 1973
2 sets
June 16, 1973
2 sets
July 13, 1973 New York City Crystal Ballroom The Brats†
August 10, 1973 Street Punk‡
August 17, 1973
2 sets
Amityville The Daisy
August 18, 1973
2 sets
August 24, 1973
2 sets
August 25, 1973
2 sets
August 31, 1973 New York City Coventry Wild Honey‡
The Dogs
September 1, 1973
September 2, 1973
December 21, 1973 Isis
City Slicker‡
December 22, 1973
December 23, 1973
December 31, 1973 Academy of Music Blue Öyster Cult
Iggy Pop
Teenage Lust‡
January 8, 1974 Village East
January 26, 1974 Academy of Music Fleetwood Mac

Support act key:

† Headliner
‡ Opening/supporting act




  1. ^ a b Brod 2020, p. 18.
  2. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (January 30, 2016). "The Day Kiss Played Their First Show". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  3. ^ (2019). End of the Road World Tour Program, p. 4.
  4. ^ Simmons, Gene (2001). Kiss and Make-up. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4000-4523-5.
  5. ^ Faces Metal Muscle #1, Spring 1986
  6. ^ Weiss, Brett (2016). Encyclopedia of Kiss : Music, Personnel, Events and Related Subjects. Jefferson, North Carolina. p. 132. ISBN 9780786498024.
  7. ^ Gooch and Suhs, Kiss Alive Forever, p. 27.
  8. ^ Kirby, Variety, August 22, 1973.
  9. ^ Stanley Mises, New York Sunday News, September 16, 1973
  10. ^ Charlesworth, Melody Maker, January 12, 1974
  11. ^ Taylor, Barry (February 9, 1974). "Talent in Action: Silverhead, Kiss". Billboard. Vol. 86, no. 6. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 20. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved March 26, 2021.