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.
|Tour by Kiss|
|Start date||January 30, 1973|
|End date||January 26, 1974|
|No. of shows||27 (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. 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.
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.
When the band performed at the Daisy in Amityville, Simmons recalled that it was "a drinking club, with cheap beer and a biker crowd", while Stanley remembered the Daisy being "no better than the size of a living room".
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.
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.
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.
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".
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'.
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.
|January 30, 1973
|New York City||United States||Coventry||—|
|January 31, 1973|
|February 1, 1973|
|March 9, 1973
|March 10, 1973|
|April 13, 1973|
|April 14, 1973|
|May 4, 1973||New York City||Bleecker Street Loft||Queen Elizabeth†|
|May 26, 1973||Palisades||Lamont Hall||Bloontz‡|
|June 1, 1973||New York City||Bleecker Street Loft||The Brats†|
|June 8, 1973
|June 9, 1973|
|June 15, 1973|
|June 16, 1973|
|July 13, 1973||New York City||Crystal Ballroom||The Brats†|
|August 10, 1973||Street Punk‡|
|August 17, 1973
|August 18, 1973|
|August 24, 1973|
|August 25, 1973|
|August 31, 1973||New York City||Coventry||Wild Honey‡|
|September 1, 1973|
|December 21, 1973||Isis‡|
|December 22, 1973|
|December 31, 1973||Academy of Music||Blue Öyster Cult†|
|January 8, 1974||Village East||—|
|January 26, 1974||Academy of Music||Fleetwood Mac†|
Support act key:
- † Headliner
- ‡ Opening/supporting act
- Brod 2020, p. 18.
- Wilkening, Matthew (January 30, 2016). "The Day Kiss Played Their First Show". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
- (2019). End of the Road World Tour Program, p. 4.
- Simmons, Gene (2001). Kiss and Make-up. New York: Crown Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4000-4523-5.
- Faces Metal Muscle #1, Spring 1986
- Weiss, Brett (2016). Encyclopedia of Kiss : Music, Personnel, Events and Related Subjects. Jefferson, North Carolina. p. 132. ISBN 9780786498024.
- Gooch and Suhs, Kiss Alive Forever, p. 27.
- Kirby, Variety, August 22, 1973.
- Stanley Mises, New York Sunday News, September 16, 1973
- Charlesworth, Melody Maker, January 12, 1974
- 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.
- Gooch, Curt; Suhs, Jeff (2002). Kiss Alive Forever: The Complete Touring History. New York: Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-8322-5.
- Weiss, Brett (2016). Encyclopedia of Kiss: Music, Personnel, Events and Related Subjects. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 9780786498024.
- Brod, Doug (2020). They Just Seem A Little Weird: How Kiss, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, and Starz Remade Rock and Roll (First ed.). New York, New York: Hachette Books. ISBN 978-0-306-84519-2.