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KISS Rocks The Corps!
by Keith Leroux
I apologize for any typos but it's 4:30 AM and I just drove 2 hours from San Diego to LA after attending the Rockin' the Corps show at Camp Pendleton.
Even though KISS only performed 5 songs at tonight's Camp Pendleton show, it was my favorite KISS show ever! I have never been more proud to be a KISS fan then when a group of Marines broke into a mosh during "Detroit Rock City". Yes a mosh pit at a KISS show. And those Marines, the same Marines who battled in Operation Iraqi Freedom and lost some very close friends and fellow Marines from this base. The same Marines who were away from their wives, husbands, sons and daughters for a year. Can you imagine just being away from people you love that long, let alone doing what they do to protect all of us here in America? I can't. Well Tonight was their night, their thank you for all of their sacrifices and for all they do for us.
KISS performed "Detroit Rock City", "Deuce," "Love Gun," "God Gave Rock and Roll to You," and of course closed with "Rock and Roll All night" as over 40,000 appreciative Marines and their familes sang along as the confetti flew though the air and fireworks lit up the sky. I can honestly say that I only looked at KISS for maybe 5 minutes of their 30 minute set. I was too busy watching the troops and families enjoying themselves! I also can tell you that while the band sounded as tight as ever, it was not the music tonight that was the highlight of the KISS set. It was without a doubt PAUL STANLEY's speech thanking the troops for what they had done and continue to do for us. We all heard the speech during last years US tour but listening to the crowd cheer as Paul told the Marines they are the heros and seeing some Marines and family members actually wipe tears away gave me a chill!
Gene's son Nicholas and his friend were standing next to me during the KISS set and at normal KISS show I may have told him how I've loved his dad since I was 6, but tonight it really didn't seem that important. Tonight I was more in awe of just being in the midst of true heros, the Marines.
Before KISS closed the show, Comedian Louie Anderson, Godsmack, Ted Nugent, Destiny's Child, Ritchie Sambora, Hottie and the Blow Fish, Chris Tucker and JA Rule all performed great sets and all thanked the troops in their own way. Other celebrities making appearances to thank the troops included Quincy Jones (one of the shows producers), NBA star Karl Malone, Carmen Elektra, Sharon Stone, Alyssa Milano, Heather Lockerlear and Marisa Tormei. Cedric the Entertainer was the host of the event and did a great job filling time between sets especially when the change over between Destiny's Child and KISS took a little while. Cedric compared the KISS stage to Circuit City and stated that KISS has over 2000 amps and 16 drum kits! Funny!
Before the show I was standing in the VIP area watching the celebrities greet the troops. The scene was awesome. The troops were so happy to meet these people. Chris Tucker, the comedian/actor from the Rush Hour movies, was just great to the troops. He posed for photos and went up and down the red carpet area thanking the troops. I was standing with ERIC SINGER when Eric spotted Karl Malone. Eric instantly rushed over to him being the huge basketball/Lakers fan he is. I took a nice photo for Eric. Doc Mcghee, Quincy Jones, Melissa Madden, all the performers and everyone involved should be proud of what they did for the troops. It was truly a special night!!
There was another funny Eric moment when we got back to the hotel, as we got out of the van, Cedric The Entertainer saw Eric, who was still in full costume and makeup and said "Eric man, your guys blew it up!" Went briefly to the after show party at the hotel. Saw Tommy, Paul and Gene, who was there with Shannon and their children. Everyone looked great especially Paul who seems never to age. I also overheard the Godsmack drummer raving about hanging out with Eric.
This was a great event that I feel honored to have been able to attend. I was told the event was taped for a pay per view and maybe a DVD with proceeds going to various Marine charities. Will keep you posted if we hear any news on airing dates.
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