Photos : Robert Cavuoto
KISS, the iconic heavy metal band spanning four decades with raucous, explosive stage shows,
celebrated rock anthems and signature face make-up, is bringing its 2016 Freedom to Rock Tour to The Great Allentown Fair on Thursday, September 1st.
Tickets go on sale starting at 10 a.m. Friday, April 15.
The official tour announcement released this morning stated, “KISS specifically wanted to take the “Freedom To Rock” Tour to its fans in markets that haven’t had the chance to see them in some time or ever at all. ” The Lehigh Valley certainly qualifies.
KISS never headlined before at the Allentown Fair but did perform at Ag Hall, the exhibition building on the Allentown Fairgrounds in 1975, the year the band scored its first gold album “Alive.” KISS came back to the Fairgrounds in June 1990, that time performing on the Grandstand stage as part of its Hot in the Shade Tour. Band founders Gene Simmons(bass guitar/co-lead vocals) and Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar/co-lead vocals) also introduced their ascending new group to the area with memorable performances at Northampton’s Roxy Theater and Allentown Symphony Hall in the mid 1970s.
The band’s last Lehigh Valley appearance was 24 years ago at Bethlehem’s Stabler Arena in 1992, opening the U.S. leg of the Revenge Tour and debuting new drummer Eric Singer who is still with the band today. Current lead guitarist Tommy Thayer joined the group in 2002. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, KISS has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, has more gold albums than any other American band and hasscored countless hit singles including “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “Detroit Rock,” “Beth,” “Forever,” “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” “Hard Luck Woman,” “Shout It Out Loud” and more.
Between 1976 and 1979 KISS rolled out five platinum-selling albums —“Destroyer,” “Rock and Roll Over,” “Love Gun,” “Alive II” and “Dynasty.” The band’s 24th and most recently released studio album, “Monster” made it to No. 6 on Billboard’s Rock Albums in 2012.
KISS’s trademark stage make-up and costumes give its members comic book character persona recognized by their legion of fans, officially dubbed the KISS Army. In making the show announcement, fair Marketing Director/Talent Buyer Bonnie Brosious remarked, “Not only will their elaborately produced stage show be one for the ages, KISS may elevate face-painting on the fair’s midway to a whole new level.”
The Dead Daisies, a musical collective of rotating musicians influenced by 70s and 80s hard rock, will open the show. The current lineup includes Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio), John Corabi (Mötley Crüe, The Scream), Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake), Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne, Foreigner) and David Lowy (Red Phoenix, Mink). Starting Friday, April 15 at 10 a.m., tickets for the KISS concert will be available at the Fair Box Office, online at Ticketmaster.com, over the phone at 800-745-3000 and at Ticketmaster Centers. They are $83 for reserved seats on the floor and $83 and $63 for reserved seats in the grandstand and include fair admission.
Tickets are still available for the fair’s two shows previously announced that feature Chris Stapleton, the artist that took home six Academy of Country Music awards last Sunday night, and comedian-ventriloquist Jeff Dunham. Stapleton performs on September 2 and Dunham on September 4.
The fair box office behind the Ritz Barbecue on the Allentown Fairgrounds will hold special hours Friday, April 15 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and be open thereafter Thursdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. until further notice.
For more information, visit the fair’s web site at www.allentownfairpa.org.