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'It feels good!': Kiss brings fiery outdoor concert, new documentary to Tribeca Festival

·2 min read

NEW YORK – Kiss brought the heat to New York's Battery Park. Literally.

On Friday night, the iconic rockers debuted their new documentary, "Biography: KISStory," at an outdoor screening in New York's Financial District. But the Tribeca Festival took the premiere a step further: ending the event with a full-blown Kiss mini-concert, complete with fireworks, flamethrowers, laser lights and more.

After the hour-and-a-half-long screening, an unmasked, socially undistanced crowd of hundreds flocked to a stage in the park, flanked by the famous "Kiss" logo in light-up gold letters on both sides. Dressed in full makeup and their signature, skintight costumes, co-founders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons took the stage with guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer for a rollicking, bombastic set.

Paul Stanley on singing Motown, why there won't be new Kiss music: 'I don't really see any reason for it'

Kiss members Tommy Thayer, left, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Eric Singer attend the premiere of A&E Network's "Biography: KISStory" during the 20th Tribeca Festival at New York's Battery Park on Friday.
Kiss members Tommy Thayer, left, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and Eric Singer attend the premiere of A&E Network's "Biography: KISStory" during the 20th Tribeca Festival at New York's Battery Park on Friday.

"Being from New York, we had to open up New York, so this is our way of saying welcome back to everybody," Stanley greeted the crowd at the top of the show, the band's first performance since postponing their farewell tour last March due to COVID-19.

Kiss kicked off with a tongue-wagging, pyrotechnics-heavy performance of 1976 hit "Detroit Rock City" before launching into "Shout It Out Loud," "War Machine" and "Heaven's on Fire."

"How does it feel to be out? It feels good!" Stanley shouted. "In August, we hit the road. So tonight we're just giving you a few songs," later adding that "we don't have a permit to make a long show."

But the live music-starved audience didn't seem to mind, ecstatically singing along to the band's classic "Rock and Roll All Nite" during the show's explosive finale.

The night ended with an unmasked, outdoor cocktail reception at The View at the Battery, where guests dined on crab cakes, quesadillas and flan. Despite gloomy weather forecasts, the rain remarkably held off, allowing for a safe and dry evening.

"Biography: KISStory" is a three-hour-long, two-night docuseries airing on A&E on June 27 and 28 (9 EDT/PDT). The first part, screened at Tribeca, chronicled Kiss' rise from audacious rock outsiders to global superstars. The doc explores the amusing and sometimes poignant origins of their costumes, hit songs and theatrical live shows, but also the tensions that drove original members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley to leave the band in the early '80s. (Neither Criss nor Frehley appear in "Kisstory.")

The Tribeca Festival continues with virtual and in-person screenings in New York through Sunday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kiss plays first COVID-era concert in New York. Here's what happened.

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