The 5 Best Moments From the 2021 Kiss Kruise
The 10th-annual Kiss Kruise returned to shore yesterday, ending another weeklong celebration of rock’s most famous masked foursome.
The voyage included nightly performances by Kiss themselves, with each set featuring special guests or a handful of deep cuts, some of which received their live debuts. Bruce Kulick, who served as Kiss’ lead guitarist from 1984-96, returned for his highly anticipated solo sets, and he joined the band onstage for a few mid-’80s smashes. Other rockers who performed aboard the Kiss Kruise included Night Ranger, Queensryche and Black ‘N’ Blue.
If you missed this year’s excursion, don’t fret: Kiss have already announced the Kiss Kruise XI for 2022, and fans can sign up for presale information now. In the meantime, get yourself excited for next year with these highlights from the 2021 Kiss Kruise.
Kiss Jam Onstage With Bruce Kulick
Kiss kicked off Kruise X on Friday night with their shortest set of the week, but they made up for it by bringing Kulick onstage for two back-to-back songs: “Tears Are Falling” off 1985’s Asylum and “Heaven’s on Fire” from the previous year’s Animalize. Kiss’ 12-song set also included several fan favorites that have not been in regular rotation on their ongoing End of the Road farewell tour, including “Plaster Caster,” “Love Her All I Can,” “She” and even “A World Without Heroes,” off 1981’s much-maligned Music From “The Elder.”
Bruce Kulick Honors Bob Kulick and Eric Carr
Playing guitar for Kiss was a Kulick family affair. Before Bruce joined the band in 1984, his older brother, Bob Kulick, cowrote and played guitar (mostly uncredited) on 1977’s Alive II, 1980’s Unmasked, 1982’s Killers compilation and Paul Stanley‘s self-titled 1978 solo debut. Bruce paid tribute to his late brother, who died in May 2020, during his first of two Kiss Kruise solo sets, playing a flurry of songs that Bob either performed or wrote, including a medley of “Nowhere to Run,” “Tonight You Belong to Me,” “Naked City,” “Wouldn’t You Like to Know Me” and “I’m a Legend Tonight.” Kulick also honored his former bandmate Eric Carr, who played drums with Kiss from 1980 until his death in 1991, by playing two of his solo compositions, “Eyes of Love” and “Can You Feel It?”
Kiss Pack Halloween Set With Live Debuts and Deep Cuts
Chalk it up to the Halloween energy or greater comfort levels after a few days at sea, but Kiss’ second Kruise set was stuffed with goodies for hardcore fans. Two songs received live debuts: “She’s So European” off 1980’s Unmasked and “We Are One” from 1997’s original lineup reunion album, Psycho Circus. (Admittedly, the rust was evident on “She’s So European,” with Gene Simmons singing certain lines too early and Paul Stanley laughing off the flubs.) Kiss also unearthed two unmasked-era songs, Asylum‘s “Uh! All Night” and Revenge‘s “Take It Off,” for the first time since 1986 and 1995 respectively, marking their first performances with makeup.
Kiss Dust Off Kruise-Exclusive Deep Cuts
Kiss’ third and final set from this year’s Kruise didn’t include any live debuts, but they did break out a handful of deep cuts they haven’t played live in years and that previously appeared on other Kruises. Hotter Than Hell rockers “Watchin’ You” and “All the Way” showed up for the first time since 2019 and 2018, respectively, while Rock and Roll Over closer “Makin’ Love” received its first live rendition since the 2015 Kruise.
Brad Gillis Honors Dusty Hill During All-Star Jam
What’s a group of platinum-selling rockers to do when they’re all stuck on the same boat together for a week? Host a few jam sessions, obviously. The all-star jams on this year’s Kruise did not disappoint, with Night Ranger guitarist Brad Gillis paying tribute to recently departed ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill. “In ’83 we toured with ZZ Top, and we got to know those guys pretty good. Just amazing. This one’s for Dusty Hill,” Gillis announced before tearing into a fiery rendition of “Tush” featuring Slash bassist Todd Kerns on vocals.
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