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Kiss finds new energy in Glendale show

Kiss sounded better in Glendale than the 35-year-old band has in several years, hinting that the drama-filled exits of two founding members may have benefited things in the long run.

Longtime co-leaders Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons kept a healthy-but-not-sold-out crowd at Jobing.com Arena on its feet with two hours of classics and a handful of songs from the band's new "Sonic Boom" album on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Kiss purists no doubt lamented the absence of guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss, but the band sounded sharper and more energetic as replacements Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer settled into their permanent status with the group.

The band, nominated this year for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, continues to stage one of the most over-the-top shows in rock.

The Glendale crowd, which included a number of children with faces painted to match their parents' heroes, ate up the extra-large helping of pyrotechnics, fireworks and acrobatics by bassist Simmons and singer-guitarist Stanley.

As if anyone needed reminding, master of ceremonies Stanley pointed out that Kiss concerts are all about escaping from the pressure of the outside world for a few hours.

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