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KISS Kruise Day 2: The Boat Really Rocks

(browardpalmbeach.com) After an unmasked Sailaway Show on Thursday, KISS Kruisers got the full-on, legend-making experience Friday. The mild-mannered Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer morphed into seven-foot-tall aliens to the delight of the overflowing Palladium Lounge Friday aboard the Carnival Destiny.

Revelers, with a few Carnival staffers mixed in, packed the 1,200-capacity theater in various Halloween garb -- many of which featured meticulous facepaint of their favorite member of the band -- and from the moment the lights dimmed, all attention dripped onto the wall of 124 lightbulb-decorated speakers, the dry ice fogging the floor, and a giant video screen running through countless digitally enhanced versions of the band's iconic logo.

Throughout time, many popular musicians to name have expressed their admiration for long-surviving KISS. Weezer's Rivers Cuomo famously dedicated a verse of "In the Garage" to "my favorite rock band KISS," and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy recalls summers in St. Louis "playing KISS covers, beautiful and stoned." Although there are plenty of glam-rock sendups that follow in the footsteps of this power quartet with a refrain repeated until it's Super Poly-Gripped into your brain -- here's looking at you, Andrew W.K. -- the majority of artists stay far away from bad imitations of the unparalleled stage show.

"This one's one of the newer ones," Stanley cracked. "It's 35 years old." As "Shout it Out Loud" broke in, streams of photos of fans of all ages -- much like the assembled Kruisers -- pour out of the giant screen behind them. As one might guess, every single person onscreen has the black-and-white paint on their faces. Stanley mentioned that the mistakes the band made were all their own, and nothing could be attributed to samplers or musicians backstage, but there was nothing egregious -- maybe a lack of "Detroit Rock City," if we're gonna get picky.

"Lick it Up" proved to be the evening's climactic number. And the crowd took orders well, devouring the fierce harmonies by clapping along as vigorously and eventually singing a cappella along at the end after the song cycled to its end. This seemed to be the song the band enjoyed playing the most -- and there was an added youthful glint in their eyes. Simmons even dropped a pick on the head of a guy in the front row. The song closed out with a heroic bit of the coda from the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," and probably could've been the closing note of the night. But Stanley announced "C'mon and Love Me" as the last song of the night, and the crowd erupted in boos, "until you call us back out."

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