Given that the second volume of these incredible boxed sets was only released in August of 2007 the KISS fans around the world are probably stuck in a mix of surprise and shock at the aspect of the third volume coming out so quickly. Of course like most ardent fan bases, the KISS ones are never hesitant to enjoy new releases that feature footage they might have seen before or only heard about in legend as even existing. Arriving just in time for your holiday purchasing needs comes KISSology Volume 3 which picks up where the last volume ended and presents us with content from the band's history during the years 1992-2000. For those who are not too up on their band history these years find the Revenge album with an as yet still unmasked lineup as they visit Alive III and get their Unplugged a happening all the way to the makeup sporting original membership as they began their Reunion tour, the Psycho Circus and Farewell tour along with some cool stops in between. This is truly something that the fans cannot get enough of and who can blame them with a band that is as big on spectacle as the guys in KISS are. Volume 3 finds four separate DVD's making up the main set so let's talk a little bit about what they feature. Strap yourself in KISS fans the ride continues along now.
Contents: DVD1: The Palace Of Auburn Hills, Detroit Michigan (11/27/1992), MTV Unplugged (Behind The Scenes), MTV Unplugged Sony Studios, NY, NY (8/9/95); DVD2: Tiger Stadium, Detroit MI (6/26/1996), MTV VMA Performance, Brooklyn Bridge (9/4/1996), Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA (10/31/98) part one; DVD3: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles CA (10/31/98) part two, "Detroit Rock City" movie premiere party Los Angeles CA (8/9/1999), "The Last KISS" Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford NJ (6/27/2000); DVD4: Coventry, Queens NY (12/22/1973).
The set begins with the Palace of Auburn Hills show from 1992 which was not only the tour that supported their Revenge album but also the footage and audio that became what we found on Alive III. "Revenge" was an album that was not only a solid piece of Hard Rock but also a record that was putting KISS back on the map for music fans everywhere. The KISS army had slowed down a little bit by this time but would again build up steam as a result of what was found here. The audio mix on this concert was a little lacking in my opinion but I was happy to see it just the same. The real treat for the KISS legions would be in the full presentation of the "MTV Unplugged" show as not only do we get a few songs that we didn't see on the final release of the CD/DVD but we also get a lot more of the band's banter to the audience which makes it a lot more personal. Unplugged is led up to with a commentary by MTV Producer Alex Colletti who offers up a lot of insight into the makings of this historic episode of the networks hit program. Clearly he was correct in his words about KISS being one of the last bands people would have expected to see on Unplugged. By the way, Colletti is also the producer of the DVD boxed set you are reading about right now. Tiger Stadium starts off DVD2 and this is the kick off to the bands reunion tour. While they are New Yorkers, the band opted to start the reunion touring in Detroit. As usual there are a couple of tunes missing from the concerts and while I cannot determine why we must simply deal with it. Most tunes are present so that is something at least. The MTV VMA concert from under the Brooklyn Bridge is here in full and that's a real treat as the band plays in front of the NYC skyline and lets the fireworks go with abandon. Too bad they only did five songs. DVD2 ends where DVD3 begins and that's with a full show from one of the "Psycho Circus" tours. We also get some songs performed for the "Detroit Rock City" movie party and then "The Last KISS" is presented. "TLK" was a Pay-Per-View special that was filmed at NJ's Continental Airlines Arena during the bands "Farewell" tour. Since then we have seen that KISS has indeed continued but of course with a couple of different members in their roster. It's not the full show from the tour, but I believe the full special is here with a couple of extra songs. I don't remember where my tape of the PPV event is to compare the set list. Yes, I taped it but I did pay for it and of course seven years later don't even know where it is. DVD4 is only one concert presentation and this is the appearance of KISS at the Coventry club in Queens, NY 12/22/73. It's long been regarded as the earliest footage of KISS performing in makeup and while the sound and video quality is poor, the film is historic in nature and thus all the KISS fans will be in their glory as they get to watch it and feel like they were present when it occurred. I know of one Easter egg on the set and this is footage of KISS doing their rehearsal for the Brooklyn Bridge MTV VMA show. I'm not a fan of those things and have long stated that it should just be regular menu driven content.
Overall this is a very satisfying set, but when it comes to KISS things I sometimes get a little jaded because they are my top tier favorite of the bands I have followed all my life. You truly get a lot for your hard earned dollar but there are those who might argue about the decision to cut pieces out and leave songs from being presented. Perhaps this was done to avoid over repetition or perhaps those tracks were just sub par in quality. Either way this is listed as the final volume in the series of KISS history films and we know what that means a fourth one is probably already in the planning stages. Going forward I am sure that we shall see some sort of "Mega KISS Box" in the future that collects all the individual releases and then perhaps its companion release "KISSology The Bonus DVD's". Trust me in this, KISS always manages to find ways of making us spend and we do it over and over with smiles on our faces.
Bonus DVD's: Once again KISS has set the initial releases of the boxed set to include a bonus DVD that features content that has not been presented on any of the other volumes and each is available at a different retailer. The four bonus DVD's are as follows: KROQ Weenie Roast (6/15/96), Sao Paulo Brazil (8/27/94), Madison Square Garden (7/27/96), and Detroit Rock City film as the fourth one. My copy came with the Weenie Roast which was a warm up for the reunion tour and quite fun to watch KISS performing and running into snags along the way in terms of sound and lighting effects. Stuff doesn't always work and finding KISS running into the same problems as many other bands was interesting. The only one I really want to get my hands on is the MSG footage since I attended this very show. The inclusion of the Detroit Rock City film was pointless as a bonus as any fan can purchase this movie for five dollars nowadays at most retailers online.