The “Hottest Show on the Earth” tour stopped in Michigan on Sept. 11 to commemorate not just a homecoming, but also the tragedy that happened on that day nearly a decade ago.
KISS performed at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Mich. on the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. Despite poor weather conditions, the theatre was packed and among attendees there were a few Ferris students enjoying the show.
Jenna Pace, sophomore in the criminal justice program, attended the concert on that rainy day and said, “It was amazing. My favorite part was when they sang ‘Beth’.”
Pace was introduced to the band in her junior year in high school. She really enjoyed their music and has been listening ever since.
“I like KISS because their music is really fun and upbeat,” said Pace. “My favorite song would have to be ‘Shout it Out Loud’ or ‘I Was Made for Lovin You’.”
Ross DuMonthier, sophomore in the pre-optometry program, also attended the concert. He started listening to KISS when he was around eight years old.
“I like them because they put on a good show and are very into their music and fans,” said DuMonthier. “My favorite song has to be ‘Rock n’ Roll All Night’ probably because that was the first KISS song I ever heard and I used to sing it all the time when I was young.”
DuMonthier wanted to go to the concert because he has liked KISS for a long time, but never had the chance to go to a concert, and he doubted he would have many more opportunities.
“I think people our age like this type of music because we grew up with parents who listened to it and a lot of the more recent music we listened to has branched off from the type of music that KISS plays,” said DuMonthier.
Nolan McBride, junior in the pre-med program, won tickets for the concert at this years Meijer Madness and said, “I wasn’t much of a fan before the concert, but I thought the performance was awesome and I really enjoyed the show. My favorite part was when they played the final song and most popular song, ‘Rock n‘ Roll All Night,’ and the entire crowd was singing along.”
While the fans enjoyment was certainly important there was also something else that needed to have the spotlight that night. KISS member Paul Stanly said, “This isn’t just a rock n’ roll night” during the show.
The anniversary of Sept. 11 was on the mind of KISS and even some of the attending fans as demonstrated by one man who dressed as Captain America.
KISS donates $1 from every ticket to the Wounded Warrior Care Project, which gives help to military personnel who have been seriously injured. At the concert, KISS brought three military personnel on stage to announce that the band has raised $372,354 for the project thus far.
Brian Aupperle, former Ferris student and current member of the U.S. Air Force, had a connection to one of the personnel on stage. Sergeant Charles Filkins of the U.S. Air Force was one of the three members on stage and Aupperle’s recruiter.
“KISS is doing the Wounded Warrior Project and they wanted three military representatives to stand on stage to accept the check,” said Sgt. Filkins. “An email came out to our squadron and I was the first one to respond and got to be one of those three.”
Sgt. Filkins said he has been listening to KISS is entire life and being able to stand up there with the band was very cool.
When asked what his favorite moment was, Sgt. Filkins said, “I started chanting U.S.A. when I was on stage and the whole crowd started chanting with me. Another favorite moment was when KISS had the entire audience stand up and do the Pledge of Allegiance.”
Sgt. Filkins also got to play Gene Simmons’ bass guitar. He said Simmons was towering over him and got fake blood on his uniform, which he hung up and has no intentions of washing.
Sgt. Filkins added that as a member of the military it was nice to see such an iconic band care about the troops.
“They took money out of their paycheck and time out of their day to honor us like that and it was a huge honor,” said Sgt. Filkins. n