Wednesday, August 6, 2008

KISS Rock and Roll Day, Sturgis, South Dakota


What they are saying is the largest crowd in the history of the Glencoe Campground's Rock'n the Rally amphitheater made Monday, August 4, 2008 a special one for KISS and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. A reported 40 to 50,000 fans saw South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds and Sturgis Mayor Maury LaRue present the band with a proclamation making it KISS Rock and Roll Day in South Dakota.

Here are (left to right) Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Paul Stanley, Governor Rounds, and Eric Singer backstage before the show.

Eric Singer had fun adjusting the Governor's vest so that only Eric's picture on the shirt underneath showed.

And here they are onstage.

The Governor's proclamation saluted the band for their support of the military, which Paul Stanley reinforced near the end of the show. He dedicated the concert to all men and women serving in Armed Forces overseas and called America the "greatest country in the world."

Being backstage with the band was a surreal experience. The Rock'n the Rally facilities include small houses as dressing rooms for the bands and we spent a large amount of time standing around in the house that KISS was using to apply makeup and costumes. Seeing the look on the Governor's face the first time Paul walked out in full costume towering over everyone else in the room was priceless. Seeing Gene Simmons in makeup and a bathrobe dismayed at the number of people in the house was hilarious. Watching the wardrobe gals carry bits and pieces of costumes through was strange. I never expected to see Gene's codpiece or armored arm bands without him in them.

Here's Tommy Thayer signing an autograph in the kitchen.

The show itself was nothing short of the awesome spectacle you expect from KISS. The band lowered from the light rig at the intro, Eric's drum riser raised and lowered with smoke billowing out of it along with platforms for Gene and Tommy, Paul flew to the back of the audience to do "Love Gun," Gene flew to the top of the lights for "I Love It Loud," and so much confetti filled the air during "Rock and Roll All Nite" that at times it was hard to see the stage. Fire breathing, guitar-smashing, and fireworks they should have been able to see over at the Kid Rock concert across the road - it was all there. I was told it included $100,000 worth of pyrotechnics and fireworks.

Here are some photos.

I want to thank Doc McGhee and Melissa Madden at McGhee Entertainment, Cile Montgomery at Rozone Productions/Giant Media, Gary Lippold at Glencoe, Pepper Massey at the Sturgis Motorcyle Rally, Mayor Maury LaRue, Governor Mike Rounds, Mitch Krebs, Mike Mueller, Joe Hamm, and of course, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer for making this wild idea I had into reality. Also, all the members of our team at South Dakota Tourism - Melissa Bump, Wanda Goodman and Scott Howard especially, that helped create something really cool and generate a lot of good publicity. Special thanks to my son Cody Coppess for sharing the day and night with me and putting up with a lot of logistical problem-solving through the whole thing.

We wanted the best, we got the best!

One more pic from backstage - Who did we run into but Kory Van Sickle from Kory and the Fireflies and his lovely wife Traci. So, here they are with KISS. Gene seemed to think Kory needed some help with his expression.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting these so the KISS Army could enjoy them!

Chad Coppess said...

No problem! Also, don't miss that my post was also reprinted at!

Dan bach said...

Hi there, I am glad that the US show was a success.

Over here in UK/Europe - it's been a success ... saw 4 shows in 4 countries.

Thanks for the post

Chad Coppess said...

Thanks for stopping by! It seems my post has spread all over the internet now. Lots of KISS fan websites have picked it up, which is amazing!

Diane said...

I know who KISS are, but I can't say I'm a part of the KISS Army - but I like watching Gene Simmons' show - The Family Jewels, or whatever it's called.

You took some great pics, and I of course, loved the picture of KISS with Kory and Traci! (: I saw KFF in Pipestone, MN and the guys tore down the stage! (: Just can't get enough of them!

Sturgis campground said...

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is always held the first full week of August.