15 Years Ago: Kiss’ New Lineup Digs Deep on ‘Rock the Nation’
A year after putting what had become an unpleasant reunion behind them, Kiss showed off the power and range of their new lineup with Rock the Nation Live!
Released on Dec. 13, 2005, the full-length concert home video chronicled the newly reconfigured band's 2004 tour, which was the first to feature guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer alongside founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.
The duo replaced original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, who respectively left for good in 2001 and 2004 after rejoining the band for the first in a lucrative series of full-makeup reunion tours in 1996. Although that reformation began on a high note, problems similar to the ones that had split the band in half in the early '80s eventually returned.
"My hope was when we got back together with the original lineup that everybody would have learned from the past and we would go forward, pick up where we left off and move forward," Stanley said during a 2014 appearance on Chris Jericho's Talk Is Jericho podcast. "Instead we were virtually prisoners to doing the same songs every tour."
With Thayer and Singer on board, the band were free to explore their back catalog. "What makes this tour exciting is the idea of really changing the set around in terms of music," Stanley told the Western Australian (as reported by Bravewords.com). "Really shaking up the set list and the stage and being more free with ourselves in terms of what songs we play."
That meant digging out long-lost gems such as "Makin' Love," "Got to Choose" and "Love Her All I Can." Filmed at July 24 and 25 shows in Washington, DC and Virginia Beach, the concert film added extra value in the form of "Kiss Powervision," which allowed fans to watch camera angles that focused exclusively on one of the four band members during each song.
The Stanley / Simmons / Thayer / Singer lineup has proven to be Kiss' most stable and long-lasting. In 2019, the group launched the End of the Road farewell tour, which was originally slated to conclude on July 17, 2021 in their hometown of New York City. However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic those plans have been put on indefinite hold.
Watch Three Different 'Powervision' Versions of "Got to Choose"