Kiss reunites for another tour and album

Kiss will once again strap on the platform boots and slap on the face paint for a U.S. tour this November — the band’s first since a 1996-97 reunion extravaganza that was the year’s top concert draw. The reason: a new album, “Psycho Circus” (due out on Mercury, September 22), which marks the first time that the four original members have recorded together in more than twenty years. Kiss will up the theatrical ante this time around, unveiling new costumes and presenting genuine circus performers before each show. Plus, giant screens will project the stage show in 3-D (special glasses will be handed out at the door); concertgoers can get the pleasure (or pain) of “Gene Simmons’ tongue like it’s hitting you in the face,” according to the band’s press release.

Kiss’ last tour grossed $150 million, largely because of the nostalgia/novelty value (and tickets priced as high as $85). But on the second go-round, Simmons’ blood-drooling may be less exciting. “People might say, ‘I saw them two years ago and it was great, but I’m not sure I want to pay that much money to see them again,'” says EW music critic David Browne. “What Kiss has going for them is that we’re still in a period where showmanship and elaborate stage shows are not the norm. We’re still at that post-grunge point where bands mostly just stand around while they play.”