The Dead Daisies launched into Summer by sizzling once more with the mighty KISS as they made their way through Europe on the 40th Anniversary Tour. It was only when the band stepped out on-stage at the renowned German rock festival ‘Rockavaria’ to a huge screaming audience that the scale and impact of this journey would become apparent. Now, the band had reached a massive new milestone before hitting a single power chord. Not only would this see new singer John Corabi front the band in an official capacity, but it would be the largest European audience yet, and they showed their appreciation massively! Even in an early slot, the crowds were gathering because they sensed a rock performance with the power of a tsunami was coming.
“You could sense the anticipation before we came on,
and it was over the top when we did, the reception was great.
All the hard work by the team is really paying off!”
Following on from ‘Rockavaria’ The Daisies finished their German festival run smashing their performance at ‘Rock Im Rivier’, set in Veltins-Arena in the city of Gelsenkirchen situated about 30km from Dortmund. Along with ‘Rockavaria’, these are two of Germany’s biggest rock festivals. The band rocked the festival apart as they shared the stage with the likes of Metallica, Muse, Faith No More, Incubus, Judas Priest, Airborne, The Hives and many more. Brian Tichy was committed to other projects, so current Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne sticksman Tommy Clufetos joined up with the collective for this tour. The experience of the live shows in Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig saw The Daisies fall in love with Germany, where it was made clear to them that rock is still very much in the Germans hearts, as much as it ever was!
“Hey, my fellow rock n rollers in Germany!
It’s been said recently that ‘rock is dead’.
Well, you proved them wrong!” – Dizzy Reed
Five nights into the European tour and once again the crowds came out in force to Leipzig. Hitting the stage like a whirlwind in front of a packed audience and playing songs from ‘Revolución’, continued to prove popular with an ever-growing European fan base. The band had the KISS fans singing ‘Midnight Moses’ during the set, much to the delight of John Corabi who has immersed himself in his role as frontman. The Hard Rock Café Vienna on the 5th June was next for a show to support cancer charities as well as entertaining a packed venue with acoustic renditions of songs from the new album. ‘Pinktober’ and ‘Fighting For A Cure’, The Hard Rock Café threw its weight behind these cancer charities and as such, the band were absolutely delighted to take part and play for such a worthy cause.
Prague is wonderful city full of myths and legends including stories of vampires, and after seeing the sights the band sank their teeth into some unplugged sets on the local radio station and The Hard Rock Cafe. The iconic Hard Rock Cafe Praha, is an absolutely beautiful multi-floored building where the band rocked a packed room. Second night in Prague and it was show time! It was time to show the Czech fans how the Daisies rock! The O2 Arena, which is like a massive spaceship, was packed full of KISS fans when they hit the stage. They kicked in to set opener ‘Mexico’ before ripping in to a selection of new cuts from the album with a sprinkling of appropriate covers like ‘Burn’ and ‘Helter Skelter’, all of which was just enough to leave many thousands of new fans wanting more. Like every night on this European tour, there was no shortage of new and old, young and forever young fans desperate to meet their musical heroes and Marco, Dizzy, John and co were only too happy to oblige.
“I feel that we are really getting noticed and
on the radar in Europe, the attendance was brilliant,
and the crowds were so into it.” Marco Mendoza
Zurich was next and the small matter of a gig at the Hallenstadion in front of 13,000 Swiss rock fans. Before that, time to relax and take in some of the city scenery. Spires and nude statues, like that of Ganymede and the eagle at Lake Zurich were on the days cultural list, before taking the bus to the gig. When show time came, it was all guns blazing. Exploding onto the stage, once again they killed it, converting more and more fans to the cause. Corabi flew through the air, Lowy and Fortus spun out of control as Marco Mendoza took a comfortable commanding viewpoint from the front of the stage. This was rock music at its sweetest. Ten songs, 45 minutes, and thousands going wild, what more could you ask for. The next destination was the amazing Verona Arena in Italy. Situated outdoors, this former Roman amphitheatre which is well over 2000 years old is now a spectacular modern-day venue where artists come from all over the world to perform. It’s not every day you can say you played on the same stage as Roman Gladiators or walked in the footsteps of the mighty Roman Empire. Sunday the June 14 was marked in the calendar for some time. It was D-day, that’s ‘DOWNLOAD’ Day!
“As a musician kid growing up in Philadelphia
I always read about Donington in Kerrang and
other music mags from Europe, so playing that
festival was always a goal of mine.” – John Corabi
With a spot usually reserved for breakfast, the guys took to the stage when most respecting rock stars would be sleeping off the previous night’s partying. The usual oversleeping rock fans remembered in their thousands to turn on their alarms. The turn-out was absolutely tremendous; you could see bouncing heads for what seemed like miles in a glorious mud bath! But even the mud and early morning call didn’t stop this rocking welly boot brigade punching the air and taking in the electric atmosphere on a Sunday morning. Starting with ‘Mexico’ and finishing with ‘Lock ‘N’ Load’, the short set gave a swift hard kick to the festivals balls and set the day up nicely for those lucky fans fortunate to witness the Download debut.
“This was my 3rd time playing Download and
I couldn’t believe how great the turnout was!
I was afraid that most people wouldn’t be awake
yet, considering we went on at 11am. The crowd
was totally with us and by the time we finished,
there were people watching us from as far away
as I could see.” – Richard Fortus
How many bands can say, “Those guys met, fell in love and married each other because of us!” – well The Daisies can. Dave Cunningham and his fiancé Emma Babbington met through their love of the band’s music. Dave popped the question at the end of the set at Download, but that’s not the only connection. The pair met on Twitter and began communicating to each other about rock bands. “We met in July 2014 after tweeting about rock music. The first band I recommended to her was The Dead Daisies and she loved them.” said Dave. The band gave their personal congratulations to the couple after their set. Dave continued, “I thought it was very appropriate to watch them and pop the question. She said yes immediately and burst into tears. An amazing moment made even better by meeting the guys later in the day and receiving their congratulations. Perfect!” After an impressive set they had made their mark on the Download crowd in more ways than just their thunderous performance. All weekend a wall that fans could sign and leave messages on proved to be extremely popular with the festival crowd including the hundreds of selfie loving fans who made sure they took a shot with the static version of the band.
After the fantastic memories made at Download, it was time to sail back to mainland Europe following the KISS band wagon as it made its way to Paris. Unlike the famous Moulin Rouge, there was less flesh on show, but equal amounts of showmanship and talent as the band hammered through their set in Paris’s Zenith Arena. Viva La Dead Daisies. Forty-five minutes of theatrics, screaming guitars, great melodies, thunderous drums and hooks that could catch a whale.
“EUROPE in general has always been a place where
if you have something to offer and they like it, they
will be your fans forever, they really appreciate good
music and good bands! I can’t wait to get back!” – Marco Mendoza
Amsterdam is a unique city in so many ways, from ‘coffee shops’ to the Red-Light District, or even the bicycles which can be just as dangerous as cars! Just ask Dizzy who very nearly was sent crashing by a flying Dutchman on their bicycle! With all this and much more to discover, the boys had plenty distractions before boarding the bus for the gig. The Ziggo Dome is a huge arena that holds over 15,000 people and it was full to the brim. On the night, the band were joined on-stage by one of the members of the original band that wrote and recorded ‘Midnight Moses’. From The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and also of Michael Schenker Group fame, Scotsman Chris Glen played bass with the guys while Marco shook his tambourine. As soon as the band came off stage they were straight onto the tour bus for a mammoth journey to their next show. Just 12 hours after leaving the stage in Amsterdam, they were starting up once more by erupting onto the stage, this time at the Graspop Festival in Belgium. For many rockers AM is time for bed, but like the first cab off the ranks, there’s nothing like starting with a bang this early in the morning! Like Download, the word got out about The Dead Daisies early morning performance and it was jam packed. A run through of great songs from the new album including ‘With You and I’ with some classic covers to grab the attention of the early morning revellers, gave the set enough of an adrenaline injection to kick start a great day for the festival. It was time to get back on the road again and set course on a long journey to Barcelona as the tour would head for its final destination.
“It was great to finally rock in the Old World where
you are all incredible Rock’n’Fn’Rollers, and to the
folks that came out in the wee hours of the morn at
Download and Graspop, I don’t know if you were still
awake or just waking up but that was awesome!
What a blast. Love you All!!!!!” – Dizzy Reed
For the first time in their short history, the band were making their debut on Spanish territory in the beautiful Catalonian city of Barcelona, a city full of culture and featuring many works of the artist Gaudí. Now, they had the musical artwork of The Daisies to splash across its airwaves. Like Cuba earlier in the year, they immediately struck a chord in the hearts of this passionate Latino crowd. As ever, ‘Mexico’ started it all off with an eruption of sound from the very loud and very large crowd which continued all the way through the set to its conclusion of ‘Helter Skelter’. Corabi once again had the audiences feeding out of the palm of his hand, and for brief moments, had you not seen the odd painted face and KISS T-shirt, you would think it was a Daisies audience and show. There is no doubting that the Latinos love their music with a passion, and the Barcelona concert showed they loved the band with that same passion and vigour too!
An awesome tour, Playing to some great crowds.
IT WAS A BLAST! – David Lowy
All good things must come to an end, and so the last stop was Madrid, the final show as guests to KISS on this 40th Anniversary European tour. With every show, the atmosphere and the audience had been electric towards The Dead Daisies, and unlike many support bands who are there to make up the numbers on big tours, the band brought their ‘A’ game and killed it every night. John Corabi, had the crowd under his spell, singing and punching the air throughout the set, and he would have led the band through a much longer bunch of songs if given the chance. Travelling in the magical trail of KISS, but certainly not in their shadow, John, David, Richard, Dizzy, Marco and Tommy took a very successful European journey leaving many rock fans eager to see them again.
“The tour was absolutely f*#king amazing,
I had a great time, thanks to everyone that
came out. I’m going to go home and sleep
for about 4 days!!” – John Corabi
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