KISS bassist Gene Simmons has praised Download Festival audiences, saying they’re up for a party whatever Mother Nature throws at them.
Speaking to The Telegraph about his 46-year touring career, The Demon heaped praise on the Donington Park faithful saying he’s “continually astonished” by their reaction whatever the weather.
KISS at Monsters of Rock 1996 © Getty
He explained: “We’ve headlined at Donington a few times and I’m continually astonished by the fact that, even when it’s raining cats and dogs, 70,000 or 80,000 people are getting drenched, covered in mud, but they’re still jumping up and down like locusts and having the time of their lives.
“At a Californian festival, rain would be a major disaster – but I guess the English are pretty used to it.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Simmons explained what makes a “magical” concert: “They’re about the people.
“The Cavern Club in Liverpool is an iconic space but if you see a bad band perform there, it will be horrible regardless. Ed Sheeran managed to rock Wembley Stadium with just an acoustic guitar – but stadiums aren’t the best places for intimate gigs.”
He also revealed that his most memorable KISS gig ever was in Japan in 1977, saying: German Shepherds and armed police were on call to monitor the audience when we first played at the Budokan in Tokyo.
“They were out en masse to ensure that none of the audience made any noise or moved from their seats while the artist was on stage. At the end, the audience had to clap very politely.
“Obviously, we assumed the show was going terribly, but it was explained to us later. The culture’s changed there but our Japanese and Chinese fans are generally more reserved.”
See KISS at the following shows:
Birmingham Arena- Tue 9th
London The O2 – Thu 11th
Manchester Arena – Fri 12th
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena – Sun 14th
Glasgow The SSE Hydro – Tue 16th