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The in-and-out KISS show

Jill Cataldo

KISS fan, syndicated newspaper columnist, KISS fan, workshop instructor, KISS fan, mother of three, KISS fan, coupon queen, KISS fan.

Is there anything more exhilarating than the in-and-out KISS show?

Die-hard KISS fans have long been familiar with the in-and-out... it's when we decide, impulsively, to go to a KISS concert (typically nowhere near where we live,) make arrangements to arrive just before the concert begins, enjoy the concert -- and then return home right afterward.

When I was younger, single, and untied to Mom duties, I loved the sheer bliss of jaunting off to another state, seeing my favorite band, and being back home in time to go to work the next day. Yes, it's a little crazy, but being a lifelong KISS fan already warrants a certain level of craziness.
The beautiful thing about the in-and-out too is that somehow, even if you were to tell no one you planned an impromptu trip to, say, Nashville, or Tampa, or some other nowhere-near-Chicago destination -- inevitably, upon your arrival, you'll find at least a dozen other diehard KISS fans that you know who have done the same thing. It's a bit like a continual summer-camp for grownups, seeing our same group of friends in various locations around the country... everyone waiting for their next fix of KISS.

Earlier in the current tour, my husband decided to hit a few Canadian KISS shows, while I stayed home with our family -- on the understanding that if I had the opportunity, I'd do the same later in the tour. My work schedule of late has been intense, with most nights and weekends tied up teaching workshops. At one point, my husband asked me, "Would you go to a spa for a day, if I got you a gift certificate or something? You've been working so hard lately."

I said no... I'm not really the spa girl type!

Then he said, "Well, what would you do if you had one day to yourself and could do anything you wanted?"

Does this question even need to be asked? :)

So a few weeks ago, I found myself with a surprise workshop cancellation... freeing up an evening. I immediately ran to my calendar to check where KISS was playing the next night.  They were making the rounds in the Southern USA. Check airfare - reasonable price, reasonable times. Book it, baby!

And a few hours later, I walked into an arena in a state I'd never been to before, just in time to hear my favorite band soundchecking some new songs from their fabulous new album. I love my family dearly, and I truly never want to be away from them... but start to finish, this trip was going to clock in at less than a day away from home. Not too much to ask, considering my husband had been to a couple in-and-out shows himself while I stayed home with our three KISS kiddos.

Crazy? Absolutely.

Fun? Undeniably.

And as is always the case, it was only a few minutes before I ran into more friends. One friend from Texas and his son, who have been hitting even more shows on this tour than I have. Other friends who never miss a weekend KISS show, no matter where it is. And as we were standing backstage socializing before the show, another old friend of ours walked in - he only lives about an hour from where I do in Chicagoland.

Pleasantries were exchanged, and everyone said we were surprised to see him, as he hadn't been hitting many shows on this tour. He said, "Well, I woke up this morning and decided I couldn't wait for the Chicago show. I wanted to see KISS tonight."

And he drove. 11 hours straight through. (By far, taking the cake from those of us who utilize the airlines for these impromptu KISS jaunts.)

This, while impressive, still doesn't come close to the lengths some of us will go to see KISS. We have another friend who does in-and-out trips from Japan. He flies from Tokyo to the USA to his city of choice, sees the show... and flies back the next day. In fact, he's at so many shows on any tour you'd think he lives in the United States... but no.

The concert, as always, was electrifying. No matter how many times you've seen their show, KISS never fails to disappoint. It's the best natural high you can get - an exhilarating shot of adrenaline that will keep you smiling and reminiscing days later.

After a concert, it's kind of an unwritten tradition that everyone in our group of friends goes out to "dinner" ... dinner appearing in quotes, because sometimes it's well after midnight by the time we actually leave the arena. As we were speculating where to go for dinner, our Midwest friend who drove the 11 hours turned to us and said he'd be skipping dinner... because he was driving back home that night.

Yes, the KISS army is just this devoted. And I'm proud to be among them.

(But now my husband is checking his schedule to plan HIS next in-and-out...)




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The Greatest said:

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KISS. Worst. Band. Ever.

Bill80 said:


Jill, how was the show at the UC?

Jill Cataldo said:


Tremendous -- Minneapolis the next night was even better. Just got home from Minnesota & will post reports on both soon :)

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