The L.A. Kiss Prepare for Their First Home Game: What Fans Can Expect
More than half a year after it was announced that Kiss would have their own pro football team, the L.A. Kiss of the Arena Football League are ready to take the field for their very first home game.
But exactly how is this unholy combination of sports and music going to work? What can fans expect when they turn up at Anaheim's Honda Center -- Will the players be wearing Kiss makeup? If they win the league championship, will Queen's 'We are the Champions' or Kiss' 'Raise Your Glasses' blare over the PA system?
To find out we talked to the team's executive producer of entertainment, Harlan Hendrickson. He is the brains behind the Monsters of Rock syndicated radio show, and has successfully worked with Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NBA to integrate music and entertainment into the stadium experience.
So what did you think when you first heard that Kiss was going to have their own football team?
I was floored -- it's a match made in heaven! I can't think of a better combination than Kiss and Arena Football. Both brands are the epithet of excitement. Fast paced, take no prisoners and 110 percent unapologetic! From the first time I heard they were launching a team I knew it would be something special. Look… when you put superstars like Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley in a room, add a legend like (Kiss manager) Doc McGee and the veteran experience of (team co-owner) Brett Bouchy, magic is bound to happen!
So exactly what are you planning for fans attending these games?
Everything we're talking about, the common theme is "cool, edgy and powerful." You've been to a Kiss show, it's not going to be that, but you know what they bring to the table. It's exciting, it's pyro, lights...We will have and we've been talking about having bands performing in the arena before the games and at halftime -- some pretty significant names, there's some excitement there. We've tossed around stuff like flying players in from the rafters, off-the-wall type stuff. Fans are going to be on the edge of their seats.
Note: Steel Panther has been confirmed as the halftime entertainment for the team's first home game. Damn good start!
I don't know if you've been to an AFL game lately, but that in itself is very exciting. Then you take the Kiss theme, you take rock music, some of this other edgy stuff. If you've not been to a game... you go into it with the mindset of the regular NFL game, and it's so much more exciting, because it's so high-scoring. There are games that are 80 to 44, you know? You would never get that in the outdoor game.
Is music from artists besides Kiss going to be part of the show? For example, will you play 'We Are The Champions?'
It's funny you bring that up, because we're all rock guys, but we need something in there for little Johnny, for the mom, for the dad. We don't want to alienate anybody, but it is a Kiss brand, it is the L.A. Kiss, and no matter what it is, whether its rock or pop, it's going to be very powerful, and it will be very cool and edgy.
Has there been any discussion, serious or joking, about the athletes wearing Kiss makeup?
(Laughs) Uhhh.. I have not been in any of those conversations, that would be pretty funny. On the football side of thing, like any other sport, any of the majors from the NFL to NBA and the NHL, it's serious stuff. I mean these guys, whether it says Kiss on the front or another team, these guys are here to ball.
Have you heard from the AFL about how the arrival of this team has impacted awareness for the league?
No, I haven't, but I can only imagine. Just like you alluded to when we started talking, it's almost an unfair home advantage. Who and their mom does not like Kiss and Paul and Gene and that big iconic Kiss logo? I can only imagine the excitement that is going through the league right now. You look back at when Jon Bon Jovi had the Philadelphia Soul a couple of years ago, people were excited.
So how do you compete with the home game-watching experience now, seeing as how everybody has 80-inch HDTVs in their living rooms?
We just signed a deal with KCAL in L.A., and I think there are four or five national games on ESPN and CBS. But you don't get that live feel unless you're at the game. I think you would get just a piece of that. That true in-your-face excitement can only be experienced at the arena. I think people are going to be really excited when they experience this.
For more information on the L.A. Kiss, or to purchase season tickets, visit their official website.